Dayna Wichhart — Staff Writer
Every weekday at 1:30 p.m., the Grille register starts spitting out receipts from the fifty to seventy-five students mobile ordering their hot meal exchange sandwiches and an additional line of students waiting to order.
Morgan Heinen is one of those students. She eats a Defender from the Grille for lunch most days. Today, she orders her sandwich through the Eatable app and after class wanders through the crowd to check for it.
As classes dismiss, students fill the Grille and congest the pickup line as they search for their sandwiches and grab their side and drink. Students stand shoulder to shoulder, lining the exit of the Grille and waiting for their name to be called.
“I hate having to squeeze past all the people picking up their sandwiches every day,” sophmore Maggie Reynen, a frequent visitor to the Grille, said.
The Grille has recently moved the sandwiches behind a glass shield and now students must tell their name to a Grille employee who finds the sandwich to hand over. Students have been frustrated that this slows down the process of getting to their sandwiches.
“At the beginning of the year, we noticed that we were having to remake a lot of sandwiches,” Nicole Rensink, Defender Grille Manager, said. “Not because people were stealing them, but because they were taking the wrong ones.”
Students glance at the sandwiches and grab the first sandwich they see with their name on it. But on Dordt’s campus, there are many students who have the same name. Not everyone was checking the ticket thoroughly to make sure they were picking up the correct order.
By having Grille staff confirm the orders before students take the sandwich, they are better able to ensure the correct sandwiches are being picked up.
“I personally like to hand out the sandwiches because it gives me a quick second to interact with the students and staff,” Rensink said.
Students have noticed the wait time on the Eatable app rarely reflects the correct time that the sandwiches take to order. Remaking the sandwiches slows down the time for hot meal exchange pickup, delaying other orders more.
Heinen has already grabbed her cookies and drink and every couple of minutes walks back up to the counter to check again if her sandwich is ready.
“If I don’t get my sandwich ordered right away, I usually have to wait 20 to 30 minutes to get my sandwich,” Heinen said.
The Grille has been flooded with orders and students this year. Because the mobile app has mislead students on their orders’ wait times, the Grille staff encourages students to not rely on the app’s information. When all the orders come in at the same time, the app does not have time to update and give the correct wait time.
The system will sometimes overload when orders come in at the same time, and orders will often get missed. The printer can only print so fast, and as they are printing, the Grille staff must go through the receipts to ensure none are doubled or are missed.
“We are working on trying to find out what works best for us and all the students during this busy time,” Rensink said.
As the year progresses, the staff will continue to work to find more efficient and effective ways of running the Grille and the hot meal exchange process.
“I am always open to suggestions on how we can improve,” Rensink said. “Feel free to stop by any time and share your thoughts with us.”
Heinen’s sandwich is ready and, as usual, the sandwich tastes delicious and is worth the wait. She and the rest of the students will be back for their sandwiches again tomorrow.
Photo credit: Dayna Wichhart