As mobile ordering becomes more of a trending topic among university and college campuses, it is no surprise that schools are considering building an app internally to avoid the hassle of finding the right mobile ordering platform for their school. While we acknowledge that keeping things internally can, in some cases, be cost effective and quicker, the cons may outweigh the pros in the long-run. Mobile ordering is a very sensitive beast and when done properly, can provide endless benefits for your campus like, improving order flow, increasing sales, bettering the student experience, and much more. However, if done incorrectly, mobile ordering can end up having a a very negative effect on your campus and student experience. Today we’d like to share why, from our personal experience, building a campus app internally can easily cause more problems than not.
Underestimating The Tech
Did you know a mobile app requires BI-WEEKLY iOS and Android updates? If your answer is no, then that’s your first hint that you’ve underestimated the work that goes into building a campus app. In order to fix bugs, updates need to be made on your app every two weeks for both iOS and Android. In addition, when issues arise, you need to ensure you provide end-user support to your students at all times, with at least a 24-hour response rate. Hangry provides a phasing process when launching mobile ordering to ensure all issues are addressed and fixed, and that operations are running smoothly before fully launching the app. During this phased process, growing pains are bound to happen both operationally and technically. This is normal and is also a necessary process that needs to happen in order to address any issues. If you do not have a working support team to respond to students, administer refunds, and correct operational problems, you will lose usage immediately. And once you lose a user, it’s nearly impossible to get them back.
When building an in-house mobile app, some of the most important features are often over-looked. When developing features for your app, you need to consider all factors that go into campus dining. This includes all menus, rotating menus, combos, nutritional information, dietary filtering, and more. The goal is to create an app experience almost identical to ordering in-person. If the student can’t make real-time order customizations, or is unable to have access to all menu options, they will opt out of using the app and go back to waiting in line.
Because mobile ordering is such an in-demand feature amongst Gen Z, usage will most likely be high when your app first launches. When demand starts to increase, you need to have a smart system or algorithm in place that can automatically adjust order and prep times while accounting for human error, food supply, and peak-ordering times. Hangry’s algorithm improves order flow by automatically grouping similar orders together, enabling a two-minute buffer to account for human error in the kitchen, and increases prep time during peak ordering hours to just name a few. Over time this number changes based on the information taken from the system, and becomes more accurate with the more orders that are placed, ensuring that the student and staff experience is at its best.
It’s so much more than food ordering
When Mobile Ordering is launched, students are going to expect more than an online menu. In order for mobile ordering to be successful, you need to provide the ultimate mobile dining experience. This includes providing promotions and deals through push messaging, implementing a loyalty program to provide incentive to your students, and a rewards store so students can win prizes for ordering, just to name a few. Hangry’s Platform doesn’t just offer a mobile ordering experience, it offers the ultimate dining experience available right at your student’s fingertips. In addition, you can use real-time data analytics in order to see how you can better your service, as well as sending out surveys and receiving reviews to get a better idea of what your students want, and use your mobile ordering platform as also one of the most effective marketing tools on campus. In addition, we provide white-labelling that puts your name on the door, not ours.
As a campus, we strongly encourage you to explore all options when you decide to launch mobile ordering on campus. With the right tools in place, you can see alot of positive changes on campus while simultaneously catering to your student’s needs. If done wrong, mobile ordering can and will cause problems. And nobody likes problems.
On the fence about implementing mobile ordering on campus? Click here for guidance.