The food purchasing app, Tapingo, was first brought to the USD campus in March 2017.
The app, which available for iPhones and Android phones, is free and can be synced to students’ meal plans or set up with a credit card.
Tapingo’s main purpose is convenience. Adam Chicoine, USD’s director of campus dining, said he thinks students and faculty are taking full advantage of the app.
“Tapingo is an online ordering application that allows customers to order from certain retail locations on campus,” Chicoine said. “A large number of the student body currently have the app, but not everyone. (However) most of the locations have very good participation with orders.”
Ashleigh Pedersen, a sophomore elementary education major, has been using Tapingo since the beginning of this semester. She said she likes being able to jump to the front of the crowd.
“I downloaded it because I didn’t want to wait in line,” Pederson said. “The app is efficient because it puts your order in front of everybody’s order that’s in line. So I use the app whenever the lines are long and if I’m on a time crunch, so quite often.”
Tapingo allows users to pre-order their food and skip the lines at places on campus such as Qdoba, Chick-Fil-A, Einstein’s, University Brew, Papa John’s and the WOK. Delivery isn’t yet available in Vermillion, but is offered at other universities.
Chicoine didn’t respond to requests for comment regarding the possibility of a delivery service on USD’s campus.
Chicoine said just because an order is placed doesn’t mean the food will be ready instantly.
“A customer places their order on the app, and they are given a wait time for their order to be made,” Chicoine said. “Then they can pick up their order at the designated pick up spot at the store. However, most don’t realize that if they order, their food isn’t just instantly ready as soon as they place the order.”
Tapingo informs customers what stage their order is in from prep to ready to be picked up. Customers are also sent an e-receipt via email.
When an order is placed, Tapingo informs the user how many other orders are before them.
Kaitlyn Danielson, a sophomore elementary education major, said this feature allows her to decide if she has time to wait for her food or if she should skip it.
“It is really nice to use the app when the lines are long and I don’t have much time,” Danielson said. “If I’m on a time crunch and depending on how many people are in front of me, it could determine if I’m going to order or wait.”
Chicoine said the success of the app has been greatly affected by marketing and emphasis on convenience.
“All of Tapingo’s marketing materials stress the convenience of the app,” Chicoine said. “The app will always have users due to the student’s want for convenience.”