A little more convenience: A Bandersnatch app

By Emily Shane

Assistant News Editor

“That’d be dope as f***. Yeah, I would use that app,” said Pushkal Mehrish ’15, a psychology and economics double major from Bangalore, India when told that a Denison student is working on an app to make it easier to order at  the Bandersnatch.

The student, Nick Costa ’16, a computer science major from Salem, Ohio, is developing an app that will allow students to order food from the student-run café on their smartphones or computers and then receive a notification when their food is ready, and possibly even pay via credit card.

According to Costa, the goals of the app are to “digitize the ordering process [and] create record keeping system.” Bandersnatch employee Jill Koval ‘16, an English major from Westerville, Ohio, says the current manual system can cause problems:  “We use restaurant order sheets to write all orders down… this can cause some communication breakdowns. While these roadblocks can be overcome with some communication, it stalls the kitchen. I personally look forward to having an app, as my handwriting is nearly illegible and abbreviations nonsensical, and it would be a great relief to my coworkers if they could actually read it.”

“Ultimately the goal is to allow management to make statistically informed business decisions,” Costa said.

“[Costa is] one of the smartest people I know on campus. I look forward to the app,” said Raghav Daswani ’15, an economics and computer science major from Kolkata, India.

Denison Enterprises, a student organization that describes themselves on OrgSync as “an umbrella organization that will plan, launch and manage student run businesses across campus,” reached out to Costa to create the app.

He put together a team of six other students, including Emma Brereton ’17, Drew Lytle ’17, Andrew Reed ’17, John Sullivan ’17, Mulin Tang ’17 and Claire Van Fossen ’16. Math and computer science professor Thomas Bressoud and BI Developer/Analyst for ITS Aaron Fuleki are advising them.

Costa has experience: he’s already created an iPhone app available in the app store and done an internship working with android mobile development for the Air Force research lab.

Students agreed that the app would increase orders, but had doubts about whether that was positive or negative. “Not only would it be convenient for students who may not carry cash, I believe it will also boost sales,” said Stanisha Lang ’15 a Spanish major from Waukegan, Ill. “Having an app will also allow students who don’t live on East Quad to have easier access to the Bandersnatch.”

Nathaniel Nakon ’17, a political science and economics double major from Cleveland, Ohio, disagreed. “I don’t think it’s a good idea because the ‘Snatch is already inundated as it is, and the app would most likely increase demand well beyond its capacity.”

Koval has higher hopes for the Bandersnatch’s performance: “An app would greatly increase efficiency and clarity in the kitchen and would make our jobs that much easier,” he said.

Costa and his team have completed the design phase and are now working on the development and implementation.

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