Green Bean begins rollout of online ordering

Student Baristas look forward to more online orders made by both students and faculty in the Green Bean Cafe at Occidental College in Los Angeles on Sept. 26, 2018. Nancy Zhou/The Occidental

The Green Bean implemented a new online ordering system intended to improve and streamline the ordering process Sept. 4. According to barista Layal Bata (sophomore), customers can now order their drinks online in advance using the GET Mobile phone application, the same app that students use to check their meal plan balance. Using this app, members of the Occidental community can bypass the line and conveniently pick up drinks while in a rush.

This project has been in development since last year, after the idea was brought up by Cam Conner ’18, former sales analysis manager for the Green Bean, according to Jacob Farner (junior), the current sales and finance manager for the Green Bean. According to Farner, sorting out the technicalities of the ordering system and determining how to connect it to student meal plans required time and collaboration with the card office, forcing the Green Bean to delay the update until this fall.

Pai Rang (junior) and Erin Zhang (sophomore) ordered their first drink with the GET App in the Green Bean Cafe at Occidental College in Los Angeles on Sept. 26, 2018. Nancy Zhou/The Occidental

The online ordering system has been available to faculty for about a month, according to Farner. There has been limited advertising to the student body so far in order to ensure a slow roll-out to make sure the system works. Farner said the Green Bean staff is enthused to make this update available to the entire campus community, hoping it will improve every customer’s experience.

“I’m excited for the lines to be shorter. Hopefully, it will lessen the morning rush, but we haven’t implemented it long enough to know” Bata said.

According to Farner, this new update is aimed at faculty, many of whom avoid the Green Bean due to the long lines. This new update promises to make it easier for busy faculty to order their drinks. Often, students will wait in long lines just to order, only to have to wait even longer as the baristas do their best to make each drink as quickly as possible, according to Farner.

“The faculty are very aware of this app, as the feature is primarily going to be used by faculty. Students will use it, but not regularly as to maintain the social aspects of the Green Bean,” Farner said.

While the update is targeted at faculty, its potential still excites many students, including Ashley Aulestia (sophomore).

“I think that the new GET app will be convenient if I am heading towards the Green Bean and do not want to wait that long,” Aulestia said. “However, I am disappointed there aren’t as many options. There is tea, lemonade and coffee, but my favorite drink, Green Dynamite, is not available to order on the app.”

Erin Zhang (sophomore) and Aria Devlin (junior) are excited about the latte they ordered using the new online ordering system in the Green Bean Cafe at Occidental College in Los Angeles on Sept. 26, 2018. Nancy Zhou/The Occidental

According to Farner, the drink selection is slightly limited to prevent the over-ordering of complex drinks during rush hours. The menu on the app is also limited to drinks, not offering pastries such as cookies and muffins.

Despite some baristas’ fears that this update will make it more challenging to get the drinks made quickly, Bata said that she is optimistic about the app, believing online orders will not make it more difficult for the baristas to make the drinks quickly and will improve the customer’s experience.

“There’s a cap of 15 drinks through online order per 30 minutes, then no one else can order for the half hour, so it shouldn’t be that stressful,” Bata said. “When an order is placed a receipt will come out at the register. We take the receipt and write it on a cup and put it on the line of cups.”

Customers waiting to receive an online drink order will be given a time they can expect their drinks to be completed, and then they can walk up to the counter where their drink will be waiting for them. According to Bata, they can also set a later pickup time if they know they will be stopping by the Green Bean later in the day.