The Evolution of Dining Halls: Mobile Food Ordering

In Brief:

  • Mobile devices are part of everyday life — and lately, it’s one of the major ways students have been ordering food. When students return to campus, they’re going to be used to ordering food on their phone and having it ready for pickup shortly after.
  • DishOut, a Nelnet Campus Commerce partner, showcased the rise in mobile food ordering across campuses in a webinar in May 2020.
  • Mobile food ordering is going to play a big role in how dining halls and campuses across the country adapt.

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Author: Nelnet Campus Commerce

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The higher ed landscape is changing. Roughly 96% of students have a smart phone and expect to be able to use it on campus. That device is part of their life — and lately, it’s one of the major ways they’ve been ordering food. When students return to campus, they’re going to be used to ordering food on their phone and having it ready for pickup shortly after.

We’re partnering with DishOut to help higher education institutions bring contactless mobile ordering to their dining halls — reducing lines/crowds and supporting students. DishOut specializes in payment and ordering software and is especially familiar with the higher education industry. Recently, Tom Deloge, director of market development at DishOut, presented a mobile ordering demo and answered a number of common questions. In short, here’s how it works.

  1. Placing an order. Using Campus Key (Nelnet’s student ID and mobile payment app), students can order food from the dining hall or on-campus restaurants. They can choose to use the meal plan they paid for earlier in the semester or save card information to make payments from their personal accounts.
  2. Preparing the food. The dining hall receives the order on a tablet and prepares the meal. Once it’s ready, the food is placed in an isolated locker and the student is notified that their food is ready to be picked up.
  3. Picking up the order. To pick up their order, the student simply scans a QR code at the food locker. No contact needed.

Mobile food ordering is going to play a big role in how dining halls and campuses across the country adapt. Want to view the full demo? Fill out this quick form and you’ll have on-demand access in less than a minute.

Interested in mobile ordering or Campus Key? We’re accepting institutions for the product’s beta program – and you could receive a lower price by participating.