Grubhub Partnership Brings Reusable Containers to On-Campus Takeout
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- Food ordering and delivery service Grubhub is launching a partnership with Topanga.io, a reusable packaging management platform.
- The ReusePass program will allow students on participating campuses to opt into reusable containers when ordering on-campus food on the Grubhub app.
- Topanga.io's "track-and-trace" technology uses QR codes to trace the containers to ensure they are returned to be sanitized and used again.
More sustainable food takeout services on campus may become a possibility thanks to Grubhub's new partnership with Topanga.io, a reusable packaging management platform.
Students, faculty, and staff who want to order food on-campus via Grubhub can opt for reusable packaging during checkout.
Meals that are packaged in reusable containers will have the ability to be tracked by dining locations using QR codes, allowing food establishments to keep track of what containers they have available and which ones still need to be returned.
"Grubhub's campus partners have been vocal that sustainable solutions are a top priority, and we're looking forward to working with Topanga.io to support universities' sustainability efforts," said Adam Herbert, senior director of campus partnerships at Grubhub, in a release.
"The campus dining world presents a large and scalable opportunity for sustainable solutions like this one, and we're excited to expand our suite of campus dining offerings to our partners."
Grubhub has partnerships with over 270 college campuses across the country, incorporating campus meal plans into the company's food ordering and delivery marketplace. Currently, the ReusePass program is available at The Ohio State University and Colorado State University (CSU).
CSU joined the ReusePass program at the beginning of the spring semester and currently has three campus dining locations offering reusable packaging for students, with two more locations hopefully being added by February, according to Patrick St. Clair, assistant director of support services at CSU.
Around 10% of students chose reusable containers over disposable ones on the first weekend of the program. St. Clair says that the campus seems excited to be part of the new program, and he expects the rate to increase as the program becomes more well-known.
"In this specific facility that we chose, we get around about 2,000 transactions a day. And we were hoping that within the first month, 15% of those transactions would opt into this container program," he told BestColleges. "We already got about 10% within the first week of our transactions, so we're pretty excited about that. I think within the first month, we'll easily be at 15%."
St. Clair estimates CSU has spent around $12,000 so far on upfront costs, including purchasing the containers that will carry Topanga.io's QR codes and the "dump stations" where students will take the containers after they are finished.
Additionally, there are also monthly expenses and loop fees every time a container is scanned back into the system after a return.
St. Clair says the partnership has been "really great" and recommends the ReusePass program to other campuses, especially if they already work with Grubhub on campus.
"I definitely would suggest it to other campuses, especially if they're already a Grubhub campus. The reason we really got behind Topanga.io is [that] they're doing it through the Grubhub application so students don't have to have numerous applications. I think that's been the win, and if a campus is looking for that, then I'd say this is a good partnership."