Back in February of 2018, Sacred Heart University introduced a new method of ordering food in the dining halls: the Boost Mobile Food Ordering App. Instead of waiting in long lines, the app allows students to order ahead and pick up their meals in the dining halls.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have utilized this digital alternative due to its convenience and easy access.
“I use Boost all the time,” said sophomore Shea O’Neill. “I live in Christian Witness Commons, so I order food ahead of time, get ready for class, and the food is ready by the time I walk out the door.
Sacred Heart expanded the Boost app to all dining areas on campus this fall, which has allowed more participation with the service. In the app, students select which dining hall they want to order from to view their meal options at each location. Boost notifies students when their order has been placed and when their food is ready.
The app is widely used by students on campus, and many have positive opinions on the functionality of this digital alternative.
“Using the Boost app has been great. It’s very easy to use. It lets me skip the lines in the dining halls, and I can get my food faster,” said freshman Cody Davis.
Many agree that using the app works better with their schedules than standing in line for a long period of time.
“Ordering over the Boost app is more convenient to my own schedule than just waiting in the long lines at Linda’s. It makes getting your food faster and more efficient,” said sophomore Kevin Mrozinski.
Similar to Mrozinski, other students say that Linda’s is one of the best dining halls to use the Boost app, as this dining hall is notorious for long lines. On the other hand, ordering at JP’s Diner through the app is known to take longer.
“Getting your food is a lot faster when you use the Boost app at Linda’s because you can get it at the time you want. If you do it at JP’s, you need to expect to wait around an hour,” said junior Brooke Cahill. “The one difficulty I’ve had is ordering food from the diner around 5:30 p.m. and not being able to get it until 7:45 p.m.”
Others find the app to take the same amount of time than if they were to wait in line in the dining hall.
“Sometimes I see little to no difference from using the Boost app at places like Linda’s, because waiting in line takes about as much time than if you were to order it off the app and wait for your food to be processed and cooked through the app,” said junior Kristine Udahl.
Boost can also support the need for more social distancing.
“The app allows for scheduled pick-up times, which helps with social distancing as well as decreasing the amount of people we have in our dining halls at a time,” said Kayla Hawley, Marketing Director of SHU Dining.
With the app, some students are more comfortable ordering digitally rather than standing in the crowded dining halls.
“It allows for less contact between individuals, so in a way it helps contain the virus,” said Mrozinski.
Even though some people say the Boost app limits social interaction, the Sacred Heart dining staff continues to make efforts to connect with the students.
“Although there may be less social interaction between guests and employees who are using the app, we are still greeting our students and saying hello at any opportunity,” said Hawley.