On-campus cuisine goes mobile

by Emily Waite / Beacon Correspondent • September 20, 2012

Campusdish verrill
The CampusDish application is available for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. It can also be viewed online at Emerson's CampusDish website.
The CampusDish application is available for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. It can also be viewed online at Emerson's CampusDish website.

After a long day of classes, the quest to find food on campus can seem unbearable to some students. Now, the process to select your course of cuisine is simple. There’s an app for that. 

CampusDish is a free app that offers up-to-date food services and menus to Emerson students through their iPhone, iPad, and Android.

According to an email from Christina Leal, director of food services at Emerson, the mobile app was recently made available to all campuses that partner with Aramark, Emerson’s food provider. 

CampusDish, according to the App Store description, allows students to view daily menus, search for specific dishes, and find nutritional information. The app is derived from the CampusDish website that offers complete menus online.

The mobile version supplies daily menus for the 150 Café and the dining hall, which are updated monthly, according to Leal. The website, in contrast, has weekly menus for those locations and the Emerson Café and the Paramount Café. 

Freshman Zoe Weston, a communication sciences and disorders major, said she has an autoimmune disease that significantly impacts her diet. She explained that she uses both versions of the program for different reasons. 

“I think both the app and the website can be helpful in different ways,” said Weston. “I would look at the [weekly menu] on the website but use the app when I’m on the go and just want to quickly glance at [the menu] that day.”

The menus on both versions also offer nutritional facts such as calories, protein, and sodium content. Weston said this app is ideal for monitoring their food intake, have dietary restrictions, or are simply curious about health content. 

“I think the app helps a lot because, with my food allergies, I can plan ahead and see what part of the meal I can have,” said Weston. “Once students see how helpful the app is, they will likely use it. Especially [students] with food restrictions like me.”

According to Leal, the app also includes a “search” function, allowing students to find a favorite meal without having to comb through each menu. It also allows users to search by ingredient or heath content, said Leal. 

“[Students] can input the information through the app and quickly view which menu items are being served and where they are available,” said Leal.

With these features, Leal says the ultimate goal of the app is to help people on Emerson’s campus make healthy choices.

Leal also said the app offers a feedback button that allows users to communicate with CampusDish representatives. Weston said she will be using the feedback to confer with Aramark about whether or not certain foods are within her dietary restrictions. 

Currently, Emerson promotes the app through ads on napkin holders in the dining hall.

“It doesn’t seem very heavily advertised,” said Weston. “I think it would be more useful if people knew about it,”