- Aramark acquired Good Uncle, an app-based on-demand food delivery service that offers restaurant quality meals to pick up points around college campuses, according to a press release.
- Good Uncle, which launched in 2016, uses centralized production and a fleet of specifically equipped vehicles to deliver meals to popular locations on and off campus. Designated pick up points allow Good Uncle to deliver to multiple customers at the same time.
- The delivery company will operate independently and maintain its brand identity.
Delivery companies have long been eyeing college-based delivery services, especially since they helps create young, loyal customers and prime a demographic to expect fast on-demand delivery. Given the often undesirable food choices at some dining halls, delivery also has been giving students access to more variety and higher quality options.
Last year Grubhub acquired Tapingo, which delivers to college students. Grubhub has been integrating Tapingo's college campus digital ordering system directly to Grubhub’s app, founder, CEO and Director Matthew Maloney said during a July earnings call. During fall, college students at over 200 campuses will be able to use Grubhub with their meal plan, he said. It also plans to provide delivery from campus-operated stores.
Aramark offers dining services at 400 campuses in the U.S., and likely saw the need for additional services as students seek food outside of on-campus dining. Adding this delivery service to these campuses will only strengthen its position and open up an avenue that allows for high quality food. Good Uncle partners with local chefs and licenses menu items as part of its service.
Some dining halls have even been offering similar delivery services and mobile ordering options to better compete with delivery. Northwestern Dining Services is using mobile ordering to allow guests to order and pay for meals at retail locations, such as Starbucks and Dunkin, at its college campuses.
George Mason University partnered with Starship Technologies last year to allow students to use their meal plans to get food delivered anyone on campus via robot. Ohio State University added a pizza ATM at one of its cafeterias that heats up premade cheese or pepperoni pizzas within three minutes.