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The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

St. John’s University Implements Boost Mobile Ordering into Montgoris Dining Hall

Students view the change as an inconvenience rather than a help.
Torch Photo / Olivia Seaman

St. John’s Dining expanded Boost mobile ordering into Montgoris Dining Hall for the 2023-2024 school year, after only being available in the Marillac Cafeteria and Starbucks. The change aims to make ordering food more convenient for St. John’s students.  

In the 2022-2023 school year, students could use a kiosk in Montgoris to place orders for The Kitchen and Flame — the dining hall’s omelet and burger stations, respectively. Now, students must place mobile orders for these stations and Innovate, the hibachi station. 

Students must download the Boost app and create an account to order through the system. Once their account is confirmed, students can order from stations at the two on-campus dining areas. 

Boost ordering in Montgoris “gives students the added flexibility and convenience of ordering using a mobile application,” said executive director of conference and auxiliary services Scott Lemperle in a statement to The Torch. “Dining services is always exploring new, innovative and convenient ways to deliver services to our students.”

Montgoris’ displays instructions for students unsure of Boost procedures.
Torch Photo / Olivia Seaman

Many St. John’s students find that the process does the opposite. “The idea of Boost is great, but the execution of ordering is extremely inefficient,” senior JeanCarlo Maldonado said. “It takes so much longer to get the food and people’s orders always get mixed up.”

“Sometimes the order will just not go through,” sophomore Marie-Therese Nasah said. “It also doesn’t help that the app doesn’t indicate if they [the kitchen] are out of something.”

“Last week, I ordered hibachi at 12:47 and didn’t get my order until 1:19. My order was even wrong,” junior Jake Gera said. “It’s really difficult when you take time out of your lunch between work, classes and extracurriculars. Last year, ordering never took this long, even at a busy period.” 

St. John’s Dining never formally announced this move, and there is no information on social media about Boost ordering. On the first day of classes, students were introduced to the change with a sign that explained the system. 

For students finding the process inconvenient, Lemperle said, “Once they [students] are more familiar with the technology, they will find the new system more convenient and eliminate wait times.” 

Lemperle also assured students that Boost is “extremely reliable” and “has not had any major outages since being in place over the last several years.” He also told The Torch that any app limitations are “related to students’ devices.”

Students like Nasah also find a “disconnect” between Montgoris workers and students. “Other than small, insignificant interactions, it’s hard to form any type of relationship with them [Montgoris workers] other than a negative one.” 

Nasah also points out the visible challenges the workers face during this change. 

“I placed an order for eggs at 10:05. When I got to Monty’s ten minutes later, there were about ten people waiting for eggs,” Nasah said. When ordering food, the worker was still preparing order number 112 when Nasah was number 142. “When I got my eggs around 10:45, there were a lot of orders that were not picked up, and the order count was likely over 200.”

Montgoris’ Flame Station during a dinner period.
Torch Photo / Olivia Rainson

Nasah continues, “Besides being late for my class, I felt worse for the chef because she was making these orders for people who were not there.” 

“The people that work here [Montgoris] are not robots and deserve to be treated with respect. Boost disregards the humanity of the people who work for the school for the assumed ease of the students,” Nasah said. “Even then, it proves to be more inconvenient than helpful.”

Gera saw “nothing wrong” wrong with last year’s ordering system. “I don’t understand why it needs to be changed,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Seaman, Managing Editor
Olivia is a junior journalism student serving her second year as Managing Editor. Outside of The Torch, she is a student ambassador and an Undergraduate Writing Consultant at the University Writing Center. You can find her with a matcha latte in hand, listening to SZA and watching St. John's basketball. Olivia can be reached at [email protected]

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