Good Uncle and Tapingo, new apps designed to quickly deliver quality food, were introduced to campus last week. Since their launch, over 400 students and faculty members have downloaded Tapingo and Good Uncle has seen 20 percent of Lehigh students download the app.
Dylan Gans, the business developer for Good Uncle, said the company’s mission is to provide tasty and healthy food to college campuses. To deliver on that mission, Good Uncle’s Michelin star-rated chefs prepare food in the morning in the company’s kitchens in Delaware. Then, it is transported to Lehigh in Good Uncle vans, where orders are heated and customized.
Gans said Good Uncle is different than its competitors like Uber Eats and Grubhub because its food-production process is designed specifically for delivery. Refrigerators inside Good Uncle vans ensure the quality and freshness of the food, while ovens keep orders warm. There are also no delivery fees.
“Delivery is the future of food, and we believe that in five to 10 years 50 percent of restaurants are going to be delivery only,” Gans said. “We need to evolve with that.”
Gans said location shouldn’t be a limiting factor to getting great food and colleges are an ideal place for the company to start.
Students can order meals, snacks, drinks and groceries through the Good Uncle app and pick them up at one of the nine locations around campus, including E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library and residence halls.
Wiley Cerilli, the founder and CEO of Good Uncle, said he wants the company to build a restaurant of the future.
“We are a restaurant — we just figured out the way dining will operate in 10 years, which means without a storefront,” Cerilli said. “We make food, good food, and we deliver it.”
Good Uncle is also concerned with engaging the community it feeds. The company donates unused food at the end of each day to local food pantries and has hired 15 Lehigh students who serve as campus representatives and assisted with marketing and selecting pick-up locations before the application was launched.
“We’re always thinking, how can we provide value to the students?” Gans said.
Since Good Uncle’s launch on Sept. 1, Cerilli said there are almost 100 deliveries each day.
“The reception has been really incredible and everyone seems excited to have new food being brought to Lehigh,” Cerilli said.
Good Uncle also delivers meals to students at Syracuse University, the University of Maryland at College Park and Colgate University.
To meet the growing demand for quick, customizable food, Lehigh dining services also created food app Tapingo after a year-long initiative to increase access to dining options.
The app, which was created by a third-party vendor, allows students to use their meal plans to place orders for pick-up at most campus retail stores, including Bakers Junction, Pandini’s and Common Grounds.
“We understand that students are really busy, so this was our way to alleviate time to give back to the students instead of waiting on line,” said Evan Rehrig, a marketing manager for Lehigh Dining.
Rehrig said the average delivery wait time is seven to 10 minutes and all orders can be customized. There is a 50 cent convenience charge and menus are exactly the same as they would be in store.
“If you wanted to get a burger at Flame and you didn’t want ketchup, no problem,” Rehrig said.