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An application developed by a Harvard undergraduate will allow students to place dining hall grill orders remotely through their electronic devices in order to reduce crowding and save time for students.
The application, called Mange, is currently being piloted at Cabot House. If successful, it will be introduced in all Harvard dining halls by the end of the year, according to HUDS spokesperson Crista Martin.
Created by Enrique A. Dominguez-Meneses ’16, Harvard students can log in with their emails through the website mangeapp.com. Dominguez-Meneses said he is planning to launch the app on iOS and Android application stores in the near future.
Once registered, students can use their accounts to place orders from remote locations or at the counter itself. The application will then notify HUDS chefs of the order.
“Before, you would get up two, three times to see when your grill order was ready.” Dominguez-Meneses said. “Now, when your order is done, you’ll get an email or text notification to tell you.”
He added that the app will hopefully help save time for hungry students and reduce crowding in the dining halls, especially at the grill counters.
“By reducing crowds of people ordering at the counter using paper slips, it clears a lot of room in the dining hall for when other foods need to be delivered,” said William A. Campbell, a HUDS employee at Cabot.
Students said they found the app useful for helping them remember what they initially ordered.
“I usually make a grill order, forget it’s done, and never pick it up,” said Juliana Castrillon ’17. “This helps me with picking it up consistently.”
The app also displays the HUDS grill menus for each day, allowing users to order grills ahead of time if they prefer the food options of another day.
HUDS employees who work at the grill said the app has facilitated their administrative record-keeping, from tracking food orders to creating inventories.
“The most important thing is good accounting, and this app helps us to tally up the food at the end of the day,” said Abdelkader Mouhoub, a HUDS employee at Cabot.
The app also aims to reduce food waste by discouraging the practice of leaving grill orders unattended. If a student abandons grill orders twice, he or she will forfeit the right to order remotely.
"The goal is that, by getting a little ding, students will go and pick up their grill orders with more frequency,” Martin said.
Dominguez-Meneses, who codes as a hobby, said he hopes his invention will inspire other students to create applications that facilitate the use of social and recreational spaces at Harvard.
“On campus, my ideas for projects have come through observation—putting myself in other people’s shoes and realizing what I have to worry about,” he said. “I think this app can reduce food waste, wait time, improve the dining experience, and HUDS in general.”
—Staff writer Michelle J. Hu can be reached at Michelle.Hu@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter at @gotmeechy
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