A slow digestion: Tapingo drags

By on September 11, 2016

By Jared Anderson & Mason Carter–

The food-ordering app students loved last year now offers just three restaurants on campus, with many longtime restaurants now listed as “coming soon.”

If you wonder why Tapingo locations are grey, blame the changeover from Sodexo to Aramark.

Tapingo quickly became an app on every student’s smartphone last year. Using the app was simple. It connected with a University of Louisville dining plan or a credit card. Using the app allowed students to not worry about carrying around cash, a credit card or their Cardinal Card.

The easy access has persuaded many students to use the app on a daily or weekly basis.

“I use it about three to four times per week,” said Madison Brelsford, a freshman at U of L.

Last year, lines for popular restaurants, such as McAlister’s Deli, Cardinal Burger Company and food trucks on campus dwindled as more people used Tapingo to shave wait times. Students could place an order while in class or tap an order while walking through campus.

It took no longer than sending a text message to a friend.

By the time they arrived at the dining location, the order was ready to go or on the way out.

“I believe it has helped out with long lines because I previously would not have had time to get food between 12:15 and 1:00, the normal lunch hour for business school students,” senior Landon Foster said.

“It was obnoxious to wait in line for that long,” junior Morgan Mann said. “I only have an hour break between classes so I have to look for the fastest options.”

When Sodexo left in June, Tapingo’s presence on campus dwindled. This year Tapingo has been working for a few dining locations: Einstein Bros., Mark’s Feed Store, and McAlister’s. Tapingo plans to expand options throughout the semester.

“We have a deep partnership with Aramark…,” a Tapingo spokesperson on Twitter said, “although we are turning on venues one-by-one.”

Students hope other restaurants will be added on Tapingo soon, such as Panda Express and Papa John’s Pizza. Currently, both restaurants are listed as “Coming Soon” on the app. Without Tapingo’s services available to these dining options, students aren’t able to eat at the places they enjoy on a consistent basis.

“If I am in a real quick rush I grab the sushi stand for a fast option or anything else on the second floor of the SAC. I just have to pick and choose and it depends on the day,” junior Lou Cantrell said.

“Aramark uses a different setup and systems from Sodexo,” Tapingo said about the issue, “We’re working closely with Aramark to get everything set up operationally from scratch, which takes a little while.”

Not all students have been a fan of Tapingo. There have been times were the app has failed or orders lost.

“One time last semester I ordered McAlister’s through [Tapingo] and I waited for over an hour and they said they lost my order,” said Mary Priest, a senior at U of L.

Priest uses the app very little due to her poor experience, but Brelsford and Foster both use the app at least once per week.

Tapingo has been widely advertised on campus and is well-known among students. The app operates on numerous college campuses nationwide, and may be popular at U of L again when more restaurants are added.

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