Bon Appétit rolled out the Get app this semester after testing it in November.
The app allows students, staff and faculty to order meals for pickup. Once an ordered meal is ready, Bon Appétit staff place it in a paper bag marked with the recipient’s name and move it for pickup to the vestibule by Fields Dining Hall’s main entrance. The app user gets a notification when their meal is ready. Get is also available for orders at Maggie’s on weekday mornings from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and evenings all week.
The app is free with a Lewis & Clark email address and can be downloaded on most cell phones. The state-mandated closure of Fields for indoor eating and long lines due to increased numbers of on-campus students this spring have incentivized the app’s use.
Bon Appétit’s General Manager at LC, Ryan Jensen, estimated that during the app’s first week, around 150 orders per day were placed using the app, mostly for lunch and dinner. He says he hopes the numbers will increase in coming weeks, especially for breakfast orders.
Jensen was unsure if a specific group of LC residents used the app more.
“It is hard to gather demographics on who is using the app, but it is in general overwhelmingly students using board meals, a few students using flex points and a half dozen or so staff/faculty so far,” he said via email.
The app has not been without a handful of bugs. There is a limit to the number of orders that can be placed within a 15-minute window, causing delays at mealtimes. Jensen suggests using the order-ahead feature to resolve this issue.
“If your schedule is tight, you could order dinner a few hours before you want to eat to make sure that you are not locked out of your preferred dining time,” Jensen said.
Students have also drawn attention to Get’s issue surrounding names. Since the app is a service of the software company LC uses for meal plan data, an individual’s Get account is linked directly to their LC account, which prints their legal name on the bag they use to pick up food. For some LC students, staff and faculty, especially those who are transgender, this is not the name they use.
It was not until the end of Get’s first week in use that Bon Appétit discovered how to change the system to print chosen names instead of legal names. Anyone requesting an account name change needs to visit Bon Appétit’s on-campus office.
Despite these issues, Jensen described Get’s rollout as largely successful. Even though meal pickup works on an honor system, Jensen said this has not been an issue so far. Bon Appétit has received no reports about meals being taken, accidentally or intentionally.
Many students are suggesting adding items to the app’s menu. For instance, Mateo Kaiser ’23 said he has repeatedly emailed Bon Appétit, recommending they use Get to revive their discontinued Sunday-only omelet bar, where students could pick and choose ingredients for a made-to-order omelet.
“It used to be the highlight of the week at the Bon,” Kaiser said. “We’d get up early and go get in line for the omelet bar.”
If the omelet orders were made online-only, he says, the omelet bar could be brought back without creating long lines, and it would encourage more people to use the app. Currently, there are no menu items exclusive to the app.