Urge the University to improve current Brandeis app
On Wednesday, Sodexo’s new app, “Bite,” was launched on the Brandeis campus, according to an email sent by Andy Allen, Brandeis dining service manager. The app has been designed to allow students and users to “view daily menus in the dining halls on campus at any given time” as well as “nutritional and allergen information for each dish, rate dishes, and provide valuable feedback to [Sodexo].”
With a rating of 2.1 stars out of 5 on the Apple App Store and 2.0 on the Google Play store, public opinion appears to reflect the sentiment of this board: The Bite app is abysmal. If the app succeeds in opening without crashing within seconds, the user is prompted to choose a dining location within their proximity. The app is seemingly designed for various Sodexo locations, not just Brandeis, so ideally the user would be prompted to select Brandeis University as their location and then a dining hall from a sublist. Instead, the user is presented a list of all the dining locations on campus as though they are independent entities. The consequence of this is that, if a user wanted to compare Usdan Dining Hall’s menu to that of Sherman Dining Hall, that user would have to repeat the process of searching for locations close to them — an activity that apparently puts too much strain on the app and often causes it to crash.
Once the user has successfully navigated to their dining hall of choice, they are able to see the day’s menu. Clicking on items on the menu provides the user with detailed nutritional information, with even the option to “Log to Fitbit.” Unfortunately, this feature fails to work, as the mere act of clicking on the dish to see its information freezes the app, forcing the user to quit it and start all over again.
While the Bite app is conceptually great and has many useful features, it fails to function satisfactorily — or at all, most of the time. This board encourages Sodexo and its technology partners to rapidly repair the app and enable students to avail of its features as soon as possible. For a product as aggressively advertised as Bite, it is embarrassing how poorly it performs.
Ideally, the once active “Brandeis” app should be revamped and relaunched with a link to Sodexo’s app in conjunction with “What’s Open.” This app would also act as a single sign in access to all of Brandeis’s technology services, including LATTE and Sage. Such a project could either be outsourced or could be made inhouse by Brandeis computer science students looking to get experience in the field of app development.
In an age of smartphones, such an app would be invaluable, and this board hopes to see a successful manifestation of Sodexo’s attempts to reach students in the near future.
—Editor’s note: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated: "Ideally, the one active “Brandeis” app should be revamped and relaunched with a link to Sodexo’s app in conjunction with 'What’s Open.'" It has since been corrected to: "Ideally, the once active “Brandeis” app should be revamped and relaunched with a link to Sodexo’s app in conjunction with 'What’s Open.'"