WebFood program catches on and develops further

| News Editor
After the success of WebFood in the Danforth University Center in the fall, the program is extending to the South 40. Initially open only to students in a pilot program, WebFood will be available to all students later in the semester. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

After the success of WebFood in the Danforth University Center in the fall, the program is extending to the South 40. Initially open only to students in a pilot program, WebFood will be available to all students later in the semester. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

More changes are on the way for South 40 dining as the test run for WebFood begins on the 40 this week.

Food options such as cheeseburgers, hamburgers and other grill items can be ordered from WebFood online and then be ready for pick up at a given location in the South 40 eatery. The program will run from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weeknights.

As the program continues, the original menu, containing a limited number of options, will expand in the same way as the WebFood program on main campus in the Danforth University Center.

According to Nadeem Siddiqui, the resident district manager for Bon Appétit, food items for the starting menu are “simple, easier to make and stay a certain temperature better.”

Then, after receiving feedback and finding out what foods work best, Bon Appétit will replace certain foods and add more menu items.

While only students on the pilot program will be allowed to use WebFood on the South 40 initially, the program will be accessible to all students after a couple of weeks.

Siddiqui explained that the pilot program will allow the staff to make sure the program is functioning smoothly before they open it to everyone.

Students on an advisory committee and their floor-mates were invited to participate in the pilot program to ensure feedback is given.

Siddiqui and Paul Schimmele, assistant to the director of operations in Dining Services, hope that the WebFood program will relieve crowded lines, as they expected with its counterpart program in the DUC.

More than 900 students and staff have signed in to the WebFood program online already.

According to Siddiqui, in the last few weeks of the past semester, almost 50 students ordered WebFood during the noon-1 p.m. lunchtime period in the DUC daily.

Rotisserie chicken was the last menu item added to the program.

Schimmele added that many students did not know that the menu expanded from the very beginning, but as they became aware of the new food items, the number of users and food orders increased.

Bon Appétit anticipates that since many students have already signed up and used the program in the DUC, students will use the program on the South 400 as well.

“Once you use [WebFood], you know it’s simple, it works well,” Siddiqui said.

Another WebFood user explained that even though she uses the program in the DUC, she probably won’t use the new program on the South 40.

“I think the program in the DUC is great,” sophomore Courtney Safir said. “It’s where most people go for lunch every day, so the lines get pretty insane and you could wait over 30 minutes to get your food. As for the program on the 40, I personally won’t use it. I generally eat later when the lines of the 40 aren’t long at all.”

Students are looking forward to the implementation of the new program.

“WebFood has really worked out well in the DUC and I think it’s a good idea for Dining Services to use it in the South 40 House,” freshman Brennan Keiser said. “It is an excellent service and should make students happy.”

Other students noted that they don’t plan to use the service, despite its benefits.

In addition, Siddiqui and Schimmele added that there have not been any serious problems with the WebFood program so far.

“Our approach has been to start small and to keep it very manageable, so we’ve really not had many problems,” Schimmele said.

The few problems they had originally were with the software, but the program has run smoothly in terms of food items and its delivery.