Kiosks serve up fries, long lines
By Jeff Frankel
The new kiosks for ordering food at the Bronc Diner and Cranberry’s have been slow and regularly shut down, but plans are in the works to fix them, an administrator said.
Several food products popular with students last year, such as half of a Philly cheesesteak, were missing from the system, but were quickly added once students requested it, said Jan Friedman-Krupnick, associate vice president of student affairs, at Tuesday’s Lawrenceville SGA meeting.
“I think we responded very quickly to that,” she said. “There’s bumps when you install it.”
In recent weeks, units in both locations occasionally shut down and had to be rebooted. Customers would then have to order from the individual stations. During peak times, this would cause lines to swell.
“During the first week, we had a lot of problems,” Friedman-Krupnick said.
Long lines and queue times for food took well over a half-hour, even more during peak times, said one student ordering late-night food at the Bronc Diner.
“It’s a school night and we’re still waiting,” said sophomore Katie Malanak. “At Cranberry’s they [take] too long.”
Malanak’s friend, senior Taylor Billook, who is a waitress and is trained to use kiosks at her work, agreed. She thinks customers need to be trained first.
“It’s like waiting at Wawa for a sub,” said Billook.
Then again, some like freshman Mike Berry, had no problems ordering or waiting for their food. He had noted he ate lunch at Cranberry’s during a peak hour and only waited to pay, he said.
“It was fast for the amount of people [ordering],” he said.
Certain features, like online ordering and paying with Bronc Bucks directly at the kiosks, will be implemented soon, said Matt Smith, food service director for Aramark.
“The biggest issue is with security,” he said.
A “My Favorites” feature will soon be added to the kiosks to allow up to six meals to be saved using the Bronc ID card.
The four new kiosks, one in the Bronc Diner and three in Cranberry’s, were created by CBORD Group, Inc. and cost about $60,000 to program and install. Students wanted the costlier, sleeker design, said Friedman-Krupnick.
Adding a second kiosk in the diner would not improve service time, said Smith. The working space to prepare food is too small but has been doubled in size from last year.
The Bronc diner hired three new cooks to improve service time, but one quit on the first day because of drunken students, said Friedman-Krupnick. To combat that, a camera is going to be installed and public safety will be making more stops to the building.
“We’ve got to take a stand,” Friedman-Krupnick said. “People are out of control.”
It is also hard to staff the Bronc Diner late at night because many workers take public transportation to work, and mass transit stops running late at night, said Smith.
The volume of customers at Cranberry’s has increased between 35 to 40 percent, said Smith. To help with the rush, two new hires were added to staff the cooking stations.