Danielle Schultz—Staff Writer
Eatable, a mobile app intended to help students access their meal accounts quickly and efficiently, was introduced last year on Dordt’s campus. Although it was slow to gain momentum, by the end of last year, more and more Dordt students were pulling out their phones instead of their student ID’s to pay for meals.
This year, like last year, seems to be starting off slow for Eatable.
According to Commons worker Emma Bakker, a sophomore, less than half of students use Eatable to pay for their meals.
“Since it’s the beginning of the year, I think a lot of freshmen just use their ID’s because they aren’t quite sure how the app all works,” she said.
The Grille experiences similar results. Grille worker Katie Bogle estimates less than 30 percent of students uses the Eatable app to purchase food there.
“We have very few people using the app, especially during the busy meal exchange times,” she said. “I think this is because last year there was a large push for the app to be used, and they gave out prizes and incentives if people used the app. However, the app is often times not faster so this year fewer people are using it.”
One reason Eatable works more slowly than swiping a student ID is the cashier has to scroll through all the faces on the screen, trying to find the match for the person in front of them.
“When people use the app you need to look through everyone for their face, tap it, and then wait for it to go through,” Bakker said, “whereas when they use their card, the meal charge pops up immediately and you just have to ‘okay’ that by tapping it away.”
To make Eatable work a little faster, students could pull up the app on their screens before they get to the cashier. It also helps if each student tells the cashier their name when they get to the front of the line. This streamlines the process.
Like every new technological advancement, Eatable has its downfalls, but Commons worker Janessa Minderhoud believes that the app is still very convenient and practical.
“Student ID cards work well and are very efficient,” she said, “but the eatable app is also useful, especially for people who don’t carry their student ID with them…if the app is used properly and opened up early enough it can be just as efficient as a student ID card.”
Even if some students do not want to use Eatable to pay for their meals, the app still comes in handy. Not only does Eatable pay for meals, but it also records the number of meals students have left per week and the amount of Defender Dollars they have left per semester. Students will be able to order meals ahead of time at the Grille or view future menus for the Commons. These are all nice options for students who plan out their meals.