Washington State students GET a cool app

Students at Washington State University, in Pullman, Wash., now have an easier way to order food online and avoid lines at peak periods by using GETFood, a mobile app developed by The CBORD Group. washington state getfood app

Last August, WSU became the first U.S. university to use the app. The app allows students a faster way to order food online than the GET website that WSU has used since 2012. The app was launched first for iPhones, followed by an Android app three months later.

Sarah Larson, associate director of dining, says that within the first two months of introduction, more than 2,000 users created accounts on the app, with the most active app users placing orders an average of two times per day.

The app is now able to be used at seven campus restaurants: Carlita’s, Cyber Café, Freshens, Gridiron, Lighty Espresso Bar, Reunion and Flix Express.

“We are now seeing incremental success as people realize the added convenience that comes with the mobile app,” Larson says.

The app has also helped increase sales at WSU’s late-night eating option, Flix Latenight Express, she says. Overall, sales at Flix have increased by approximately 5% from 2013 to 2014 with the help of the app.

To test how well the app would work, WSU’s Administrative Services Information Systems (ASIS) recruited student employees and staff in the student union building to download the app. These initial users ordered food and helped ASIS identify issues. For example, through this process, the testers discovered a bug that made it more difficult to register for the app with their phones than with a computer.

ASIS also recruited student employees to encourage sign-ups during the initial roll-out. These students demonstrated to their peers how to download the app, and they targeted customers standing in line at participating restaurants to showcase how quick it is to order food through the app. The university also placed posters and wall decals in specific areas in the union building and dining centers on campus. Student employees handed out fliers in dining centers, as well, connecting individually with their peers and explaining the benefits of the app.

“While there will always likely be lines at participating restaurants,” Larson says, “as the word spreads we anticipate stronger utilization of the GET service will ease the congestion at peak times.”


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