B-to-Go: Automated Bison Ordering

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Alex Horowitz, Contributing Writer

It’s 6 p.m. In between getting work done and, let’s face it, getting more work done, your stomach is rumbling with hunger. You call up your friends and ask where they want to eat, but your options are limited. With only dining dollars to your name, you suggest the only realistic option you have–going to the Bison.

A red flag pops up immediately as you check your watch. It’s 6 p.m., the time in the day when traversing the Bison is virtually impossible. With almost every student on campus going there at this time to get an evening meal, the vivid picture of what the Bison would look like upon entering immediately discourages you. You see what all students see when the thought of eating at the Bison during peak times enters their minds: the long waits for made-to-order stations such as sandwiches and Mexican food, the line that extends into the student space for a plate of quinoa, and at foot traffic which makes the Bison seem like an impenetrable fortress.

You log into myBucknell and, as fate would have it, you see that you have campus dollars, and place a text message order to pick up some Zelda’s. It is precisely this thought process that spawned the idea for a Bison Automated ordering mobile app.

Waiting for food is an opportunity cost, one that comes at the expense of not only your time, but also your wallet. With so many commitments to honor and responsibilities to attend to, many students simply don’t have the time to wait at the Bison for an hour just to get a meal.

One effective way to tackle this issue is through technology. An information system for receiving orders for just about every station at the Bison would save time and money. Students could place an order 15-30 minutes before they expect to pick it up, with all of the customizations that they desire, and have it ready by the time they arrive, saving time and money while also benefiting the University’s high potential at peak times for losing out on customers to other restaurants in the area with mobile/speedy ordering. Sure, there are costs to setting this system up and getting workers accustomed to using this technology, but this is a win-win situation. Students can get meals easier and faster than ever before, and the Bison sees more sales.

This isn’t going to solve all of our problems, but it definitely allows us to begin chipping at the internal processes of our University that are currently not sustainable in nature. Sustainability is about managing and reducing waste, and time is one of the most valuable resources we have. It is one that is not renewable in any way, shape, or form, and never will be, no matter how scientifically advanced we become.

If our University wants to become more sustainable, we must look at students’ time as a resource not to be taken for granted. What we do with our time is a daily priority, and the implementation of this app will show students that the University fully embraces this principle in the most sustainable way possible. With this being said, get your iPhones ready–B-to-Go has the power to change the way students dine, for the better.

This is just something to think about–if you have ideas about how a mobile app can improve the University, or if you would like to be involved in the potential future creation of such an app, let Alex know at [email protected].

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