Students are a technologically savvy and incredibly busy bunch of people. Whether they are busy studying or ordering drinks…is another matter.
Either way what obstructs their ‘busy-ness’ is the queuing. For the daytime student, having to spend half of their 30-minute revision break queuing for coffee is essentially half their break wasted. While on a night out at the student union bar, the fun can be severely diminished if they have to cut out the prime part of the night to wait at the bar to order their round.
Enter mobile ordering: a real reason for students to look at their phone. This allows students to order and pay for their food and drink from their phone, and then collect it when it’s ready- meaning no queuing, no fumbling for cash, and no time wasted. For example, they can order and pay their coffee from their library desk, and put in a time for when they want to collect it. The library café receives the request and prepares the coffee a few minutes before the requested time, so that the student can collect it as soon as their break starts and then spend their time off doing what they want to do. Alternatively at the student bar with their friends, they could place your order on your phone and then receive a push notification as soon as the drink is ready.
From the student union’s perspective this makes even more sense. Since most university coffee and bar outlets are managed by the same caterers, this means they can offer a mobile-ordering service across the entire campus. Students wanting to get a coffee are shown on the app where the nearest union café is, and then can place their order so when they arrive it will be ready and waiting for them. Or in another scenario, societies planning union bar crawls would be able to line up all their rounds before the night even starts.
Logistics aside, mobile ordering service in student unions would be an innovative solution for the people who would be most likely to use it.
It’s not as catchy as: ‘When is a door not a door?’ (answer, when it’s a jar) but it speaks to the idea that in-car collection, and the technologies that support it, are flexible enough to bend to the needs of a business and its guests.
Delivery can be daunting to the uninitiated, and it might be tempting to sign up with a third-party ordering aggregator that offers the service, such as UberEats, but other options could suit your business and brand better. Here we present three different ‘levels’ of delivery, starting with the most basic – and cheapest method: doing it yourself.