Unpredictable waiting times in the dining room make it impossible to plan ahead

Despite the convenience of the Grubhub app, delivery times are unreliable, sometimes forcing students to wait up to two hours during peak periods to receive their food.

As a hungry college student, I often find myself in the busy Upstein food court, desperately refreshing the Grubhub app and scanning the room.​​ Large monitors displaying hundreds of order numbers are mostly highlighted in orange, indicating that an order is being prepared. . Other students, just as impatient and hungry, tap their toes and check their watches, waiting for their number to turn green on the screen. I’ve already missed one bus home and I’m about to miss the next one. Despite the wait, I can’t bring myself to leave – the promise of food after hours of hunger after a full day of classes keeps me going.

Long waits at popular NYU Eats locations leave students and staff feeling not only frustrated, but frustrated — especially during peak times when students fill the cafeterias after classes. As the hunger pangs increase and time passes, the promise of a hearty meal seems more and more out of reach. For those with busy schedules with short breaks, delays can cause real disruption.

The Grubhub app, which allows you to order in advance from NYU Eats locations, gives you a time to pick up your order. Mminute by minute, this time can often stretch far away exceeds the original appointment time, sometimes exceeding it by almost an hour. Unreliable pickup time is coming students have no choice but to continue waiting for what seems like an eternity or be forced to go to class before their food is ready.

NYU Eats told WSN that wait times depend on factors such asthe dining room’s location, schedule and popularity, and the fact that Grubhub offers made-to-order items that typically take extra time to prepare.

According to NYU Campus Services Senior Director of Marketing Ronnie Mandel, the dining hall’s peak hours are currently Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Many students eat lunch and dinner during this time, so those who plan to order food from the dining hall for both meals each day can expect to wait longer than usual.

“To reduce wait times, NYU Eats has added additional staff to help ease lines and get orders to our customers as quickly as possible,” Mandel wrote.

Stern sophomore Sofia Toledo waited two hours for the Southwest Cup from NYU’s new Crave at the Paulson Center. Toledo ordered through the Grubhub app at 2:45 p.m., just after her class ended, and realized she was about the 150th person in line on the app.

“When I got there, the dining room was crowded and my bowl was cold,” Toledo said.

Toledo is not alone in its experience. Despite its efforts, NYU does not have an efficient enough strategy to feed thousands of students and manage hundreds of orders during peak periods.

Peak periods are also a challenge for dining room staff. The Peet’s Coffee team at the Kimmel Center for University Life can only make so much coffee and brownie in a 15-minute window between Kimmel classes.

NYU Eats could reduce wait-time frustration among students and staff if it used the Grubhub app’s ETA. This will make it more likely that the timing will be accurate and will help ensure that those on meal plans are able to eat as much as they need throughout the day.

This change will make it much easier for students to make informed decisions about when to order food, whether that means ordering in advance or a completely different meal option.

The Opinion section of WSN aims to publish ideas worthy of discussion. The opinions presented in the Opinion section are solely those of the writer.

Contact Abi Rivera at [email protected]

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