Managing Your Business: October 2013

Published in FSD Update

This month,  USC rolls out a new mobile ordering app and current Baltimore City Public Schools lunch prices.

> USC Rolls Out Mobile Ordering App

A need to speed service at retail outlets on campus has led dining services at the University of Southern California to partner with a technology company to allow students to order and pay for food remotely through a mobile app. USC Hospitality has signed an agreement with Tapingo, a company that operates a contextual shopping app that processes on-the-go orders and makes items available for pickup within minutes.

Dirk de Jong, associate director of operations for USC Hospitality, says the service is being phased in, with seven restaurants currently linked to the app. “We started with the locations where we were having the most traffic,” de Jong explains. “That would be our Starbucks outlet, which is known as Trojan Grounds; five locations in the food court at our Tutor Campus Center; and Literatea, which is our upscale tea concept.”

USC Hospitality began exploring mobile ordering options to alleviate crowding at certain times. “Every campus has these demand peaks, which are often tied to classes letting out,” de Jong notes. “As far as technology solutions, we looked at installing order kiosks and online ordering capability, but being able to order through your cell phone is emerging technology and one that our students would be very comfortable with.”

The app will allow students and faculty to pay for their purchases with PayPal or a credit card, and resident students will even be able to use meal plan swipes as payment.

De Jong also points out that the new app will provide USC Hospitality with marketing and data collection opportunities. “One aspect that is intriguing is that we can use the app to let customers know about locations that are less well used, so we can drive traffic,” he says. “The back-office piece will give us data to collect such as traffic counts, average check and our upselling efforts.” 

> $3

The price for lunch at Baltimore City Public Schools. The reduced-price meals category has been eliminated and the district hopes to make up for some of the lost revenue by increasing paid meal prices. Last year’s prices for lunch were $2.35 for elementary students and $2.65 for middle and high school students, according to the Baltimore Sun

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code