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Tapingo mobile ordering app struggles to find audience at Belmont

Belmont Dining Services introduced the Tapingo app to Belmont’s campus this semester — a Sodexo app designed to reduce student wait times at various on-campus dining facilities.

Inside the app, Belmont students can link their student ID numbers — found under the barcode on the Belmont ID — to their account and place mobile orders for any on-campus restaurant. Then, students can simply walk to the restaurant and pick up their food, skipping the line and saving them time.

“Every year we evaluate the time that people stand in line and what we can do to service our customers better,” said Director of Dining Services Kyle Grover. “If you think about it, our students can order a pizza from Domino’s from their phone. We want to have this same ability to service our customers on campus.”

However, the app, which has found success at over 200 campuses across the nation — among them, USC, NYU, University of Kentucky and University of Georgia — hasn’t caught on at Belmont yet.

Freshman Mallory Tubb first heard of Tapingo through university advertisements on napkin dispensers, but never looked any further into it, she said.

“I feel like it would make sense during lunch hours when things are crowded, but I still wouldn’t use it beyond that,” she said.

Outside of lunch hours, Tubb never noticed an issue with lines on campus and doesn’t think an app like this is necessary.

She isn’t the only one who thinks so.

Freshman Delaney Lindquist also first heard about Tapingo through napkin dispenser advertisements, but she couldn’t tell what the app was used for.

“I saw the ads on napkin dispensers, but I couldn’t tell what they were even advertising,” Lindquist said. “Knowing what it is, I don’t think I’d use it. I feel like things are close enough and fast enough that I don’t need it.”

Grover acknowledges students already have short wait times, but still thinks they could be better.

“Student wait time is minimal, except in areas like Starbucks,” Grover said. “With Starbucks, you’ll get a line out the door, but usually the wait time is still less than five minutes from the door to being serviced. If you go to any Starbucks, that time is good for the product.”

“If we can lower a customer’s wait time by even a minute, that would be a success.”

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