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Campus Dining Halls, Delivery Services Compete With GrubHub, UberEats

Will campuses efforts to compete with apps like Grubhub be successful?

Audrey Bowers

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According to The Boston Globe, Campus dining halls are starting to experiment with delivering food because of the rising popularity of apps like GrubHub and the rising popularity of UberEats

This is happening because of millennials’ desire for convenience and the rising costs of college in general.

Students are less likely to be satisfied with on campus dining when they are able to order in or carry out foods from local restaurants for about the same price. It makes complete sense as meal plans usually cost about the same as room and board.

For example, Wellesley College’s dining plan adds up to a total of about $10 a meal.

At Boston University specifically, a student start-up called Stoovy Snacks is taking on GrubHub and delivering food directly to students’ dorm rooms.

“You have to try to keep up with everything going on and be attractive to students, and most of what they’re doing is ordering on their phone,” Elizabeth Emery, the head of dining services at Boston College, told the Globe. “We’re benchmarking not by what other universities are doing, but at restaurants and quick casuals in the Boston area.”

“The millennial and Gen Z [student] wants convenience with everything,” said Ken Toong, executive director of UMass Amherst’s network of dining services which is testing on-demand ordering, according to the Globe story.  Toong says that delivery will be anticipated for the next few years.

However, these campuses will have to compete with start-up companies which take it one step further, delivering a week’s worth of food or more to students.

The ways in which college students can order food are growing with delivery apps, online grocery-ordering and meal kits such as Blue Apron, Chef’d, etc.

Dining halls are going to have to catch up if they want to keep student business.

 

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Audrey Bowers recently graduated from Ball State University with a B.A. in English. Bowers is currently an MFA candidate at Butler University. They are the editor in chief of Brave Voices Magazine and formerly the assistant managing editor of The Broken Plate.

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