With social distancing implemented around campus, many students are relying on take-out orders to eat in a safe and healthy manner. However, this has become difficult, as Grubhub is still not functioning for Panera.
The news of Grubhub being used as an alternative way to pick up food was announced in an email by Anna Billingsley, associate vice president of University Relations on Sept.13, just after move-in weekend. The Grubhub app serves as a way for students to order and have meals delivered from different retail places such as Hissho Sushi, Bodacious Burgers and Vocelli’s Pizza.
UMW implemented Grubhub on campus to reduce the amount of traffic in places such as the UC, Eagles Nest and The Underground.
The issue of Panera not functioning properly has made many students upset and confused as to why this issue has not been resolved yet.
“They promised that ‘oh this is the big thing’ but I haven’t been able to use it so it’s disappointing,” said sophomore history major Lauryn Bailey.
Other students agree.“It’s a little frustrating and it makes me eat less at Panera,” said sophomore psychology major Sara Roberts.
Rose Benedict, the unit marketing manager for UMW Dining Services, spoke about the issues between Grubhub and Panera and how they hope to resolve the issues.
“We are working diligently with the Panera Bread corporate team to get Grubhub launched here as soon as possible,” said Benedict. “We believe we have found a work-around, but it may take a little bit of time to get all the pieces in place.”
“I am really not sure when the issues will be resolved but the general manager of UMW Dining is on top of it,” said CJ Porter, UMW’s Dining Services liaison and meal plan manager.
Benedict discussed how Grubhub is still adapting to campus dining as opposed to restaurant dining and how this partnership has been a new experience for both UMW and Grubhub.
“Grubhub has lots of experience in providing customers with delivery services from various local restaurants, but they are rather new to providing pre-order for pick-up services in college campuses,” said Benedict. “[They’re] creating systems that are able to process transactions using various kinds of tender.”
For students, the delay in Panera’s functioning with Grubhub has caused difficulties in making food conscious decisions regarding their own health or dietary restrictions.
“A lot of the options at the UC were taken away which makes me feel like I’m not using my meal plan,” said Bailey. “I don’t want to walk from Eagle Landing just to get a $6 salad and then having to walk back.”
This is not the only issue that Grubhub has faced so far since in person classes have begun.
“We had two days that Grubhub wasn’t working for any retail,” said Porter. “Once we resolved that, the pricing was wrong in some places. Students have been great at letting us know when things aren’t working for them which allows us to get someone on it right away.”
Bailey was also affected by this issue. “The only thing I’ve seen is that there will be some days that it’ll work but it has mostly been touch and go,” said Bailey.
So far the only resolution for retrieving food while maintaining the new regulations is to order on the Panera app and pay with a credit card. This brings an issue for students who use their meal plan to pay for food, which leads many to just go to Panera in person.
“I’ve gone twice,” said Roberts. “The actual lining up is fine, it’s more like the waiting to pick up food becomes less socially distanced due to the cluster of students waiting.”
So far, there has still not been an exact date to when Panera will be fully functioning on Grubhub.
“I definitely think these problems should’ve been fixed when we were moving in or at least by the first week,” said Bailey. “By the time it gets implemented, it’ll probably be by the time we’re going home.”
Many students are feeling frustrated by these issues.
“I definitely think they should’ve fixed this issue by now. I would really like it to be working so I could get some mac and cheese,” said Roberts.
It is uncertain whether or not Panera will be functioning on Grubhub this semester.