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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

New ‘Tapingo’ app backs up food orders

Students wait in line to place an order at Sub Street Deli, a dining service at the Marketplace Cafe. Photo credit: Jovanna Garcia

The Associated Students’ new app “Tapingo” is getting food out faster for students but backing up services inside the dining area, according to students who don’t use the app.

Students have been having issues with the new app because food ordered through the app is prioritized first and people ordering at the stands have to wait for their food to be prepared.

“By not ordering through the app, a cheeseburger from ‘Grill It’ takes 15-20 minutes,” said Justine Almanza, junior social work major. “Last semester, without the app, it would take 10 minutes at most.”

Almanza said even when there aren’t many people in line they don’t touch her order or even ask what she wants because they’re too busy preparing Tapingo orders.

The app launched at the beginning of this semester, allowing students to order food online or from their smart phones. Students make Tapingo orders for the Marketplace Cafe, Common Grounds or the Creekside Cafe.

Tapingo launched on campus after Corrine Knapp, retail manager at the Associated Students Dining Services, learned about it from her peers at other schools.

“The intention of the app is to provide a greater service to our customers,” she said. “It’s allowing customers who maybe only have 15 minutes between classes to be able to get their food quickly.”

She said she’s seen 30 to 40 transactions going through the app everyday and that the number has steadily increased every passing day.

“I see a lot of returners and repeat users,” Knapp said.

Rod Hayes, Patron Service Coordinator at University Public Events said the app saves him a lot of time and he uses the app almost daily.

“You get to skip two lines – the ordering and the paying line,” he said. “I get a half and hour lunch and the faster I get my food, the more time I can spend actually eating it.”

John Bruni, a junior business major and employee at the Marketplace Cafe said the workers are still adjusting to the way the new app works.

“When an order comes in, it pops up on the iPad screen and we get to work,” he said. “We give priority to the Tapingo orders because they have already been paid for. The students who use the app are expecting their food to be ready when they come in.”

Felisa Vallejo, a sophomore environmental science major said she doesn’t use the app but thinks it’s a problem when orders start to get backed up.

“I think it would be best to have certain employees making only Tapingo orders and other employees making food for the people in line,” she said.

Knapp said she won’t be moving employees around because the work spaces behind the Marketplace stations are too small and having more employees doesn’t make work more efficient or faster.

“All of our areas are staffed appropriately for peak busy times and adding more people back there will probably slow the process down rather than make things faster,” Knapp said. “But as the semester goes on and our new hires get more training, we will get faster.”

Knapp said the best way to handle the long waits in line are to get those people interested in using the app.

“They can see how well it works and say ‘Hey I should download this app and use it,'” she said.

Jovanna Garcia can be reached at: [email protected] or Jo_Garcia19 on Twitter.

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