Semester review of Tapingo

Jordana Klein

Students and local residents in Statesboro take advantage of recent additions to online food ordering services in the area, including the new cell phone app, Tapingo. Statesboro, as well as Georgia Southern University, now provides yet another online food ordering option, in addition to Boro Takeout and others around the city. Tapingo may be the future of food ordering because of its convenience, accessibility and reliability.

The app, which launched in California in January of 2012, became part of GSU’s campus in Fall 2014. Statesboro restaurants on the GSU campus offer the ability to order from Tapingo, which appeals greatly to this generation because of the growing trend of instant access to everything from news and social media to shopping online.

“This app allows users to order and pay for their food on their phone, receive a text when their food is ready and save time by skipping the line at the restaurants,” Sarah Rice, GSU campus representative for Tapingo, said. “I think online food ordering is the future of dining, and I believe it’s becoming a huge trend in Statesboro already.”

The Advantages

Tapingo is currently available on 30 college campuses and their employees are working to expand availability to even more cities and campuses.

Mark Braswell, director of retail and catering with Eagle Dining Services, said he believes that Tapingo around Statesboro will only continue to grow in the future because of its success in its first semester.

“There are 400-500 Tapingo uses per week throughout all retail outlets,” Braswell said. “Things have been going very well with the new addition, and students are really embracing it.”

Michael Morgan, general manager of Starbucks on the GSU campus, sees the extreme benefits of the system. “It’s a great time saver for people who are mobile phone savvy and willing to venture out,” Morgan said. “Some people may be scared to put their accounts online, but the ones who have the app can be on their way to school and put in their order and then swing by to pick it up.”

“Starbucks is developing their own mobile app at the moment, so Tapingo has been an outlet to compete with corporate locations,” Morgan said. “Other Starbucks locations are even considering having a delivery option, so this app has allowed us to offer similar benefits through Tapingo.”

The Disadvantages

Although the benefits of Tapingo may be abundant for users, employees from the restaurants have slightly different viewpoints. Because of the rapid increase of orders and slight malfunctions in the system at times, employees oftentimes receive complaints or rude comments from Tapingo users.

“Sometimes the app tells users their food is ready when it’s actually still being made or other orders are being processed at the same time,” Dekindra Grier, an employee at Zach’s Brews at GSU, said. “I think it’s a good system that just needs some improvements.”

Starbucks employee, Sam Sligh, has similar thoughts as Grier, as her business has experienced an increase in sales since Tapingo became available at her on-campus location.

“Sometimes customers place orders right after we have closed, and they complain about arriving to a dark business which closed just a few minutes ago,” Sligh said. “We have also experienced customers purchasing add-ons for their drinks which are actually already included in the original price.”

Sligh’s scenario is not unique, as other businesses have experienced similar issues. Tapingo, as well as their merchants, continue developing new ways to improve and expand their product.

How Tapingo Works at GSU

Although some parts of the online ordering systems may need slight improvements and fixes, Tapingo is offering GSU a new way to earn revenue. Richard Wyn, director of the Eagle Card Program at GSU, uses a cost sheet which dictates where each penny is going regarding the new system. GSU pays Tapingo four percent, or $0.26, of each transaction, thus earning 96 percent from each transaction, or $0.74. By adding these additional orders through the system to the already-made counter orders, GSU is already earning extra profit.

In addition to the everyday functions of Tapingo that benefit GSU and the surrounding areas of Statesboro, Rice recently heard about a new feature from Tapingo, which will be available throughout the holiday season. The app now offers a feature for users to donate money which will be transferred to local food banks in donations of cans or charity money. So throughout the upcoming month Statesboro users can give back during the holidays if they wish.

“I think this addition for the holiday season will only benefit the product,” Rice said. “By giving back to the community, Tapingo will appeal to even more users and employees who will in-turn begin using the app or passing along the information by word-of-mouth.”