Quinnipiac ‘boosts’ students to use new form of mobile ordering

School dining continues to dissatisfy their students

Alena DeLuise, Contributing Writer

With most students turning the corner on their fourth week of on-campus living during the COVID-19 pandemic, Quinnipiac University has encouraged students to download the “Boost Mobile” app for food ordering. However, the methods for ordering and distributing food via the app have major room for improvement.

Photo by Toyloy Brown III

As a student with a gluten and dairy allergy, I wouldn’t rely on Boost ordering to ensure the safety of my health when it comes to cross-contamination. There is always the chance that a worker will make an error that could be costly.

Charles Couture from Quinnipiac Dining sent students an email about Boost’s expansion. Last year, the app was only used for Starbucks and Au Bon Pain.

On Boost, food options are limited and incorrectly categorized. For instance, the Bobcat Den Convenience Store has 15 “breakfast snacks” listed on the app, however, two of those snacks are powdered and chocolate mini donuts. Also, some food options are extremely limited at the York Hill Cafeteria, only offering three hot breakfast foods at the grill station: breakfast burrito, egg sandwich and egg sandwich with meat. Omitted are more common breakfast foods such as pancakes, french toast and scrambled eggs.

Students like Holly Wetzel, a sophomore nursing major from New Egypt, New Jersey are disappointed with the changes from their first year at Quinnipiac.

“I would definitely say there are less options,” Wetzel said. “Also, there has been a problem with your order being ready but someone else taking it. They don’t clarify if you’re that person getting it with your QCard.”

Quinnipiac needs to identify students when picking up online orders to ensure nobody is left without a meal. The Boost pickup station in SC 116 has a Chartwells employee at all times to regulate the student traffic. This employee should also be held responsible for checking student ID.

Students have limited time to fuel themselves before and after classes, which poses another flaw to the app.

“It’s definitely more difficult because we’re used to picking up food between classes,” said Heather Nachshen, a sophomore nursing student from Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. “Now, if you order your food for 6 p.m., it might not be ready at 6 p.m., it might be ready at 6:30 p.m. or even 5:30 p.m. when you’re still in class.”

Students will order food from Boost and have their food be completed either before or after the pick-up time the app gave them. The woman managing the Boost ordering pickup station at that time dismissively had no comment on the student opinion — shocker!

Boost also doesn’t offer an option to cancel or edit your order once it is placed, setting yourself up for an unsatisfactory meal.

Nachshen frequently orders from Revolution Noodle, the sushi bar located in the cafeteria on the Mount Carmel campus.

“You get there, and your food is cold because you took too long,” Nashchen said.

Another fear of Boost ordering is getting subpar food. You never know how your food is going to be prepared, leaving little room for customization and a lot of room for confusion.

A senior Residential Assistant studying international business from Syracuse, Indiana, was disappointed with the simple sandwich he ordered through Boost from the York Hill cafeteria.

“I ordered (my sandwich) on a sub roll, and when you order a roast beef sandwich, you expect that to be hot,” the senior RA said. “The foil itself was hot, but when I opened it, there were two slices of cold roast beef deli meat on two slices of white bread. I also got a handful of cold shredded cheese instead of sliced cheese that originally comes with the sandwich.”

This is an example of how you can order food and customize your options, however there is no guarantee you will get exactly what you ask for. In the case of the senior RA, he was misled to believe that he was ordering a hot sandwich but instead got the opposite —  some cold roast beef and stringed cheese. Prior to Boost’s prominence at Quinnipiac, students could watch their food be prepared in person and had the ability to customize without any concern of substitution.

While the cafeterias are serving hot food, the Chartwells employees told me they cannot heat your sandwich “for health reasons, per COVID-19 regulation.”

According to the World Health Organization, WHO, “Heat at 56°C kills the SARS coronavirus at around 10000 units per 15 min (quick reduction).”

Chartwells workers are doing the best they can to prepare food correctly and efficiently for students, however the pressure to complete all orders in time takes away from their efforts. Boost creates an atmosphere in which workers feel they are on a constant deadline, yet their endeavours are not bringing satisfaction to its customers

The possibility of messing up a student’s order is higher, and there is a higher risk of someone getting something that they cannot eat due to allergies or personal reasons.

Boost’s  utilization is important overall because it will help ensure the well-being of the Quinnipiac community by de-densifying cafeterias and helping promote social distancing. Quinnipiac officials must improve Boost for students to have a better dining experience.