Campus mobile apps are slowly becoming a trend in the higher ed world, especially for campus auxiliary services. As more millennials and GEN Z’s start taking up the majority of the student population, campus apps have become the ideal tool for creating the ultimate student experience. As this trend grows, more and more campuses are doing their research on what mobile platform is going to work best for them. The blog we’ve written for you today will highlight mobile apps created by food service providers and why they should be avoided.
Just because they’re selling it, doesn’t mean it’s good
While food service providers may be distributing mobile apps to keep up with the growing tech world, it doesn’t mean the necessary resources and customizations have gone into it to ensure it’s the optimal service for your campus. Think of it this way, would you buy a TV from a grocery store? Just because they’re selling it, doesn’t mean it’s good. In the same way, just because Food Service Providers are offering a product or service, doesn’t mean it’s good. Take mobile ordering for example, some Food Service Providers have released basic mobile apps that allow students to order on their phone and avoid cafeteria lines. Through the eyes of a Food Service Provider, they’ve got the mobile ordering box ticked off on their list of requirements. However, if mobile ordering is done wrong, it can actually have a lot of negative effects on campus that are often not accounted for. Hangry’s mobile solution has spent countless hours creating an ordering algorithm that not only fits seamlessly into the student experience, but also provides tons of campus benefits like improving order flow, increasing student satisfaction and increasing the overall check size. Hangry’s algorithm also accounts for human error by adding extra prep time to each order, offers an optional busy mode for use in unforeseen high-traffic times, and even groups similar orders together to make operations more efficient for kitchen staff. Without this attention to detail, mobile ordering can end up creating a much larger headache than that of which you received from your students pre-mobile ordering.
It’s not tailored to your unique needs
Every campus is unique and has individual needs and goals as well as their own student experience that differs from all other schools. Therefore, when you begin your search for a Campus Mobile App you need to make sure you are finding the platform that is going to work best for your school. What is your campus known for? Is it sustainability? Is it tech? Do you offer local, farm-to-table ingredients every day? Do you pride yourselves on having the ultimate student experience? No matter what the focal point of your auxiliary services is, you need an app that can adapt and customize itself to fit your campus. Implementing an app that was created for the masses, with little to no customizable features, is going to put a huge cap on the growth of your mobile and online presence. Hangry’s multi-facetted platform allows us to work with your campus to create a Branded App that accomplishes all of your goals. Through data analytics, loyalty & rewards, surveys & reviews (just to name a few), you are able to pick which features will benefit you and add them to your campus-branded mobile app.
Customizations and Features
A lot of the current mobile apps being offered by Food Service Providers are either one trick ponies (i.e. only offer mobile ordering), or they offer a very limited amount of services. In addition, with a Food Service Provider’s app you won’t be able to receive the customizations you would get from a software company. Some examples of this include being able to control all payment types, being able to integrate into existing apps, and the ability to market and drive behavior on your app. In addition, many apps currently being pushed out only provide one service like mobile ordering or event ticket purchasing. Choosing a one-function app like this will force you to add more apps for the different services you will need in the future. This is not a situation you want to be in. Students already have limited real estate on their phones, and if they are asked to download too many apps, they will more than likely choose against it (just think of all the times we just said app in this paragraph. If there is too many, people get annoyed). Your smartest play is to choose an app that provides multiple services and can integrate with existing apps you already have on campus.
The tech world is constantly expanding and the last thing you want to do is put a cap on your potential or your ability to improve your overall student experience on campus. Making smart decisions now will only benefit you in the future, because mobile solutions aren’t going away any time soon. As the mobile experience becomes more integral on campus, you want to ensure you are doing it right. Food Service Providers are slowly trying to join the mobile world, however, it will be a while (at best) before they can provide a product that can compete side by side with current software companies who specialize in providing the ultimate, targeted student experience.
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