Concordia-Chicago's Student Run Newspaper

The Spectator

The Spectator

The Spectator


What is the best dorm?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

CUC Launches New Food Service App ‘Everyday’

Julian Perez
Sophomore Jordan Meier outside the Cougar Den on March 14.

On most evenings, the Cougar Den is packed with students trying to get dinner following their sports practices or night classes.

Some students order food from Big Cats, while others just want a drink from Starbucks, yet everyone must wait in the same line. The line is long, and it can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for students to order and receive their food or drink.

Now, students have the opportunity to skip the line and order food or drinks through the new Everyday app from the comfort of their dorm rooms, receiving alerts when their item has been prepared. 

“My favorite thing about the app is how convenient it is for busy college students,” said sophomore Jordan Meier. “It’s so much easier for me to order something and work on homework while it’s being prepared than it is for me to wait in line in the den for half an hour.”

Everyday launched on Jan. 6 and allows students to order food from Big Cats, Starbucks, or Subway on their smartphone. Students can also look at the Crossroads Dining Room menu, but not place an order there.

Through this app, CUC has made a step forward in embracing the idea of a ghost kitchen, a concept that is popular in many restaurants like McDonald’s and Panera Bread. An entire transaction can take place without a customer ever interacting with an employee, but instead picking up food from a counter.

An earlier version of Everyday had its origins during COVID. This app was called “Bite,” and allowed students to order food while quarantined. This app served its purpose during the pandemic, but it didn’t function the way Sodexo wanted it to. They decided to get rid of it, and worked on Everyday instead. 

“It didn’t feel right to roll out the app until we felt like it was correct and the issues were worked out,” said Sodexo general manager Frank Budig. “Even now, I think it’s just a base for us to build on which is really exciting.” 

There have been a couple of problems regarding the app. Some students have struggled to order their drinks correctly, leading to more confusion for the baristas. 

“It’s tough to roll out a new program with students in the middle of the school year,” said Budig. “Students are in a routine and know what they will do everyday, but we wanted to roll it out now to get upperclassmen interested in it.” 

The app has all menu items that are served at Starbucks, Big Cats, and Subway. However, there are still some items that can only be ordered in person due to the specific customizations. 

“We have the entire Starbucks menu on the app, but there are also all of these hidden drinks that only you guys know about,” said Budig. “We don’t have the ability to have those drinks on the app.”  Students are able to customize drinks in person to create something new, but this is not a possibility on the app. 

“A lot of the students don’t know what goes in a drink, and so they might not know how to order it,” said Tish Kendricks, Starbucks head barista and supervisor. When a confusing order is placed, she often waits for the student to come to the den to ask a question about what they want, which can create a longer wait time than if the person had just ordered it in person. 

There has also been a learning curve for the employees as they work to figure out this new technology. 

“I have a long-term staff, I think the average employee has been here for 16 years,” said Budig. “Change is always very hard, and it was hard to get my staff to realize how this technology works.” 

In order to balance between in person and online orders, the app controls how many online orders can be placed during a given time period. For example, the staff may set the app to only accept 15 orders during a 15 minute period. 

The workers are able to set how many orders they want at a time to ensure timely order fulfillment during the highest demand hours of the day. 

“I think that this app opens up a lot of possibilities, and it helps get the customer their product faster,” said Kendricks. 

Though the app does alleviate some pressure on the food service workers, some find that it creates new challenges as well.

“I think the app makes it easier for the workers for the most part,” said Sodexo employee Abby Boyer. “The only time it’s hard is when there is a long line and a lot of orders at the same time. I have a hard time balancing both.”

Many students have used the app and have appreciated the convenience it provides.

“Some nights I’ll be sitting in my dorm wanting a little snack, and so I order a burger through the app,” said sophomore Noah Clark. “Within a few minutes, it’s ready and I’m able to walk over and grab it without waiting in line.”

There are plans for more updates to the app in the future. Budig hopes to eventually add a grocery shopping function to the app. The cafeteria often has bread, fruit, and vegetables in stock, and students could submit a short grocery list and then pick up these items from the Crossroads Dining Room. 

Budig also wants to introduce touch-screen kiosks in the den in the future. Olivet Nazarene University uses Sodexo as their food service as well, and has installed a kiosk. This would allow campus visitors to order their food without having to download the app on their phones. 

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Anna Kuschel
Anna Kuschel, Editor-in-chief
Julian Perez, Photographer