Technology & Equipment

Texas State adds new autonomous checkout machines

Chartwells Higher Ed, which runs foodservice at the university, has implemented machines from tech company Mashgin.
college students
Students examine their purchases from autonomous concept Ginger Market. / Photo courtesy of Chartwells Higher Ed

Texas State University is seeing sped-up transactions in its Paws N Go Market and LBJ Marketplace after replacing traditional bar code scanners at checkout.

Chartwells Higher Ed, which runs foodservice at the university, implemented machines from tech company Mashgin in these locations at the start of the current semester.  

“The time saving is significant when guests purchase more than two items,” Whitney Villareal, director of marketing and guest experience at Texas State, said in a statement. “The Mashgin 3D camera can read all items on the tray at the same time instead of scanning or ringing up an item one at a time at a regular point of sale.”

This efficiency encourages customers to spend more, as well as return to the markets more often, she said.

In addition, the cashierless tech has helped alleviate some ongoing staffing woes. “We will continue to have regular cashiers available to assist guests who are paying with cash or meal equivalency,” Villareal said, noting that “additional help will be reassigned to product stocking and merchandizing.

Chartwells Higher Ed has leaned heavily into cashierless technology as customers become more and more comfortable with it. The foodservice management company partnered with artificial intelligence supplier Standard AI to bring autonomous retail spots to college campuses across the country, including Market Next at the University of Houston and Ginger Market at San Diego State.

Similar concepts are popping up in other noncommercial segments as well. Last week, Sodexo Livedebuted an autonomous grab-and-go market at Salt Palace Convention Center in Utah where customers can purchase refreshments without physically checking out.Salt Shaker Grab-and-Go uses technology from company AiFi and sells sandwiches, pastries and more.



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