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An app that College students use to place grill orders in campus dining halls went down on Friday and Saturday, temporarily preventing undergraduates from ordering their grilled cheese and french fries online.
The Mange app, which enables students to place grill orders using tablets in Harvard's food serveries or remotely via their phones, is typically available during lunch and dinner in the dining halls of all of Harvard’s 12 residential Houses. The app notifies students via email when their grill orders are fully cooked and ready for consumption.
Crista Martin, a spokesperson for Harvard University Dining Services, wrote in an email that staff first noticed the app was not working Friday evening, around the time dinner service began.
With the digital ordering service unavailable, students and grill chefs resorted to more primitive means. On Friday, Lowell House students filled out paper slips to place orders, while the Adams House grill chefs took orders by word-of-mouth.
The app regained functionality during lunch Saturday after Harvard information technology workers resolved the problem, according to Martin.
“As with any IT system, periodic outages happen and are inconvenient,” she wrote. “We are very fortunate to have a great IT team who resolved the problem quickly so we could return to the normal routine in less than 24 hours.”
Cabot House first began using the app in Feb. 2016. Enrique A. Dominguez-Meneses ’16 developed the app; he said at the time he hoped the technology would reduce crowds at dining hall grills.
The app was also meant to reduce food waste. Mange prevents students who abandon their orders twice from placing remote orders in the future. In recent years, HUDS has worked to reduce the amount of food squandered in dining halls, conducting an annual “food audit,” among other measures.
After a test run at Cabot, the app was rolled out at all House dining halls—all spaces used primarily by upperclassmen. Freshmen, who typically eat in Annenberg Hall, still place grill orders with a paper slip.
When the College updated its “Omni @Harvard College” app last year, it integrated Mange into the new interface.
—Staff writer Luke W. Vrotsos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @luke_vrotsos.
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