October 18, 2023

Eatery Remains App-etizing: Unbeatable Convenience

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The Cornell Eatery app, developed by Cornell AppDev, is just like your favorite foods in your pantry: reliable with a wide-array of choices. With their new software update, it occurred to me that the app is more than just a cool thing to have access to; it’s something that provides a needed convenience for many students like myself. 

The update, which launched on October 12, creates a “renewed user interface” alongside new tools for exploring and saving favorite foods on the app. The Sun reported that Eatery hosts 3,500 daily users and 11,000 monthly users. Eatery was developed as Cornell AppDev’s debut flagship app. The app is nothing short of a success, being originally introduced in 2014. Cornell AppDev is also home to some other locally-useful apps, including Ithaca Transit, CourseGrab, Uplift and Pear.

Coming to Cornell in 2021, Eatery was described in online threads as an essential app to navigate food on campus. Eatery is my everyday go-to for deciding where to eat; as a matter of fact, I originally thought Eatery was created by Cornell Dining. Upon learning that Eatery is student-made, I suddenly became more optimistic about the intersection of food and technology. Eatery’s recent new update renewed my optimism. 

The convenience, in my opinion, has helped me budget my time and resources. I don’t have an unlimited meal plan, so when I use my swipes, I want them to matter. I like being able to select favorite foods on the menu and having the app advertise the dining halls that are serving them. Yes, there are times where I don’t have the time to choose which dining hall tastes better. Even in those circumstances, Eatery still helps me find which dining hall is open. 

Other times, I use Eatery to help me budget my BRBs. Cornell has so many places to eat that I don’t remember off the top of my head which places take BRBs, which don’t, etc. When I go out with friends to eat on campus, I’m not surprised about the payment method. Considering that all food spots on campus have their own sets of operating hours, the app telling the user when a food spot will close, in addition to which spot is closest to a user, has saved me so much angst. 

I’m not the only one who feels this way, even within the past decade. When looking into this topic, I stumbled across an old article from the Sun dining section on how Eatery is “simply app-etizing.” Sun staffer Qijia Yu in April 2016 walked through the app from a user’s perspective, highlighting how convenient this app is in comparison to Cornell Dining Now, a web application. Cornell Dining Now is still running to date. However, one glance at the site and I am overwhelmed. Eatery is not only user-friendly but it’s visually and aesthetically pleasing. Sure, that’s not the point of the app, but it does add to the user experience and satisfaction. 

Thank you Cornell AppDev for creating a powerful tool that makes the lives of students easier. I know an app for finding food spots on campus doesn’t sound revolutionary, but it’s the little things that matter. It makes a difference: eating at a college campus is hard enough. Sometimes I don’t know what to eat, and other times if I’m too tired or nothing is open, my bad habit is skipping meals. Eatery has helped me avoid that and plan ahead. I look forward to seeing how Eatery continues to be app-etizing to students’ taste buds and busy life schedules. 

Daniela Rojas (she/her), dining editor, is a third-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].