University of Southern California rolls out mobile dining app

Students will be able to order and pay for food from foodservice outlets on campus.

Sept. 9—The University of Southern California is making available to students a mobile app that will allow them to order and pay for food remotely at all of its retail operations. USC Hospitality announced that it had signed an agreement with Tapingo, a company that operates a contextual shopping app that processes on-the-go orders and makes items available for pick up within minutes.

Among the foodservice outlets linked to Tapingo include Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Carl’s Junior, Panda Express, California Pizza Kitchen and the Trojan Grounds. The app will even allow students to use meal plan swipes as payment, while students and faculty will also have the option to pay with credit card and PayPal.

“Tapingo represents exactly the kind of tech-driven innovation USC seeks to deliver and inspire among its world-class student body,” said Dirk de Jong, associate director of operations for USC Hospitality, in a press release. “By streamlining the process of ordering and picking up food, students can spend more time working and socializing. In that sense, Tapingo is the perfect complement to USC’s brand and educational experience.”

“We are proud to have USC join the existing 25 universities to have successfully launched Tapingo on campus,” said Daniel Almog, CEO of Tapingo. “We are all creatures of habit, and Tapingo’s solution combines that understanding with the contextual awareness of today’s smartphones to simplify the day-to-day shopping needs of every consumer.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources