UNW Food Services introduces mobile ordering opportunity

by Leah Larsen

There are multiple signs around the Billy Commons detailing the new feature (photo courtesy of Leah Larsen).

With the onset of the COVID-19 surge in late October, the introduction of UNW Food Service’s mobile ordering app is timely. This app, meant to make student ordering more convenient and to encourage social distancing, is now available Monday through Friday at the Main Dining Center in the upstairs area of the Billy Graham Community Life Commons. If students take advantage of this opportunity, they will be able to order food ahead and pick it up outside the cafeteria. Northwestern’s Food Services is also making plans to offer it at the Heritage Coffee Shop and the Eagles Nest in the near future.

There are multiple signs around the Billy Commons detailing this offer along with steps explaining how to download the app and begin ordering. They include a QR code, which leads to the GET Mobile app, the same platform that houses each student’s dining account information online. Students should start by downloading the GET mobile app, identifying Northwestern as their institution and entering their Northwestern username and email password. Then, they will be able to access their dining balance, add dining funds, review past transactions and begin a mobile order. 

When mobile ordering, students can select the location and designate a pick-up time. Currently, food can be ready to pick up in 20 to 25 minutes. The app may say that it will be ready as soon as possible, but students still need to take initiative about planning ahead. During the ordering process, the various menus and food items will be displayed on the same screen. Since the app is synced up to student dining account information, students will be able to use their dining funds to make the purchase before receiving their food outside of the chosen location. Students can also make a mobile order from their dining account on theROCK.

Elliot Meier, General Manager of UNW Food Services, voiced his excitement about this new opportunity for students: “We want to keep up with the trends and make dining as easy as possible for everyone. We think that this is a new way of dining in the COVID-19 world.” He also commented on the purpose of the mobile ordering option, saying, “This is meant to help our students’ day-to-day experience be more efficient. We know that students are on a budget, so we want to provide alternative ways for students to receive meals, especially when some people still don’t feel comfortable coming up to the Billy and can’t bring food into class.”

Bon Appetit recently celebrated 25 years serving Northwestern, but mobile ordering is new territory for them. This mobile ordering opportunity is being tested in the main dining center before being offered at other campus locations. There are still some glitches and kinks that need to be worked out within the system, and Northwestern’s Food Services is also currently in the process of working availability and what food is being offered. With proper feedback and work on complications, mobile ordering will be offered within the week before Thanksgiving. Send feedback and questions to ejmeier@unwsp.edu.

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