Tapingo app slows down food lines

Megan Mann

Tapingo, or Tap-in-go, has to be one of the stupidest apps on campus.

Now don’t get me wrong, the concept is amazing. Who wouldn’t want to order their lunch or coffee from an on-campus vendor with their phone, pick it up right after class and save the hassle of waiting in line?

Unfortunately, it’s the app’s design and execution that has me unconvinced of its efficiency.

Take the first Thursday of the semester, for example. I had a little less than an hour for a lunch break. Starving, I headed for the deli in the Bell Memorial Union Marketplace. Normally it only takes 15 minutes at most on a busy day for me to get a sandwich.

It took 45 minutes for me to be served that Thursday.

But don’t go blaming the deli for the slow service. Tapingo is the issue.

While I paid for my long-awaited sandwich, I made a light-hearted comment to the cashier about how busy they were. He replied that it was mainly because of all the Tapingo orders they were receiving. While in line, I had noticed that the minute an order came in, the frazzled staff would do the Tapingo order first and put orders made in person on hold.

Why? This is where the app’s design is flawed. When placing an order, there’s options to customize everything except for when the order should be available for pick up because the only option is “ASAP.” This means that even though it may take me an hour to pick up my order, the deli will have to make it right away and it’ll sit there until I pick it up.

Hello cold Chinese food, pizza or burgers!

So how can Tapingo really live up to its claim of being an app that helps decrease congestion at food stands and saves time for everyone when it completely disregards those who are actually waiting in line?

It’s simple. If the app is updated to include a function allowing the user to select the time they want their food to be made or picked up, the people in line can be served right away. The app users can then still have the convenience of getting their food without waiting.

That, or there should be separate stations for Tapingo orders to be prepared at, but I think an app update is much easier.

Megan Mann can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @meganisthemann.