App provides school with additional service point
Published in FSD K-12 Spotlight
The new student-produced app saves time on waiting in line and eating lunch.
Students at Millburn High School, in Millburn, N.J., are now able to avoid lunch lines and save time during lunch with a new student-produced app. The MHS EzCafe app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or used on a public iPad in the school’s cafeteria, allows students and faculty members to order their own personally created sandwich or salad.
The app idea was launched when Marie Joyner, operations manager for Aramark at Millburn Township School District, attended a student liaison meeting to discuss the lunch program and how the staff could encourage students to purchase more meals. Once the idea was launched, Joyner met with students Andrew Kiselik and Adam ElShaer on a weekly basis to work on the app. The district’s superintendent also encouraged and supported the development of the app and even relaxed the cell phone policy to accommodate its use. The app launched in mid-October and is open to all Millburn students and faculty members.
The items available through the app are designed and priced more for à la carte customers who make up most of the app’s customer base. Reimbursable meals can also be purchased through the app.
When placing an order, users can create their own sandwiches or salads or order from a menu of to-go salads and sandwich options. The app also offers combo options, which include a choice of an apple or chips and come with a bottle of water.
“We guarantee that all orders received by 9:30 a.m. will be ready at 10:45 a.m., which is when Millburn’s first lunch period starts,” Joyner says. “All orders are packaged, labeled with student names and account numbers and placed in a refrigerated cooler next to a cashier station, where students may also purchase additional snacks or drinks.”
Students are encouraged to set up an account so that foodservice staff are able to process the payment when the order arrives, which allows the student to save time during lunch pickups. For those without a prepaid account, a cashier is available to take cash orders.
Joyner is happy with the app’s progress. “The students can avoid lines and have more time to enjoy lunch and socialize with their peers,” she says. “Faculty members, who also have short lunch periods, are able to pick up their lunches and return to their classrooms where they can eat and continue to work if needed.”