Eastern Washington University's Dining Services has announced a soft launch for mobile-ordering app, Tapingo -- a solution designed to cut wait times and introduce greater variety in student dining. The university expects a full release in September when students and faculty return for the fall semester.
Per a repot from the university's student publication, The Easterner, students, faculty and staff who use the Tapingo app can remotely call up food orders for any partnering restaurants -- with the exception of the the university-run Tawanka Commons -- via the app and have it prepared while they are on their way to pick it up. This is a familiar formula that other Tapingo partnering universities are following.
Students can download the Tapingo app on their mobile device, create an account and choose their university. The app recognizes all restaurant locations on and around campus that accept Tapingo ordering, and students can select where they want to eat based on the estimated wait time Tapingo provides.
Once a student has chosen a dining location, they can order their meal from anywhere, and at Eastern Washington use either their Eagle card, debit card or credit card to pay. The student then receives a confirmation from Tapingo that the order has been received.
A notable feature of the Tapingo app is Active Cashier, a separate ticket printer within each partnering restaurant that keeps track of orders and lets students know when food will be ready for pickup. Active Cashier tracks when an order is entered and fulfilled and automatically provides the customer with the wait time for an order pickup.
When a Tapingo order is received at a dining location, it will print a ticket and once the order is completed, the restaurant will scan the order ticket, sending a confirmation via the app to the student who placed the order. From there, students visit a separate pick-up line at the restaurant and are on their way.
University officials say that though the campus-run Tawanka Commons is not currently included in the Tapingo app, a compatible menu is in the works.
As for security, Eastern Washington did it's homework and has been pleased with Tapingo's process. Eastern Washington University's director of dining services, Dave McKay said in an interview with The Easterner that Tapingo meets the university's PCI Compliance requirements. McKay went on to say that the Tapingo app runs on a different server than the university and all its security is done through a reliable third party.