Meals and groceries from phone to box to home

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Meals and groceries from phone to box to home

JoyRun utilizes app users to make food deliveries.

JoyRun utilizes app users to make food deliveries.

JoyRun utilizes app users to make food deliveries.

JoyRun utilizes app users to make food deliveries.

DANIEL ANDERSON | Evergreen columnist

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As a food lover, I cook or go out to eat. As a lazy person, I order in.

But living in a small town like Pullman presents challenges for ordering in food. There are individual restaurants that deliver, like Pizza Hut, Dominos and Jimmy John’s, but there aren’t many options for a wider scope restaurant delivery service like those found with UberEats or Postmates.

It seems the newly debuted food app Joyrun is here to fix that problem. The delivery service debuted at UC Davis in 2015 and has been steadily expanding to other college campuses across the country.

The app runs on the simple premise of a community-based delivery service. Students can request food or even groceries from any restaurant or store, and a fellow app user will decide to make the run or pickup for them.

Students can also join in on another person’s order similar to an Uber rideshare experience. The student picking up the order would then just make sure to order everything from each student’s request and delivery to the multiple people on that particular run.

“Joyrun is a great solution to the lack of delivery options here in Pullman. It is a collaborative effort for the hungry,” app user and computer science major Cristian Mendoza said.

The ordering and payment system is even more convenient than typical apps or delivery services, too. If I select a well-known restaurant like Taco Bell, once another student has decided to make a run, I can just order with Joyrun pulling up the Taco Bell menu for me.

If it is a lesser-known restaurant, like Azia, for example, I have to manually type the order and price of the dish. If the menu has changed or prices are different than what I thought, the runner can tweak the price of the order and fix the issue.

Tax will be applied per usual, but there is no minimum price required for delivery. The delivery fee is up to the student runner getting the order for you, but the fee caps off at $5. Leaving a tip is optional, too. Orders are paid from your card via the app using the same card security system a Lyft or Uber would.

This makes Joyrun more affordable than standard delivery apps or personal delivery from the restaurant. Most, if not all, restaurants either have a minimum price requirement for delivery, or they have a costly delivery fee.

Students can make money off the delivery fees. Depending on how many students join one particular run, the runner can easily make minimum wage or more within an hour or less. It also gives them a sense of autonomy and something to do. If they are in need of money or have some free time, they very easily can be a food runner for an hour or two and help out their fellow Cougs.

There is also a transparency with the app. Other food delivery services have faced communication issues between customer and restaurant. A food delivery service called Seamless was sued in 2014 for cheating their delivery people out of tips. But with Joyrun, communication is kept simple between runner and customer and won’t cause chaos or confusion for the restaurant.

By having a fellow app user make the delivery for you, restaurants don’t exhaust their own personal resources to deliver food. A customer also wouldn’t have to feel guilty about making their delivery person trek through bad weather or fight off their cold because the runner is doing it on their own time and making the choice to do so.

One minor downside of Joyrun is the potential waiting time for another student to actually want to pick up what you requested. This is slightly fixed with Joyrun’s notifications for whenever someone is making a run so you can simply just join in if you don’t mind the restaurant being predetermined.

My personal trick with requests is to send out multiple requests of different restaurants and wait for whichever one gets a response from a runner first. It will most likely be the restaurant that gets multiple students wanting in because that will be more money for the runner. I just delete all the unresponsive requests afterward.

I feel like that might be somewhat self-destructive for me as I will be tempted to join every run I get a notification on. My bank statement may just be a list of all the food I’ve ordered.