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The Daily Wildcat

 

Tapingo food app frustrating some users with long waits

Spencer+Williams%2C+freshman+MCB+and+Microbiology+major%2C+checking+out+what+to+order+on+Tapingo+while+writing+a+paper+on+May+2nd.%0A
Darien Bakas
Spencer Williams, freshman MCB and Microbiology major, checking out what to order on Tapingo while writing a paper on May 2nd.

Tapingo and similar on-demand apps were introduced to make our lives faster and easier; but according to some users, it doesn’t always work that way.

Tapingo has been in business with restaurants in the Park Student Union, the Student Union Memorial Center and other on-campus eateries since 2013. The app also offers a delivery option, where users can order and have food or drinks delivered to a dorm, the libraries or any other on-campus location.

The app has had a national average 7 percent increase in transactions and a 22 percent increase in sales for app participants, according to Tapingo.com. It’s established in around 30 states — all on college campuses including the UA, University of Miami, University of Southern California and New York University, among others.

“[A] lot of people now use it, so it’s kind of just congested and it usually takes longer than just waiting in line,” said Gabrielle Mix, a freshman studying dance and journalism. “So there’ll be times when I use the app and then I don’t get my drink in time for class, and then I pay for something and don’t get it.”

Tapingo orders are taken at the same time that walk-in customers order. When there is a rush on either side, it affects app users, other customers and employees. “Too many people are using it now,” Mix said.

Tapingo believes in “a world where technology removes the hassles and stress of everyday transactions — so humans can focus on more important things. You know, human things,” according to its website. But the sharp increase in customers — both in person and online — has actually had the opposite effect, according to the employees of some campus eateries.

During the peak hours of the day, Tapingo orders combined with droves of in-person customers causes tickets to pile up, said Arielle Brennan, an elementary education senior and an employee of the on-campus Einstein Bros. Bagels. She said the app is no longer serving as something good for customers or workers.

“[Tapingo customers] just complain a lot and ask what’s taking so long because it’s Tapingo; you’re supposed to just grab it and go,” said Melissa Judson, a Chick-fil-A employee and freshman studying Spanish and pre-nursing.

The average number of Tapingo orders per day at Chick-fil-A is around 500, according to Judson.

Judson said orders taken at the register are made faster than Tapingo orders because employees making the food cannot see the orders from Tapingo on their screen, as opposed to the orders taken at the register.

Tapingo currently has 51 and counting affiliated on- and off-campus eateries available to students at the UA for in-store pickup and 57 for delivery.    


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