News Date: 
Friday, August 21, 2015

Source: The Red & Black

By: Marlee Middlebrooks

University of Georgia Food Services recently launched a nationally-used app Tapingo, which allows students to use their phones to purchase food from on-campus eateries.

Without waiting in line to order or pay, users can place an order on their phones and pick up their food at a Tapingo kiosk.

“You can use your Bulldog Bucks to pay for it,” said Allison Brannen, marketing coordinator for UGA Food Services. “And if you’ve recently purchased one of our meal plans that has Paw Points associated with it, you can pay with Paw Points through Tapingo as well.”

Paw Points are available through the new meal plansoffered this semester.

The Tapingo-associated eateries include The Station at the Veterinary Medical Center, ‘Tween the Pages in the main library, Bulldog Café and the Health Center Café.

Users can select the restaurant they wish to order from, place an order and pay within the app. The app transmits the order to the eatery, where the food will be prepared. Users receive a text when their food is ready.

Tapingo pickup locations have been set up within the campus locations.

“You don’t have to pay any money on site, you don’t have to see a cashier, you don’t have to wait in line,” said Bryan Varin, interim executive director of UGA Food Services. “It’s quick, easy and convenient.”

Varin said Tapingo will be coming to additional campus locations in the future, but he did not yet know when or where.

“We want to make sure operationally that we’re really comfortable with Tapingo before we start growing it to additional locations. With anything new like this, there is the ability to grow too fast,” Varin said. “We want to make sure that we’re doing it well and doing it right, and so far we’re having a lot of success.”

Rachel Verdetto, a junior wildlife major from Winder, has not used the app before but said she will consider downloading it, for  convenience.

“Tapingo would be cool to try out because at the end of class you could order food and get it without having to waste a lot of time standing in line,” she said.

Hunter Smith, a sophomore political science major from Jesup, said he doesn’t think Tapingo will become a part of his routine.

“I think it’s a really efficient way of paying. However, it doesn’t personally appeal to me,” he said. “In a way, it makes it too easy to go eat and spend money. I know that if I were to use Tapingo, I would not use my meal plan as much and it would be a waste of money.”

UGA Food Services hopes to enhance its programs in order to best meet the needs of students, Varin said.

“By launching something like Tapingo, we are creating more convenience through Food Services,” he said. “We just want to make sure that we’re meeting the dining needs of students, faculty and staff across the board and partnering with the campus community the best we can.”