Drake University campus entrance.

How Drake University Upgraded Their Off Campus Dining Program Through Grubhub

When Drake University launched its off-campus dining program in 2020 they realized mobile ordering would be a beneficial addition. They partnered with Grubhub for this, allowing Drake students to have a wider variety of off-campus dining options than ever before. 

Drake implemented its first off-campus program with card transaction system vendor, Transact Campus. “Students use their personally loaded stored value tender, Bulldog Bucks, to purchase food off campus at our six off-campus vendors, or in the Grubhub app,” says Sara Heijerman, Student Services Center Manager at Drake University. “Bulldog Bucks are the only funds available off campus – meal plan funds (Dining Dollars) are used only for on campus dining at our Sodexo food locations.”

“A notification from Transact alerted us that this was a new feature of the existing CampusCash program, and it seemed like a great addition to the program that was already in place,” recalls Heijerman. “The implementation went quickly and smoothly, and Grubhub has been a great partner since implementation.”

Drake students are not limited to using Bulldog Bucks for just food. The money can be utilized at the university bookstore and for printing on campus. However, Heijerman is most excited about the new variety in student dining options via the campus tender.

“Parents (and I) love that the off-campus program gives students a way to use some of their ID card funds for expanded food options,” says Heijerman. “And while our program is a small one, it seems to be well received and appreciated, and our office strives to grow the program each year.”

Using campus tenders with Grubhub 

Unlike Drake’s meal plan funds, Dining Dollars, Bulldog Bucks have much more versatility and can be used off campus. 

“Grubhub purchases can also be completed while on holiday breaks and at any participating locations, so it gives our students more opportunity to spend their Bulldog Bucks funds.”

Bulldog Bucks immediately made ordering food off-campus on Grubhub popular with students. Grubhub has consistently captured about half of our total off-campus program sales each month,” says Heijerman.

Grubhub also enables students to order a variety of off-campus dining options they otherwise would not have been able to try and enjoy. 

“I pull a report each month to see where Grubhub purchases are being delivered from, and it’s always interesting to see which restaurants are popular,” says Heijerman. “They are usually ones that the students cannot walk to or would not normally be in our neighborhood off campus program, which to me reinforces their value as a partner – they are providing food options that wouldn’t normally be a part of our card program.”

Even students who don’t wish to use Bulldog Bucks can still benefit from adding their campus card as a potential payment method, adds Heijerman. “Affiliating with a campus also gives students free access to Grubhub+, which is a nice perk,” she says.

Among other benefits, Grubhub+ Student offers $0 delivery fees on orders of $18 or more from Grubhub+ merchants.*

Drake eyeing more growth with Grubhub

Between Drake’s off-campus dining program growing rapidly as well as an influx of mobile ordering, Heijerman is excited for what’s ahead. 

“Currently, we are hoping to continue to grow program usage, both from the Grubhub and local business perspectives,” says Heijerman.

“Our off-campus program still feels relatively new, as we implemented during COVID shutdown, and the Grubhub partnership is now just over a year old,” she adds. “I’m hoping to grow usage year over year, and make sure this remains a valuable program for both our students and local merchant partners.”

Heijerman and her team work closely with Grubhub to ensure they accomplish their goals. “We have monthly check-ins to see how things are going, and to brainstorm promotions and advertising ideas,” says Heijerman. “They provide us with marketing materials and ‘swag’ to give out to students and make the whole partnership very easy.”

“I have had a great experience with Grubhub, and if you feel like any student population could benefit from the added service offering, it’s definitely worth consideration,” stresses Heijerman. “It is an easy partnership that gives students additional discounts and dining options with their campus card.”

Elevate off-campus dining with Grubhub

When it comes to managing the modern needs of university dining, you need more than just a technology provider. You need a partner.

That’s why Grubhub works alongside universities to identify the right solutions for their specific needs. From delivery to mobile ordering and everything in between, we streamline your operations and take your campus dining to the next level.

So, what’re you waiting for? Contact our team to learn more about bringing Grubhub to your campus today. 

This content was originally published on Campus ID News.

*Terms and additional fees apply. Learn more at https://lp.grubhub.com/legal/plus.