By: Lauren Wolters
UF’s new mobile ordering is off to a slow but steady start
The University of Findlay’s dining service implemented mobile ordering in the Refinery at the Center for Student Life and College of Business (CBSL) on Jan. 19. This new feature means that the UF community can use Sodexo’s Bite app to order food from any of the Refinery’s four dining locations: SubConnection, The Grill, Mein Bowl, and Chef’s Table.
Melissa Carrick, the Field Marketing Coordinator for Sodexo, says the first few weeks have gone very well.
“This is kind of our test run really with the Refinery,” Carrick said. “It’s a learning experience for our team, so we’ve run into a couple of things, but I would love to hear more student feedback on how they’re liking it. . . but we are feeling pretty good about it.”
Carrick explained that Sodexo is averaging only four to five mobile orders a day. Even so, the few UF students who experimented with the mobile ordering option seem very pleased with it.
Freshman Emily Von Stein enjoys using mobile ordering at the Refinery.
“I use the order ahead option quite a lot,” Von Stein stated. “Using the order ahead option is good when I have a busy class schedule, so I can just grab my meal and go.”
Similarly, UF student Allison Smith, likes the convenience of the Bite app’s mobile ordering.
“I would definitely recommend it to anyone on campus,” Smith said. “It’s super easy to order it, [and] then just walk in and pick it up. It also is very nice for people who are quieter than most, in a place that can be very loud. I’m always asked to repeat what I say because they can’t hear me when I’m quiet, so I saved the struggle of me deciding how loud I should be and being asked to repeat by ordering ahead of time.”
Mobile ordering users order and pay through Sodexo’s Bite app, and then when their order is ready, they pick it up in the Refinery’s mobile order pick up area by the Coca-Cola refill station. There, they also fill their own drinks.
Carrick says students can link their UF ID to their Bite account and use their meal swipes and Derrick Dollars. The Bite app also offers Bite Pay, where students, who may not have a meal plan, can link a credit or debit card to their account to pay for their orders.
As with most new technology, Sodexo and the UF community are working through some minor difficulties. Carrick says locked eAccounts have been the biggest deterrent for those attempting to use the Bite app’s mobile ordering.
“eAccounts@findlay.edu is where you can check your meal plan balance [and] Derrick Dollar status,” Carrick said. “If you haven’t ever logged into that or if you haven’t used that in the last 90 days, you’re going to be locked out of Bite mobile ordering at first too. . . that’s something where students need to contact the email@example.com to get unlocked, and [then] they’ll be able to connect their account to the Bite mobile ordering.”
Carrick says orders can be ready in fifteen minutes or set for a later time. Users will receive a notification through the Bite app when their order is processed and then also when the order is ready for pick up.
Carrick hopes that more orders will come in as word spreads about the Bite app’s mobile ordering. As more orders come in, Sodexo hopes to expand the option to both Jazzmans, the Rig, and Henderson Dining Hall by the Fall of 2021 semester.
“I would love to see this option for Jazzmans, the Rig, and Henderson,” Smith said. “I feel it could be very beneficial to those who may just want to hurry up and grab something before a late class or in the middle of a busy night of homework.”
Feb. 24, 4:00 p.m.: An edit was made changing ‘help desk at findlay.edu’ to the correct email address of ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.