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GoBringIt sees large increase in orders, wait times due to COVID-19

<p>A quiet Brodhead Center. Duke is making changes to dining this semester to stop the spread of the coronavirus.</p>

A quiet Brodhead Center. Duke is making changes to dining this semester to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Confusion and frustration filled the minds of hungry students this past academic year as they waited long hours for their GoBringIt food orders.  

GoBringIt, a service offered by Duke’s student-run company Campus Enterprises, delivers food to on-campus students from restaurants in Durham via paid student drivers and takes payment in the form of University food points. To buy food, students download the GoBringIt app and place mobile orders.

This year, after a rise in mobile ordering due to restricted dining hours and some dining locations being closed, GoBringIt encountered frequent delays in preparation and delivery, forcing students to wait hours for their meals. 

Some students took to the unofficial Class of 2024 GroupMe chat to voice their complaints. 

“I ordered pizza from GoBringIt an hour and a half ago, should I be concerned?” wrote one student a little after 8 p.m. on April 22.

Immediately, students responded to her query.

“Pizza is always like that, [Devil’s Pizzeria] takes like four hours.”

“One time they called me at 1 a.m. when I ordered at 9.”

“One time I ordered a singular cannoli at six and I got it at midnight.”

Senior Brooke Kenerson, chief executive officer of Campus Enterprises, wrote in an email that GoBringIt faced “unprecedented demand” this past year, with a 71% increase in order volume since April 2020. Kenerson cited COVID-19’s restrictive effects on students’ meal options as one of the main sources of this growth.

Kenerson wrote that the rise in order volume placed significant stresses on GoBringIt, Campus Enterprises staff and Duke Merchants on Points. They have been working closely this past year to “fill all orders and address customer concerns,” Kenerson wrote.

Although every order was filled, not every order was able to be filled in a timely manner. 

Sophomore Amanda He ordered from GoBringIt about once a month, most of the time from Sushi Love and occasionally from Enzo’s Pizza Company. She said that Sushi Love gave an expected wait time of 45 minutes, but her food always took over an hour to arrive. She also said that they sometimes gave her the wrong order.

“The first time I ordered GoBringIt, it took over two hours, to the point where I was like ‘Whatever, I'm just going to Sazón and getting food,’” He said. “I didn't get my food until 9:30 p.m., and at that point I had already finished my Sazón. Definitely a very frustrating experience to say the least.”

He said that although the wait times make GoBringIt less appealing, the “lack of diversity of food choices on campus” necessitates trying the food they offer. On days she doesn’t want the blossom roll at Gyotaku, she orders fancier rolls from Sushi Love but then always regrets her decision because it takes too long.

Despite student criticism of delivery issues and the large task of filling every order, Kenerson emphasized the hard work of the staff and is optimistic for the future of the company’s services. 

“We would like to apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused to our customers and are excited to improve for next year,” Kenerson wrote. “We are hard at work growing our staff, updating technology and improving our onboarding process to address these issues.”

Kenerson wrote that moving forward, she anticipates a service which runs much more smoothly due to these changes. She wrote that the current GoBringIt software was created four years ago by capable Duke students, but a lot has changed since then, especially due to a greater volume of restaurants. She wrote that their team believes it’s time for an upgrade. 

“Until now, tech teams have merely been amending the original GoBringIt software, but this summer our new tech team is rebuilding the application from the ground up to reflect the current needs of our customers and our restaurant partners,” Kenerson wrote. “By doing this, we hope to give everyone who enjoys GoBringIt a more seamless experience!”

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