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Self-order kiosks make their way to campus dining locations

A student uses a newly installed kiosk at Connecting Grounds Café. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Many fast food restaurants have been moving toward less human interaction for years and dining locations on Ohio State’s campus are following suit.

Starting in the 2018 fall semester, several campus dining operations have introduced Tapingo kiosks for students to self-order by swiping their BuckID, selecting food, choosing payment methods and picking up at the counter.

Originally from San Francisco, Tapingo is an app that offers online pre-order and pick-up for college students. The new kiosks allow students to place their orders and pick them up on-site without talking to a cashier.

The new kiosks were in high demand by students and their use will look to be expanded moving forward, student life spokesman Dave Isaacs said.

“The Tapingo kiosks were one of the features most requested by students in our extensive and ongoing program of eliciting opinion from our student customers,’’ Isaacs said in an email. “We are currently testing the kiosks at several Student Life Dining Services locations, with the expectation that they will be utilized in other operations in the future.”

For college students like Sara Neumeister, a second-year in industrial and systems engineering, Tapingo aids in boosting the efficiency of getting food, especially for students with busy course schedules.

“I usually use the Tapingo app to get my lunch five minutes before class ends,” Neumeister said.“I can have my lunch immediately when I get there.”

One of the dining locations testing the kiosks is Courtside Cafe inside the RPAC.

Averi Townsend, a senior in public management, leadership and policy, said Courtside Cafe has been crowded since she was a freshman, but the time it takes to get a meal has gotten much faster.

However, the Tapingo kiosks have some downsides, too. Townsend said that sometimes she can’t find what she wants on the kiosks.

“I saw they had it, but it wasn’t (shown) on the screen,’’ she said. “I think the kiosks are unnecessary. I still have to be here and wait.”

Isaacs said when and whether the Tapingo kiosks will apply to all the dining operations on campus is still unknown.

“Student Life Dining Services will continue to evaluate the system and make decisions accordingly,” Isaacs said.

One comment

  1. They should install these at the vegan station in Scotts. I’ve noticed that the tattooed white guy sometimes working there can be a bit rude to foreign students when they try ordering their pasta.

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