Get it to go: Food delivery services offer ways for students to satisfy hunger

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In recent years, mobile apps focused on food delivery services have flourished both locally and nationwide. According to the Morgan Stanley investment firm, Americans spent $11 billion ordering food from online delivery services in 2016.

Entrepreneurial companies based in California — like JoyRun and Tapingo — and local companies like Wildcat2Go saw potential in the market of online food ordering and began providing Kansas State students with endless mealtime opportunities that can be delivered straight to their doors. Here are the competitive advantages that set each company apart from the rest.

The premiere food delivery service for K-Staters is Wildcat2Go. This locally owned business mostly delivers food from Manhattan restaurants such as Mr. K’s, Wingstop, Baan Thai and The Goose Bar and Grill.

Wildcat2Go is unique in the way it charges customers. If the customer lives within four miles of the driver, then the driver will charge the customer $3.49 for the delivery. If the customer lives beyond four miles from the driver, an additional $1 fee is charged per mile.

“Wildcat2Go can sometimes be expensive,” Tyler Parker, junior in theatre, said. “I usually just use it every once in a while to treat myself.”

Tapingo, a San Francisco start-up company, was founded on the idea that consumers spend too much of their time in lines waiting for food. As of 2017, Tapingo has expanded to more than 200 universities. Most of the restaurants that have partnered with Tapingo are national chains, but the company has also partnered with local restaurants like Bi Bim Bap and Radina’s Coffee Shop.

However, Tapingo has its downsides. One of its major downsides is that wait times can become long during rush hours.

Some students say they just can’t stomach the longer wait.

“Usually the wait time is so long that I could drive to the restaurant and order my food and make it back home before the food would’ve been delivered,” Josie Hesse, sophomore in criminology, said.

Another downside of Tapingo is that customers can only order from restaurants that are partnered with Tapingo. This problem was solved by another food delivery company called JoyRun.

JoyRun is another delivery app that connects food delivery to social networks. It’s like a college student saying they’re off to pick up a sandwich and asking their friend if they want anything.

JoyRun allows customers to switch roles between ordering food and being the “runners” who pick up and deliver the food. Many students start out as users of the service and eventually become runners for JoyRun.

“I remember seeing a flyer for it at Jardine when I went to visit my girlfriend,” Austin Lovelace, senior in secondary education, said. “About a week later, we were hanging out at my place and it was raining. … I lived on the outskirts of town at the time. We decided to order Buffalo Wild Wings, and it just made our night when the guy showed up with the delivery.”

Runners can pick up food for free as a favor for friends, or they can charge customers up to $5 per person. The app also provides customers with a chat room for runner-customer communication. While JoyRun can pick up from any restaurant, it gets a percentage of the order amount when it has a partnership with a restaurant, essentially acting as its delivery service.

One of the downsides that JoyRun faces is that glitches are common in the app’s chat room interface.

Whether you want something from one of the big chains or from a local restaurant here in town, online food delivery has something for you.

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