There are still a lot of questions about what college campuses will look like in the fall. We don’t pretend to have all the answers but one thing is certain, students have new expectations when it comes to eating. How do we know? We surveyed them. Nutrislice polled more than 800 C&U students and found the majority -- 85 percent -- do not want to have close contact with a server and/or cashier to order and pay for their food. And nearly 70 percent said that having a mobile app or website where they can view the menu, place an order and pay for food without having to physically make contact with a server/cashier, would make them feel safer.

Our new Contactless Order AheadTM solution directly addresses these expectations. Here are a few other things it does (and doesn’t do) for your benefit:

  • It doesn’t charge per-order transaction fees. We spoke with several accomplished dining service directors in the creation of our solution and consistently heard that they struggled to make money because other mobile ordering providers charge a fee for every transaction that passes through their platform. This approach isn’t a huge issue when you are expecting 5-10% of your orders to come through an app. But what happens when mobile ordering takes off and that number increases to 50-60%? That is exactly what happened with some of the people we talked with. And in C&U dining services, where margins can be razor thin, giving away 20-30 cents per order is significant. That is why Nutrtislice charges an annual software license fee, which means you no longer have to worry about how many orders are made through an app.

  • It doesn’t offer competitive alternatives. I’ll admit, I was pretty surprised when I heard this one because it seems like a no brainer to me. So I’ll just come out and say it. Nutrislice does not advertise other local food providers in our app. The C&U dining halls, and on campus retail and cafes are the star of our show. Sure, students have other options and they will pursue those when the mood strikes. But that doesn’t mean we need to push them to those other locations. At Nutrislice we won’t promote your competitors. It’s the story of your food we are committed to telling.

  • It does provide the integrations that ensure a seamless customer experience. Most app providers don’t integrate with digital menu technologies, meaning they can’t show complete food profiles or quickly update offerings when changes are made. Specifically, they are unable to allow for seamless communications of nutrient and allergen data, or address special dietary needs. This type of information is increasingly important with today’s discerning consumers. Many colleges and universities are forced to create a separate system or website that shares this data. But it's not integrated with their ordering system, causing an increase in labor costs and potential inaccuracies.

  • It allows students to make dine-in reservations. Chances are you’ve spent millions of dollars creating premium experiences in your on-campus dining halls, cafes and retail locations. You want students to be able to enjoy them but social distancing is going to take a big chunk out of your capacity. Giving students the ability to make reservations to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at your facility will help ensure these investments don’t go to waste. It also helps give students a sense of normalcy by providing them the chance to eat at their favorite spots, study and mingle with friends safely and with social distancing in mind.

Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do. Nutrislice Contactless Order Ahead offers the features C&U dining services directors need, and eliminates the ones they don’t, all while delivering an optimal experience without having a negative impact on the bottom line. As you adapt to foodservice operations post COVID-19, know that Nutrislice wants to help make you the star of the show.