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Food delivery services make college life easier

BY MOLLY FESER, STAFF WRITER

 

Whether it’s in line at the bookstore, in the HUB mail room or on the waitlist for a class you really want, you will spend much of your time at Mason waiting in a line. However, you no longer have to wait in line for food, thanks to food delivery apps.

With so many food delivery services, students can not only have their food pre-ordered but also delivered to them on or off-campus. The question you should ask yourself is “what is going to bring me the fastest and cheapest food?”

Perhaps the most popular among college students—and the most in-your-face for Mason students —is Tapingo. Started in late 2011, Tapingo is an on-demand mobile ordering service that is designed for and run by college students. Designed to be used for on or off-campus dining, Tapingo allows students to use campus meal money, such as Bonus Funds or Mason Money, to pay for their food.

Many students, such as senior Savanna Stanton-Ameisen, enjoy the convenience of Tapingo: “It helps me not have to wait in long lines when I’m in a hurry before class or dance rehearsal. It’s the fastest way I can get Starbucks or Chick-fil-A,” Stanton-Ameisen said.

One of Tapingo’s biggest competitors is GrubHub, another mobile food ordering company that allows customers to pay with cash, credit or PayPal.

With a $10 delivery fee, GrubHub might not be the cheapest option, especially for college students, but previous GrubHub customers, such as sophomore Sophie Rizzo, had positive experiences with the app.

“The service is a little slower than Tapingo and I could do without the $10 delivery fee, but other than that I liked it. My food was still warm by the time it got to me and it was easy to order,” Rizzo said.

Another option is UberEATS. Launched by Uber in 2014, the app tries to deliver food to its customers in 10 minutes or less. Because of that policy, UberEATS is much faster than many of the other apps, such as Tapingo, which often takes up to 30 minutes to deliver food. One feature of UberEATS that college students might especially like is that the app does not ask customers to tip.

Sophomore Maddie Gray has used this service, but did not find it easy to navigate: “My food was delivered on time, but it was really confusing to use, and I didn’t understand it,” Gray said.

In 2008, food review website Yelp launched a delivery app called Eat24. Yelp is known for providing customers with listings and reviews of local restaurants, but Eat24 goes one step further by delivering directly from these restaurants.

Mr. Delivery is another quick and convenient delivery service that is very similar Eat24 or Tapingo, but it has a larger-than-average selection and delivers from farther away.

But what really makes Mr. Delivery special is its group ordering feature, which allows multiple people to pay for the same order. According to Mr. Delivery’s website, after the restaurant is selected and everyone’s email address is added to the group order, each person selects their food individually. This feature makes Mr. Delivery ideal for group hangouts and office parties.
Cheap and easy food is a big part of college life. If you take advantage of the opportunities all around us, you, too, can beat the lines and have enough food for two people brought right to your door.