This past weekend, FoodStop, a student-run startup, launched a Whey Station delivery service, delivering food from the Whey Station food truck to locations throughout campus. Now, for an additional two dollar delivery fee, anyone can place an order at Whey Station. The menu is accessible online via their Facebook page and students can have their orders delivered to any location on campus. The team hopes to continue this delivery service throughout the semester and expand their services into the next school year.
The FoodStop team consists of Zhi Ming Gan ’18, Christopher Wyckoff ’18, Misha Iakovenko ’18, Joey Chen ’18, Kush Sharma ’18, Timothy Kim ’18, and Sangwon Kim ’18. The team assembled after Gan noticed that many students on campus were skipping meals.
“Something I’ve noticed on campus is that a lot of students skipped meals, and I felt as though [this was] unfair, [just] because they just wanted to be productive or active, they shouldn’t have to suffer health-wise,” Gan said. “And, something that we don’t have on campus is really the great accessibility to on-campus food when you really need it to your convenience.”
To order, a student on campus has to access the service’s Peatix website. Peatix, a ticketing app that is launching a campus program at the University, is being used by the FoodStop team as an intermediary through which students may pay.
“We needed a platform that works well and can handle the financial aspects to the order, with ease, and Peatix gives us that platform, so we decided to go with that,” Gan said. “It’s also really organized, which helps us in our operations.”
There are three essential jobs that ensure that the delivery service runs successfully each night.
“The main roles that we have are the person who’s receiving the orders, who is then transmitting them to Whey and the deliverers,” Wyckoff said. “Out of the deliverers, you have a driver and then a runner who is bringing the food, picking it up at Whey Station and then running it out to the car to be delivered to a customer wherever they may be on campus.”
FoodStop’s decision to choose Whey Station resulted from the team considering what University students ate on weekend nights, as well as the knowledge that Whey tends to always be in high demand.
“[Whey Station sandwiches are] a very traditional Wesleyan product that we enjoy on weekends and weekend nights, after people enjoy themselves, but [people are] not always in the right condition to walk all the way down to High Street to pick it up,” Wyckoff said. “So we still provide the opportunity to enjoy this amazing, great food from the comfort of their homes.”
After launching this weekend, the team experienced a very positive response.
“The response was incredible, and everyone who got their sandwich was really happy and pleased,” Gan said. “One of our runners got a two dollar tip, so that was really exciting. I think what made it even better was that we can deliver food very efficiently, so people get their food pretty quickly relative to having to walk to Whey, wait there, and walk back before eating their sandwich. Almost everyone who got their food had it still hot, which was our goal.”
According to Wyckoff, since this service was just launched, the team is hoping that as the semester progresses it will gain more traction and popularity on campus. The FoodStop team is looking to expand its delivery service to other food services on campus.
“Ultimately [our goal is] to have a delivery network here on campus for Summies, WesWings, and Usdan, so that students can have food delivered to them from these dining services during lunch and dinner times,” Gan said.
FoodStop’s future ambitions include an end goal of being able to deliver food from restaurants in Middletown to students on campus.
“We saw there was demand, so now we’re going to expand to other places including other food trucks, and Summies and Swings, and after that we’re going to expand to Middletown and to other restaurants on Main Street,” Iakovenko said. “FoodStop isn’t limited to Whey Station. It’s going to be a full delivery system that hopefully extends to Middletown.”
As of this moment, the FoodStop team has already gotten approval from the University administration to work on a delivery service.
“We’re currently working with [the] Wesleyan administration to develop this network, and we’ve been given the go-ahead for a trial/pilot program that will start next semester,” Gan said.
One of the main goals of FoodStop was also to create on-campus paying jobs for students as their future delivery plans include a community delivery system.
“Our main goal is to create a self-sustainable delivery system that will potentially generate high-paying student jobs,” Iakovenko said. “Now, we’re going to expand to other food trucks, Summies, Swings, and Usdan. Eventually, we are planning to include restaurants and other places in Middletown to bring all the deliciousness of the community to the students’ doorstep.”
Demand for a delivery service and reactions to one will be gauged throughout the rest of the semester, and based on the feedback the team may move forward with other delivery projects.
“This is a stepping stone to a larger plan,” Wyckoff said. “[This service] is just a way to gain traction and recognition from the Wesleyan community. We’re hoping to build some credit with the students at Wesleyan so we can move on to larger projects.”