A new survey of university students is pointing to the tangible benefits -- including boosted physical and mental health and improved sleep -- that campus food pantries offer to students in need. A growing number of universities across the country have devoted energy and funding to maintain on-campus food pantries in an effort to alleviate food insecurity amongst the student population.
Food automation technology provider, Picnic Works, has expanded its university partnership with food service management company, Chartwells Higher Education. Following a successful pilot program at Texas A&M and the University of Chicago, Chartwells is revamping the campus dining experience with cutting-edge kitchen equipment from Picnic.
Mobile food-ordering and delivery platform, Grubhub has partnered with Cartken, a technology startup that specializes in self-driving, AI-powered robotics and delivery operations, to bring robot delivery to college campuses. The new delivery partnership was piloted at Ohio State University this spring, and a full roll out will begin when students return to campus this fall.
The trend in university dining services is undeniably one toward technology, with mobile ordering, delivery robots, pick-up lockers and self-service kiosks all playing a role in campus dining. One of the most technology-driven dining experiences could be that of the University of Arizona, where all of these solutions have been deployed.
Campus card system vendor, Atrium, has teamed with retail technology vendor Zippin on a push designed to bring checkout-free meals, grocery shopping and retail to colleges and universities. The concept is similar to what Amazon is doing with its own grocery stores.
Radius Networks and Apex Order Pickup Solutions have partnered to provide restaurants and retailers with a frictionless locker pickup experience. The partnership will integrate location technology to enable restaurants and retailers to place food orders in a locker at the optimal time to maximize food freshness and locker capacity.
The University of Denver campus community has been shopping a bit differently of late, with two new checkoutless store on campus enabling visitors to walk in, select items and leave all without visiting a POS to pay. The checkoutless store concept is being provided in part by food service provider Sodexo in partnership with AiFi, an AI platform that enables autonomous shopping solutions.
Penn State University students amassed $30,000 in donations from unused meal dining dollars from their meal plans. The donations were accrued during Earth Week this past April, with Penn State students donating to the university's Student Emergency Fund.
Gettysburg College is leveraging OrderAhead, TouchNet’s mobile ordering app for campus dining services, to provide its campus community with a means to place food orders with their smartphone. The app is being used to help Gettysburg students plan out meals from on-campus eateries in advance, and add a layer of convenience to campus dining.
Kent State University will launch a new meal plan option that will enable first and second year students to make meal purchases at off-campus dining locations. The new meal plan option will enable students to use "downtown dining dollars" for use at participating area locations.