Bon Appetit to launch Tapingo for mobile food orders to go

Bon Appetit plans to start a new food ordering program, Tapingo, for use at Eagle's Nest, Common Grounds and the Talon.

Bon+App%C3%A9tit+is+testing+a+smart+phone+app+that+will+allow+students+to+pre-order+their+meals+at+Biola%27s+on-campus+eateries.+%7C+Screenshot+
Bon Appétit is testing a smart phone app that will allow students to pre-order their meals at Biola's on-campus eateries. | Screenshot

Bon Appétit is testing a smart phone app that will allow students to pre-order their meals at Biola's on-campus eateries. | Screenshot

Bon Appétit is testing a smart phone app that will allow students to pre-order their meals at Biola's on-campus eateries. | Screenshot

Christine Chan and Christine Chan

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Students and faculty have something to look forward to on campus after spring break. Bon Appétit will be testing a new program called Tapingo, an application that allows users to order and pick up items off the menus of Biola’s on-campus eateries.

“[Tapingo] is an online ordering system that will be linked to your school account to order and pay for food in the retail locations,” said Biola Bon Appétit general manager Steve Rall.

After downloading the application, students must register with Tapingo to purchase menu items from the Talon, Eagle’s Nest and Common Grounds. Once a student orders through Tapingo, they are automatically charged by flex and given a confirmation number to pick up their food.

“It’s free to us for the semester and then after that, there’s a fee associated with each charge,” Rall said. “We just want to see how the kids are actually going to use it so we can devise a plan on how much that fee will be. If [Tapingo is] looking for a certain amount of revenue, I’ve got to see the cost savings in it.”

Will save time for busy students

Senior Hannah Mason serves on the Caf committee in Associated Students, which meets with Bon Appétit once a month to receive updates on what they’re doing and to give student feedback. The Tapingo program could be beneficial in cutting down wait times for students in a hurry, as most complaints usually have to do with long lines, Mason said.

“I think as far as students having an efficient way of eating on the go, it will meet their needs,” she said.

An estimated completion time will be provided once students begin building up order history, but Rall is already anticipating there will be challenges during the busiest times of the day, such as the Common Grounds after-chapel rush.

For that particular scenario, Tapingo will most likely display a message informing users it is closed for a short period of time to avoid a flood of orders.

Paying with flex over mobile devices

Rall said the idea came from a tour in early February of other Bon Appétit accounts, including Santa Clara University. The school had just implemented the program two weeks prior and was seeing 90 orders per day. Their need is far greater, as the Santa Clara cafeteria is not all-you-can-eat, according to Rall.

Bon Appétit is also considering implementing a nighttime delivery service, but Rall said that at this point in time, it is unknown if that delivery program will also be tested this semester.

Tapingo will only be available to those with flex, as Bon Appétit has not yet worked out a viable payment system for credit cards.

The application is designed for Android, Apple and Blackberry smartphones and will also be accessible on the iPad 3G and computers connected to the Internet.

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Bon Appetit to launch Tapingo for mobile food orders to go