Though increasing per order dollar amounts or spend is often cited as a goal of mobile ordering, Millay doesn’t see that as the driver at Arizona. “To me its less about the spend changes than the processing efficiency — I want the stickiness so I don’t lose the customer.”
Delivery builds on mobile ordering
Even after the successes with mobile ordering, Arizona was still losing more customers than they would like from the dinner crowd.
The university’s main and secondary student unions are a 12-minute walk from the residence halls, which has always made it difficult to get residential students to come back after they have left campus for the day. “Dinner falls off the cliff compared to breakfast and lunch,” says Millay.
“We had the portfolio, we just needed to find way to get them to eat dinner,” he says.
The university piloted delivery as a complement to mobile ordering in the spring of 2014. Around finals week, Arizona trialed on-campus delivery of its famous burrito using existing staff and golf carts. “It was huge but we learned we would need a fleet of golf carts,” he says.
After another successful trial during the fall semester exam week, Tapingo agreed to step in and take over the currier delivery service, making it available year round.
In the first ten months, 20,000 meals were delivered on campus. Since then, the program has grown to more than 1,000 deliveries per day. Millay estimates that 60% of those deliveries are occurring in that underserved dinner or late night timeslot.
Lessons and opportunities
As with any meaningful endeavor success rarely comes without pain, and Arizona experienced its share of speed bumps along the delivery route.