by Emily Robertson and Susan Wang
Chadwick has implemented a new online lunch ordering system for students and faculty for the 2010-2011 school year. With this new system, students and faculty can pre-order their lunches on the internet through an online ordering form and can avoid waiting in long lines each day to get their lunches.
Last year, students waited in line when they wanted to use the salad and sandwich bar. The new system allows students to pick up their lunch at the window, granting students more time to eat, socialize with their friends, and enjoy their free time.
The system is also very useful for students who participate in afternoon activities. For example, it allows students who are involved in community service to get a personalized, fast lunch without being late to the vans.
Students also have the freedom to choose their own meat, bread, toppings, and condiments from a variety of options. This ability to personalize lunches also helps accommodate vegetarian students and students who have allergies.
In addition, with the online system, students can see exactly how much money is charged to their account as they are ordering, allowing them to adjust their order before submitting it if they are not happy with the price. Of the students who have started to order their lunch online, several, such as sophomore Stella Dong, have found it “really convenient” and useful.
However, some students feel that the Chadwick community is too absent-minded for the new system to work well. Senior Kari Ayoob said, “I always forget about [the system]. I have only used it once because I always forget to go online to order my lunch.” Students first heard about the new system through various emails in late September, and were reminded of it in mid-October. Since then, some students appear to have forgotten about all the ordering options available to them and have not been using the online ordering system..
As issues with the new system have arisen, the cafeteria employees are working to improve the system so that students and faculty can obtain their lunch more effectively and have more time than ever before to eat and regenerate for their afternoon activities.
Director of Dining Services Ginger Banino has high hopes for the new system. She loves the concept because students can be across campus or at home and order their lunches with no line and no hassle. In her opinion, it has been successful so far, but the cafeteria employees are striving to uncover and relieve kinks and flaws in the system.
She said, “It hasn’t really caught on with students as much as it has with the faculty.” According to Banino, the cafeteria employees face a number of new challenges because of this new system. They have to make sure they get everyone’s order right and have included every ingredient that a student orders. This can be a challenge because sometimes specific toppings are not in season, or they do not stay fresh for very long.
Banino said, “The biggest benefit is that you won’t have to wait in line or worry about paying for your lunch. It gives you more time.”
Chief Financial Officer Troy Grande originally wanted a more efficient lunch system, so he, Dean of Students Lauren Stern, and last year’s Student Council members came up with the idea for an online ordering form. The purpose was to have a cafeteria option for which you do not need to swipe your card or wait in lines, thus saving you time.
The reason for the change from the salad bar system, according to Grande, is that “we have limited space and not enough people working.”
The biggest difference between the salad bar system and the online system is that students don’t have to wait in line, but they can still get the lunch they desire. So far, it has not been as effective as originally planned, simply because not many people are using it.
Grande said, “We’d like to have 30 to 40 students use it every day. I’m hoping for a program to advertise and promote the system.” His wish will come true: in January, there will be a promotion for the system. Every day, one of the students who order online will be chosen to get a free lunch. Only those students who take advantage of the online system will be eligible for this special promotion.
For the future, Grande would like the online system to prevail over waiting in lines at the cafeteria. Students such as athletes will be able to get a late afternoon bag with a Gatorade and energy bar to take on a bus to away games. The idea is that students can get whatever they want from the cafeteria whenever they want it.