October 25, 2017 Hangry

Campus Food Ordering Done Right

The list of benefits for campus food ordering is quite extensive, as popularity has grown significantly in the higher education sphere. A huge reason for this is because of its convenience and ability to integrate into the busy life of student. By ordering on your phone, students are able to sleep a little longer, make it to their classes on time, and avoid waiting in long cafeteria lines. However, what happens when the solution that is supposed to get you out of the line, starts forming a line?

Because of this, some popular campus mobile ordering platforms have been experiencing controversy at schools across the United States, leaving students extremely frustrated. It seems these mobile solutions are creating an overflow of orders for not only the mobile users, but the students waiting in the physical lines as well—leading to some students waiting as long as 20- 30 minutes for a coffee. Additionally, some orders made by these mobile platforms seem to go forgotten, leaving many unclaimed meals and coffees at food service counters that increase waste significantly.

How Hangry Can Help

Mobile Ordering on campus is meant to not only improve the overall dining experience of a student, but to benefit the campus dining services as well. In addition, mobile ordering should be a positive solution to busier times on campus, not a further hindrance. The Hangry Mobile Ordering Platform has developed a seamless algorithm that allows students to order from their phone, and pick it up when they’re ready without ever having to wait in line. Sounds familiar right? Well, let us explain to you why our algorithm will help you avoid all the negatives you may be experiencing above.

How Hangy Ordering Works

  • A student builds their order using the Hangry App
  • They link their credit or meal plan card to their account, and click ‘Pay at Checkout’
  • This order is then automatically printed out at the kitchen, where the order is immediately made
  • Once the order is completed, the Kitchen hits one button on their tablet that notifies the student that their order is ready for pick-up
  • Once the student receives this message, they arrive at the designated pick up area for their food

How do you ensure orders are ready to be picked up at their designated times?

Hangry uses an algorithm to predict their estimated pick up time. Once the student hits ‘confirm order’, a little blue bubble will show up on their screen that tells them the time in which their order will be ready (i.e. 12 minutes)


The Algorithm Starts With…

An estimated prep time for every single item in the system.  Each item has two prep times, one for NORMAL mode, and one for BUSY mode.


What is Busy mode?

A turkey breast combo from subway may have a prep time of 5 minutes, but when this item is ordered during a busy time of day, or when the kitchen is experiencing a higher number of orders, the kitchen can set their system to ‘Busy Mode’ jumping the turkey breast combo prep time from 5 to 10 minutes.


The Algorithm Recipe

There are many different aspects of the ordering process. The algorithm takes these into account to ensure a seamless ordering process. This recipe includes:


  • A prep time for every individual item on the menu
  • Time of Day
  • Order History (i.e. what happened the previous Monday at that specific location)
  • How many orders are currently in the queue
  • All information from the restaurants current POS system


The more information our algorithm gets, the smarter it gets, and the more accurate it will be. The more information we receive, the more data points are created in order to develop accurate wait and prep times. So the five minute pre-set we gave that turkey sandwich originally may change based on all of these patterns over time.


The Handy ‘Two Minute Buffer’ and Grouping

Once all these presets are put in place, we then introduce the Two Minute Buffer. This accounts for human error and does not affect food quality. For example, we tell the staff an item is going to be ready in ten minutes, and we tell the student it’s going to be ready in 12 minutes. This is why we see 99% of our orders on time. In addition, Hangry can improve efficiency by grouping similar orders. If there are 3 or 4 chicken sandwiches in the queue, we can take those orders and send them to the kitchen all at once. Our algorithm takes this grouping into account when estimating prep times.


Student Transparency

At the end of the day, this app was built so students can get where they need to be without waiting in line. That is why Hangry provides a transparent ordering process that notifies students about their order every step of the way. When the order is submitted, they get a confirmation that their order was received. As soon as the order is set to the kitchen, they get a notification letting them know their order is being prepared. Once their order in ready, they get a message letting them know to come pick it up.

We also allow the staff to communicate with the students. The staff can hit a button on their tablet to let the student know it’s going to be an extra few minutes for their order if they need it. This will then bump the estimated pick up time for that order. The student gets a notification through their mobile app about the extra time so they don’t need to wait around the Hangry booth for their meal; an ideal solution for students ordering from class or the library.


Hangry’s mobile solution is all about improving the overall dining experience of the student, and our algorithm accomplishes not only this, but also the overall experience for the kitchen and dining staff. If your mobile ordering app is only effective when the cafeteria isn’t busy, then we encourage you to consider if it should be there at all—because students get Hangry whether it’s busy or not.

To learn more about Hangry, please feel free to browse the links below:

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