Dining services provides updates on long-dormant on-campus Grubhub delivery option


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Charlotte Bassett.

Student view of the Grubhub partnership, West Haven, Feb. 12, 2023.

The university’s Grubhub partnership began in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, where students could not gather to sit inside any of the campus dining locations. In order to keep retail locations afloat, Grubhub allowed students to order ahead of time , which posed as little risk to each other’s health as possible.

Frequenters of the app will recognize that there is an on-campus delivery option, yet it never became a staple among students. Juan Dominguez, general manager of dining services on campus, said that deliveries were active “for no less than two semesters,” and also indicated that the most deliveries in any day was five.

A service catered by university staff would necessitate extra pay to those workers, and Dominguez said that an average of single-digit deliveries a night on a campus with thousands of residential students would not be worth the overhead. He has even considered having students or recognized student groups conduct deliveries, with the ability to collect tips, but that plan never came to fruition.

On paper, a delivery service for college students to receive food right to their door using their dining dollars seems like a match made in heaven. The question becomes: why didn’t it ever take off?

There are two hurdles. First of all, the delivery options which have been offered, those being WOW, Moe’s and the Re-Charge Convenience Store, are some of the central eateries on campus; it’s less of a hassle to walk to these locations, so the novelty of delivery isn’t as convenient as first thought.

If the app is ever relaunched, Dominguez said it might include Food on Demand and The Marketplace . He said The Marketplace’s variety could work well.

“I would like to add… pizza [and sandwiches] from The Marketplace, and just extend the venue and options so more people get interested,” he said.

Dominguez said deliveries will only ever occur on the contiguous campus area because they will only be accomplished on foot. This means that students’ personal housing and off-campus residential housing such as Forest Hills or Main Street apartments will not be eligible.

But the biggest hurdle,according to Dominguez, is that university dining directly competes with off-campus establishments.McDonald’s and Subway are both a crosswalk away.

For this, Dominguez emphasized the luxury of spending dining dollars as opposed to cash. Additionally, with the introduction of new safety measures across campus, outside deliveries have become more of a hassle.

Delivery is an idea which Dominguez is highly willing to bring back.

“I think all day long about how we can be creative [with what we offer] to the students,” he said. “How can we make [delivery] more attractive? Because I think it is a service we should do, but it has to make sense.”

If you have any questions, concerns or advice for an on-campus delivery service, reach out to dining services on Instagram @unewhavendining and be sure to respond to their survey which will be posted on their Instagram to gauge interest.