The choice of a college roommate offers either a taste of home or a full-baked nightmare. But, one roomie guarantees to not let an undergrad down and that is online food ordering.
While college prepares students for life and the workforce, the sporadic schedule begins to look more like an alternate universe than the day in and day out routine of the real world. It is indeed a culture all its own. And, a reliable bunkmate makes all the difference.
In step with this parallel universe, the eating habits of this young, up and coming generation prove to deviate drastically from the general population. The two greatest differences? Caffeine and ordering hours.
Students prefer their caffeine in the form of energy drinks 83 percent more often and coffee 15 percent less than general online diners.
The use of the snooze button (or no alarm at all) causes orders between the early hours of 6 and 9 a.m. to fall 66 percent on college campuses.
And, the late night habits of this seemingly nocturnal population run the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. orders are up 100 percent above traditional diners.
Additionally, spicy (25 percent), vegetarian (25 percent), healthy choices (23 percent) and dessert (18 percent) orders rank below the habits of general online foodies.
The differences in the habits of this seemingly alien culture make online ordering not only viable, but beneficial.
Online ordering systems help the collegiate get a lay of the land in this new, often changing world, like having a roommate who grew up on campus. Locating local restaurants, reviewing menus and pricing and entering orders digitally:
Places control in the grasp of the students.
Offers a moment to consider the budget i.e. the cash in pocket at the given moment.
And, decreases order error.
Finding a favorite restaurant or adventuring to discover something new while away from home increases the independence of this population. And, their unique ways continue in the food choices made online. While Italian and Chinese rank highest in college and traditional online ordering preferences, some foods, in particular, attract the college student more than the typical diner.
Calzone (150 percent more common in college orders)
Chicken with Broccoli (114 percent)
General Tso’s Chicken (92 percent)
Steal a Deal
Small budgets (the few dollars in the pocket) require the collegiate to stretch every last penny. Online ordering helps by providing restaurant coupons. In fact, some even offer freebies for the fortunate user.
With 51 percent of college students admitting to ordering takeout as a means of fueling up, the average expense per student was $765 per year in 2011. But, the best bunkmate throws in a few bucks. Bring on the coupons and freebies!
Make it Easy
Busy, scattered schedules and lack of transportation hinders student’s ability to eat well. The “no waiting in line” option of online ordering appeals to college students. No wait means no infringement on the already harried pace of the day. And, delivery options offer fare which is out of reach due to lack of time or transportation.
According to a survey by Adriana Marie Reyes at the University of Arizona, 82 percent of undergraduates admitted they would eat healthier if time allowed. The convenience of online ordering opens the door to this possibility. While not the case yet, leaders in the field of online ordering expect students to transition to healthier choices with exposure over time.
The accolades of dining halls run from poor to stellar. Plus, this option is known for the added carbs thrown in just to maintain the freshman 15 throughout four years. The fact is only 20 percent of students eat at the dining hall. Online ordering offers a selection which caters to undergrad preferences and dietary needs.
Comfort foods rank across the board for collegiate online orders. However, when illness or the blues set in away from home, this need magnifies. As a trusted roomie, online ordering brings relief through Tylenol or Sudafed, chicken noodle soup and maybe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. While not the same as mom, it may just prove to prompt a bit of healing.
A primary concern on college campuses continues to be student safety. With restaurants or suppliers who deliver, online food ordering offers safe arrival of fare to combat an undergrads late night munchies or 2 a.m. need for an energy drink to conquer Calculus. Once again, the roommate comes through.
Whether celebrating a hard fought finals week, navigating an other world schedule, chilling with friends or hungering for a taste of home, online food ordering offers college students a roomie who speaks to the needs and heart of the student.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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