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New Grille Delivery Services Launches

By Mitch Perry

GrillMe, an online Grille delivery service, launched on Feb. 29 and is founded, owned, and operated by Andrew Jung ’16. In its first month of operation, GrilleMe has boosted total Grille sales and has satisfied student demand for a Grille delivery service.

“I just noticed a gap in the food services on campus and knew I could create a relatively easy way to fix it,” Jung said.

GrilleMe’s online interface allows customers to add Grille items to their basket, pay for their items using a secure third party credit card service, and then wait as their food is delivered to their desired location on campus. For Jung, reliability and convenience are the two main priorities of GrilleMe. “Grille delivery is not a new concept, but GrilleMe is better because it is consistently available every night and people are never wondering whether or not they will get their food,” he said.

“I supported it 100 percent from the start,” Executive Director of Food Service Operations Dan Detora said. “From a customer standpoint, it is a thousand times better because students know it’s something they can count on.” Detora believes having a Grille delivery service is important because it is something that students have expressed a desire to have on campus.

For Jung, it is the ease of business that makes GrilleMe so popular. “All they have to do is click a button and order their food,” he explains. According to Jung, GrilleMe has a consistent, repeat customer base, but also has new customers every night and at least 10 people make a GrilleMe account per day.

Paul Lagasse ’16 listed “convenience” as the main reason that he used GrilleMe.

“I live fairly far from the Grille, so when it’s cold outside there’s a pretty slim chance I would walk there to get food. GrilleMe eliminates this probem — I can still get delicious grille food but I don’t even have to step outside,” Lily Sawyer ’16 said.

It is not just students that are benefiting from this service, however; total Grille sales have increased as well. According to sales data provided by the Grille, total weekly Grille sales had been trending downward prior to the launch of GrilleMe delivery. Since the launch, Grille total weekly sales have been trending positive between five and 10 percent. On an average night, GrilleMe makes up about 20 percent of total Grille sales.

GrilleMe is an autonomous, student-run business, but Jung has worked closely with the Grille’s nighttime supervisor, Justin Edson, to ensure that GrilleMe and the Grille effectively collaborate in order to maximize the potential of GrilleMe’s delivery service.

“I took a lot of my personal time to ensure that Andrew would get all the tools he needed and all the resources that were available,” Edson said. While Edson acknowledges the significance of GrilleMe’s impact on Grille sales, he says he also supports Jung’s efforts because he believes in the importance of student-run businesses as an opportunity for students to learn how operating a business really works. Edson is especially willing to help students like Jung who he describes as having “a good head on his shoulders, ambition, and a good set of tools available to him.”

Jung cites the importance of Edson’s support as he figures out how to optimize GrilleMe’s performance. “Justin has been instrumental in pushing the idea of GrilleMe with management at the Grille, sitting down with me to brainstorm next steps, and also to maneuver around some of the obstacles that have come up,” he said.

One such obstacle is the mechanism with which GrilleMe pays for the food it delivers. Currently, Jung is required to be present at the Grille seven nights a week because he has to use his own charge card to make purchases rather than something like an index code.

“The question was would we create an index for an external company to charge at the College, and the answer is no. We do not do that for any external company,” Director of Businesses Tom Corbin said. For Corbin, part of the College’s role in supporting student-run businesses is to “impart a real world experience” to the students operating their businesses. As of now, Corbin says the College has no intention of providing a charge account for GrilleMe despite the impact it has had on increasing Grille sales.

Regardless of the time commitment and the operational headaches, Jung is glad he started GrilleMe. “I have put more time into this than some of my classes because it is so rewarding to see something that you started grow and for people to talk about it, learn about it and use it,” he said.

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