Less lines, more time: Students use Tapingo


Students at South Dakota State University can now skip waiting lines in the Union using Tapingo, a remote ordering service. 

After being introduced less than two weeks ago, it has proved to be a hit among students. From Feb. 1 to Feb. 8, almost 4,300 orders were made through the app, said JoLee Frederickson, Jacks Dining general manager. 

The app allows users to avoid physical waiting lines.

The most orders made through Tapingo was recorded Monday, Feb. 8 with 824 orders throughout the day.

So many students have used the service that SDSU is ranked number one in orders made during Tapingo’s introduction, beating the other 125 institutions using the service, said Doug Wermedal, interim vice president of Student Affairs. SDSU is the first institution in South Dakota to use the service. 

At locations such as These and Those Noodles, Weary Wil’s and Einstein Bro. Bagels, about 100 transactions were made each day. 

The service was available to all students Jan. 28, but before it was introduced to the student body, some students were recruited to test the app.

Caleb Finck, president of the Students’ Association, was a tester and one of the first users of Tapingo.

“It’s really cool,” Caleb Finck said as he looked over the options for his iced frappuccino. He decided on a french bean, low-fat milk, no whip cream with one shot of espresso. 

Finck paid with his phone and waited only five minutes. He received a text message telling him the drink was ready.

Orders through Tapingo are taken at the same time as orders at the register, and although it is unknown if wait times on the app will increase, Finck remains optimistic.

“It’s not necessarily that Tapingo is always going to be the fast option all the time. It’s at least going to give you an idea of what’s going on,” Finck said.

Finck said that even if the wait times increased, it could give students the opportunity to do other things rather than wait in line.

“Tapingo’s solution is designed specifically to enhance the college dining experience,” said Leanne Reis, a representative from Tapingo. 

Reis said that using this technology Tapingo could solve one of the main problems that all students face: a lack of time.

Tapingo will benefit the students who use it because it is a matter of convenience, Frederickson said.

“It helps students have a better end experience, like if they don’t have time between classes it’s easy to plan out, order and get it,” Frederickson said.

Tapingo will be beneficial for students living on the west side of campus as well as the main area of campus, Wermedal said. Students who live farther away from The Union can order their food on the way to The Union and have it ready when they arrive.

Tapingo’s pick up service works for dining locations across campus, except for Larson Commons.

Customers can pay with a credit card, but the app also integrates MyJacks card and meal plans for both students and faculty members.

Currently, Tapingo is only for pick-up orders. Although an exact date for incorporating delivery has not been set, Tapingo is “working closely with SDSU to make delivery available to all students and faculty as soon as practically possible,” Reis said.

There is no cost for the app, but once delivery is implemented there will be a $2.99 delivery fee. 

Lacey Fields is skeptical of students’ willingness to accept the new app. As an agricultural major, she said she is terrible with technology. 

“I’m a farm kid,” she said. “There are tons of farm kids that go to school here that don’t even open their laptops. Some of them don’t even own computers…they just don’t know how to configure to it.”

Finck doesn’t agree. A self-proclaimed farm kid himself, he uses it constantly.