The Bison

Every Bucknell faculty and student probably knows that it’s not a good idea to go to lunch at around 12:00 PM at the Bison because there are always huge lines of people buying food. This disaster is mostly caused by the ad hoc paper-based food ordering system.

To order a meal, one needs to first fill out a sheet of paper about the food choice, and then place it on top of several hundred other sheets of paper in the small baskets at the windows. The chefs then take the sheets and process them one by one. During this time students usually have to wait in the Bison for their food to be ready. Once the meals are ready, chefs need to call out students’ names, and people often miss their names if they are not waiting in the Bison at that exact time. After people get their meals, they still need to wait in another line to pay for the food at the cashiers. As described above, the whole process is extremely complicated and inconvenient. During peak times it can even take up to 40 minutes just to get a burrito.

In fact, the whole ordering process can be greatly simplified if an electronic food ordering system is used. Instead of filling out the food ordering sheet and waiting in the line, perhaps students can order and pay for the meals on their smartphones ahead of time, and when meals are ready, they will receive notifications on their smartphones. All students need to do finally is to go to the windows and take their meals. But unfortunately no effort has been made to implement this system yet.

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