ODU encourages app to avoid long lines for food during COVID-19


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It was lunchtime on the campus of Old Dominion University Monday when 10 On Your Side talked with students walking on the Quad.

“The lines for everything are always really, really, really, really long,” London Hall said.

Some college campuses across the commonwealth are suffering with staffing shortages that have created long lines and kept some dining options closed.

“Some hourly positions on campus are experiencing staffing shortages. However, wait times are consistent with any fall semester opening,” ODU Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Business Services Todd Johnson told 10 On Your Side.

That said, Freshman Gray Lyden said, “The lines are usually pretty bad.”

That’s not ideal during the pandemic. So, ODU is encouraging students to use Grubhub and skip the lines.

ODU started offering the app four years ago as a convenience. It allows students to use their meal points instead of paying cash at a variety of places including Raising Cane’s, Starbucks, Provisions on Demand, Panera, and Qdoba.

Lyden said it definitely saves time.

“It’s like five minutes to walk up and order food versus like 20 in line,” Lyden said.

Grubhub told WAVY.com it is currently partnering with 250 universities across the country to offer pick-up and delivery options, which not only helps students save time and support local restaurants. It’s also offering solutions for universities as they bring students back to campus.

In a statement they said: “With our campus solution, campuses can limit the number of people in dining halls at once to allow for social distancing – something that’s key to keeping students and staff safe on campus during COVID. Should students have to quarantine, they are able to order meals via Grubhub and get them safely delivered to their door, contact-free.

At ODU, deliveries are on the students’ dime and not part of their meal plans.

However, Johnson said that students in isolation and quarantine are given a QR code that allows them to order off a special menu or reorder staple items that the university delivers three times a day.

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