Nutrislice Survey: College Students Expect “Contactless” Foodservice On Campus Post COVID-19 Shutdown

Higher Education

Industry-First Survey Reveals Half of Students Will Not Eat At On-Campus Locations Unless Digital Ordering and Payment Options Are Available

Broomfield, CO – May 7, 2020NutrisliceⓇ, a leading provider of digital engagement and guest experience solutions for the non-commercial foodservice industry, today unveiled findings from an industry-first survey of more than 800 college and university students across America. The survey — which gauged expectations for on-campus foodservice once students are allowed to return to school — revealed that students will be hesitant to dine at an on-campus venue unless “contactless” options for ordering, pickup, delivery and payments are available to them. As colleges and universities anticipate re-opening their campuses, foodservice providers must prepare for a “new normal” and meet demand for meals that can be provided in a safe and healthy way, as well as deliver on increased expectations for digital solutions. Key highlights from Nutrislice’s survey include:

  • With fears of COVID-19 spreading, students may avoid dining on-campus if they can’t order and pay for their food digitally — either through a mobile app or online.
    • Almost 40 percent of the students surveyed said that they do not plan on purchasing and/or consuming food from an on-campus dining location because they are concerned about safety.
    • For those that do plan on obtaining food on-campus, an alarming 85 percent are concerned about how they will order and pay for their meals if contactless options are not available.
    • In fact, 30 percent said they plan to avoid any on-campus dining venue that doesn’t offer digital ordering and payment options through a mobile app or online. And almost 50 percent said that they would be more likely to get food from an on-campus dining venue that offers digital ordering and payment options.
  • Students will feel much safer ordering and paying for food from an on-campus dining location if they can do so without having to have physical contact with a server and/or cashier.
    • The majority of respondents — 85 percent — stated that they hope their on-campus dining locations and foodservice providers will take every precaution possible in order to ensure the health and safety of students, and do not want to have close contact with a server and/or cashier to order and pay for their food.
    • Nearly 70 percent said that having a mobile app or website where they can view the menu, place an order and pay for food without having to physically make contact with a server/cashier, would make them feel safer.
    • The students also stated that they would like to have other contactless options, including digital menu boards, smart takeout lockers and pop-up pickup locations around campus.

“In conversations with foodservice directors at colleges and universities across the country, it’s clear they know dramatic changes must be made to accommodate social distancing and new food-handling requirements,” said Michael Craig, Chief Evangelist, Nutrislice. “But I’m not sure any of us knew just how high the expectations would be from the actual student population. As an industry, we have a lot of work ahead of us to convince students that college cafeterias and cafes are safe. If we don’t, fewer students will dine on campus, which will have a dramatic impact on the bottom line when schools reopen. This study proves that contactless ordering, pickup, delivery and payment options will be a key requirement to not only prepare for this new normal, but succeed and thrive in it.”

The full survey results can be found here.

A snapshot of the survey’s results are below.

[Insert Image]

About Nutrislice:

Nutrislice, Inc. is an industry-leading software company that provides food service organizations a premier digital guest experience platform with engagement & operational tools that drive business. More than 23,000 locations worldwide use the company’s digital menus, ordering and signage solutions to delight their customers, streamline operations and power a premier digital experience. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Kristen Walker