App lets SDSU students skip food lines

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BROOKINGS - Students at South Dakota State University are lining up to eat, but many are doing their waiting online instead of in line.

At the SDSU student union, if you want to skip the line and save time to quickly quiet that growling stomach , there's an app for that.

It's called Tapingo, and SDSU student body president Caleb Finck said it couldn't be more timely.

"One of the things we heard complaints from students about was the long lines, and the waits that we have in different areas. Not all areas, but some of our different food service locations here in the union," Finck said.

No matter what students have a taste for, Tapingo allows hungry students to tap and go, to order a meal at their fingertips.

"If I want to get These and Those Noodles, and maybe it's going to be 20 minutes, but at least I know that and I can order from my phone. I can go sit in The Market and do homework for 20 minutes rather than standing in line. As a student, being able to optimize your time and be better prepared for what's going on in your day, it's awesome," Finck said.

The Tapingo app isn't just good for students, but for business as well.

Interim Vice-president for Student Affairs Doug Wermedal said "Panda, Chick-Fil-A, Extreme Pita, Einsteins's Bagels, all of those places, are able to get a hundred more students through, in one day then they had previously."

Paying with the app is one way Jackrabbits also can pay it forward.

"We have a commission relationship with our food service providers, in that our commissions go right back into scholarships, every food item on our campus turns into support for students," Wermedal said.

Students also can skip the line so they don't have to skip a meal.

For some of us who maybe have only an hour in between a class or something like that, and you're trying to run through the union, you might have class from 9 to 11, and then you have class starting at noon going to 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon with labs and stuff. You don't really want to go that whole time without eating," Finck said.

Not only can students now stop waiting for food, but soon they can bypass the student union and have it delivered straight to their dorm.

About 1,500 hungry Jackrabbits signed up to use the app during the first week, and there were more than 4,000 transactions.