New app shows promising benefits for dining services

By Bekah Frank, Administrative Assistant

Dining Services has released its soft launch for the mobile-ordering app, Tapingo.

Director of Dining Services Dave McKay said the app is meant to cut down on time spent in lines waiting to order. By using the Tapingo app, students, faculty and staff can order a meal or drink from any dining location, except Tawanka Commons, on the app from wherever they are and have it prepared while they are on their way to pick it up.

Users download the Tapingo app on their mobile phones, create an account and choose their school. The app recognizes all dining service locations on campus that have Tapingo ordering setup, and users can select where they want to eat based off the estimated wait time Tapingo gives.

After choosing a dining location, users can order their meal or drink from anywhere and use either their Eagle card, debit card or credit card to pay. The user will receive a confirmation from Tapingo that their order has been received.

McKay said as soon as a Tapingo order is received at the dining location, it will print a ticket with the order on it. Once the order is completed, the dining location will scan the order ticket and will send a confirmation to the student who placed the order through the app.

“You walk up to the designated pickup spot, show your phone and your order, and you are gone,” said McKay.

Junior Crystal Williamson said she really enjoys using the Tapingo app. Williamson lives in the dorms, so she gets all her meals from Dining Services.

“I like using it in the mornings like if I need to get a coffee run, but I am running late to class. I can type it in while I am going to class and then I can just grab it,” said Williamson.

The convenience of Tapingo is another quality Williamson appreciates, along with the ability to cut down on the time spent ordering food.

“It is really easy to use. … It shows you how long the wait line is so you can determine how long it will be until your food or drink is ready,” said Williamson. “… It does cut back on waiting in lines, which is really nice, especially around the dinner rush.”

Administrative program specialist of Dining Services Mitchell Shaffer said in an email interview that Tapingo brings the convenience to campus Dining Services was looking for.

“Eastern Washington University Dining Services knows fast service, at convenient times, is what our customers come to expect. Tapingo adds another level of convenience for our customers,” said Shaffer.

McKay said even though Tawanka is not currently on the Tapingo app, they are working on getting a menu for it.

McKay said the biggest problem Dining Services faced while deciding whether to launch Tapingo at Eastern was the security. He said they wanted to be sure the app was safe for students to have their debit or credit cards on.

“That was probably the biggest stand-off point for the university to say, ‘Yes, this meets our security standards for PCI compliance,’” said McKay.

According to McKay, the Tapingo app runs on a completely different server than Eastern; all its security is done through a reliable third party. After evaluating the security features Tapingo has to offer, the app had its soft release this quarter.

Shaffer said Tapingo will have its full release in September, when students and faculty return in the fall.

“In an effort to enhance our customers’ experience, we as a dining team are excited for students and faculty to utilize the Tapingo app,” said Shaffer.