By Shaun Chornobroff
A MYRIAD of issues within the GrubHub food ordering system and Rider’s GET app from Feb. 24 – 27 left students hungry and frustrated.
While students were still able to get food, due to the technical difficulties, a number of GrubHub orders were canceled and students who ordered food were unable to do so in a traditional manner at all the school’s dining locations.
Senior secondary education major Alex Yakowenko, who said he had four orders canceled between Feb. 25 and 26th, decided to go off campus for two meals instead of using his meal plan because of the hassle it caused.
“I basically prepaid for these meals and then now I have no access to them,” said Yakowenko. “It’s annoying.”
Rider’s Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services Andrew Pignataro said via an email to The Rider News, “I was aware of the issues and worked with Rider OIT (Office of Information Technology) to report the issues,” additionally specifying the issues were outside of the university’s control.
Any transaction done on GrubHub or the GET app relies on an underlying application called CBORD to be processed. Rider’s Interim Chief Information Officer and current leader of OIT Oliver Wendt informed The Rider News that this is where the weekend’s challenges stemmed from.
“It has been discovered that the underlying application that GrubHub and GET relies on, called CBORD, is having errors with processing meal plan information which is affecting GrubHub’s ability to process an order transaction,” said Wendt in an email.
Students were first notified at 12:01 p.m. on Feb. 24 via email that GrubHub was experiencing difficulties. Less than two hours later, another alert was sent out that the app was functioning normally.
However, many students were forced to remain patient the following day. On Feb. 25, students were still unable to secure food through the app, according to multiple students and Rider News staff members who attempted to order meals through the app.
This problem lasted throughout the day, without notice from the university, and persisted until after 7:30 p.m, when Daly’s Dining Hall closes, leaving students who opted for a later meal with no option besides confusion or hunger.
Dylan Lux is a freshman at Rider who prefers to order food from Cranberry’s via GrubHub rather than eating at Daly’s Dining Hall and has no convenient method of transportation outside of walking. The absence of GrubHub put Lux in a difficult position.
“It did have a profound impact. On the weekends especially, Crans is where I get my food,” Lux, a secondary education major, said. “I’m always hitting up Crans, so I like to order ahead of time. Since the system was down, and I didn’t have any money, I couldn’t do anything.”
Lux eventually decided to dine at Daly’s, where he normally uses the GET pp, a mobile form of student identification, to enter. Upon arriving, he discovered the app was plagued with similar problems to GrubHub, and the worker at Daly’s took down his name and student ID before he entered.
The uncertainty surrounding GrubHub continued into the night, well after Daly’s closed. While unable to place orders, students had to go to the cashier for Cranberry’s and on a sheet of paper, write down their order and bring it to the individual restaurant.
No communication from the university was sent out until 5:12 p.m. on Feb. 26 regarding GrubHub being unavailable, although an email was sent out at 5:53 p.m that the app was functioning normally. However, The Rider News is aware of multiple students whose issues persisted into the following day. Junior finance major Zach Fernandez said he was unable to order from GrubHub until the afternoon of Feb. 27.
“Frankly it was really annoying,” said Fernandez. “I understand the timing of it was really bad, obviously GrubHub’s down, compounded with the fact that it is the weekend. … I was a little upset with the way the school responded, they waited until Sunday to say GrubHub’s down, when I know the students, we all knew almost immediately.”
According to Wendt, the university is already making steps toward a solution.
“OIT has facilitated a support call with CBORD and they’re actively reviewing their system for root cause analysis and resolution,” Wendt said. “We will continue to monitor and remain vigilant as well as facilitate the support needed to bring this matter to resolution.”