This semester, student enthusiasm for a new food delivery app sparked the introduction of Joyrun — a new means of ordering takeout food — to Ithaca.
The app’s expansion was successful because many Cornell students applied to become Joyrun campus representatives, citing Cornell’s close-knit community, convenient campus and Collegetown layout and proximity to food.
“We wanted to choose [to expand to] a community of students who are entrepreneurial and care about their school and want to see it improve,” said Campus Growth Lead Arsia Sarlak ’15, University of California, Davis, where the app was created.
Rather than hiring drivers to deliver food, Joyrun partners users who plan to pick up food at a restaurant with others on the app who also want to order, Sarlak explained. Deliverers can charge service fees at their own discretion.
“Our whole ethos is that there are students going to those restaurants already, and we basically just tap into those people that are on their way,” Sarlak said. “You’re going back to the dorms or library or campus anyway, so just say that you’re going [to the restaurant] on our app. It’s a convenient and easy way to earn some money.”
Joyrun began last fall at U.C. Davis, and has since spread to locations from Duke to California Polytechnic State University. The app currently has over 500 registered users and is expected to continue to attract more, Sarlak said.
Caroline Tague ’19, who uses the app, said her experience with Joyrun has been “great,” adding that it is a convenient and easy way to make money while ordering food.
“I did a run to Starbucks for two people,” Tague said. “The only tiny mishap I had was that one of the orders wasn’t very specific, but I just had to call that customer and clarify and it was easily resolved.”
Tague said she believes that the app will be successful at Cornell because it has “some key differences from IthacaToGo and other similar companies.”
“The app is easy to use and free to download, which makes it accessible,” she said. “Another major perk is that there aren’t limited menu options — a user can request food from anywhere. Finally, every college student has ordered takeout at some point, and I don’t think this demand for food will decrease any time soon.”
Sarlak added that because Joyrun does not partner with restaurants, users can avoid the inconveniences that stores sometimes impose on delivery services.
“Traditional delivery services have minimums, menu restrictions and markups. We don’t have any of that,” he said. “Joyrun is a platform for people doing favors for each other.”