Aramark buys campus food delivery service Good Uncle

  • Foodservice company Aramark acquired Good Uncle, an app-based, on-demand food delivery service that brings restaurant-quality meals to pickup points on 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 pickup points allow Good Uncle to deliver to multiple customers at the same time. 
  • The announcement comes as delivery services target campuses, with foodservice companies and colleges responding by adding more options for students to access high-quality food on campus.

Delivery companies have long eyed the college market as a way to create young, loyal customers and to prime that demographic to expect fast on-demand delivery. Delivery also gives students access to more and higher-quality options. 

Last year Grubhub acquired Tapingo, which delivers to college students. Grubhub is integrating Tapingo’s college campus digital ordering system into its own app, said Gruhhub CEO Matthew Maloney during an earnings call last month. This fall, students at more than 200 college campuses will be able to use Grubhub with their meal plans, he said. The company also plans to provide delivery from campus-operated stores.

Aramark offers dining services at 400 campuses in the U.S. Adding a delivery service stands to strengthen its position and open an avenue for giving students more high-quality food choices. Good Uncle partners with local chefs and licenses menu items as part of its service. 

Some dining halls have begun offeringsimilar delivery services and mobile ordering options to compete with delivery. Northwestern University’s Dining Services provides mobile ordering and payment at on-campus dining locations, such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. 

Earlier this year, George Mason University rolled out 25 autonomous, food delivery robots on its campus through a partnership with Starship Technologies and the university’s food management firm, Sodexo North America. The service works with students’ meal plans and adds a delivery fee.

Ohio State University has offered students cooked bacon and pizza through vending machines. And Xavier University added its own “Pizza ATM” in 2016. More recently, PepsiCo brought self-driving robots to the University of the Pacific to deliver drinks and snacks across campus.

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