Radford University has created a unique and innovative way for students to order and safely pick up food. It involves a phone and a locker.
The new Get & Go Dining Program allows Radford students with a meal plan to order food and drinks from participating restaurants on campus from their phones and pick it up from temperature-controlled lockers stationed near the dining establishments from which they ordered.
The university, in partnership with Chartwells Higher Education, officially rolled out the mobile ordering Get & Go service at the beginning of the spring semester. Radford University is among the first higher education institutions to pair mobile ordering with a locker pickup service, according to James Perkins, the director of University Services.
“We wanted to bring Get & Go to Radford for our students’ convenience,” Perkins explained, “and also for safety during the COVID-19 global health pandemic.”
Dining at Radford University has traditionally been a communal experience, said Lauren Snelson, senior operations manager for University Services. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to reinvent the dining experience. This program gives our guests the option to reduce contacts while still enjoying their campus favorites.”
It also reduces lines at dining establishments. “It’s fast and convenient, and it’s so much better than standing in line and waiting,” said sophomore Gracie Osborne of Marion, Va. “Plus, it cuts down on meal time, which helps if you’re in a hurry to get to class.”
Students must have a meal plan or One Card funds to use the Get & Go service. There is no additional charge for using the system
“This program gives meal plan holders and ONE Card users the exclusive benefit of a one-of-a-kind ordering and pick-up solution,” said Jade Sutherland, marketing manager for Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services.
The ordering process through Get & Go is simple, but first, users must download the GET app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Once the app is downloaded and opened, students select “Search All Institutions” and type in “Radford University.”
Once Radford University is selected, students must enter their university credentials. Next, the user will scroll down to and click “Start an Order” and select a restaurant from which to order. Students may select a time they want to pick up the order or simply select “ASAP.”
Next, users choose food and drink items from the menu. Users can customize an order and add it to their cart. Once ordering is complete, the users select “View Cart.” Then, they verify that the order is correct, select “Meal Plan and ONE Card” as the payment method and select “Place Order.”
Full instructions for getting the app and using the ordering program are available on the Radford University Dining Services website.
Students may select from five different on-campus dining establishments: Au Bon Pain, Hissho Sushi, Papa John’s, Starbucks and Wendy’s.
Once an order is ready for pickup, students receive a text message with a pin code or link to a QR code. They then go to one of the four easy-to-find Radford-red pickup lockers that correspond with their order. Once at the locker, students can enter their pin codes or scan their QR codes and the locker doors open. Each locker is controlled to keep orders hot, cold or at room temperature, which is a novel feature and represents the latest in contactless ordering technology.
Locker units are located in Dalton Hall for Au Bon Pain, Papa John’s and Wendy’s; the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Building for Starbucks; and the Bonnie for Hissho Sushi.
“The program gives our students one more layer of safety and comfort,” Perkins said. “They know they can use the program to order and pick up food safely. This is just another measure we are putting in place to help our students stay and feel safe.”
— Chad Osborne