Skip to main content

Capstone Projects Problem Solve for UW Dining. . .

. . .and Win Recognition 

During the recently completed school year, UW Dining teamed up with Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering students for two projects, Operationalizing Mobile (in advance of the upcoming Tapingo mobile ordering platform) and a Review of the Bay Laurel Catering Fleet.

Functioning under the umbrella of the senior capstone design projects, the students brought their skills and perspective to bear on actual ‘real world’ HFS programs. Both projects received 1st place recognition at the ISE Capstone Showcase and Poster Competition.

Engineering student capstone team, including Laura Feldmann, for mobile ordering project


In the case of the Tapingo mobile ordering system, UW Dining is introducing this option for customers this fall. Essentially, Tapingo users will be able to browse menus, place orders, pay for the meal and schedule the pickup. First locations will include HFS cafés selling Starbucks coffees, Pagliacci locations, the Husky Den and By George.

Markets and Cafés Administrator Jeremiah Trammell (co-liason with Administrator for Retail Dining John Murphy) said the student group reviewed and analyzed

• current customer counts, production time and maximum equipment “through put” (for example, how many drinks can one espresso machine produce in an hour or how  many sandwiches can be warmed per hour).
• the impact of implementing mobile order systems to operations.
• the impact of implementing mobile order systems to wait times and customer experience.

According to student team member Lauren Feldmann, “Our hope was to create an analysis that was both quantitative and qualitative in order for the roll out of mobile ordering to be as successful as possible.”
Another team suggestion was to have By George customers ordering sandwiches use a paper form to allow for easier customization and clearer communication.

Winning poster for mobile ordering


“We especially enjoyed this project because it was with UW,” added Lauren, who graduated this spring and is currently working for the Seattle Department of Transportation as an analyst in the finance department. “As students ourselves, we were passionate about the concept of reducing lines on campus and finding ways to make the UW dining experience better and more efficient. I personally am excited to see how Tapingo does on campus and plan to come back and use it myself!”

“They were a great group. I enjoyed working with them,” said Jeremiah, who added that the engineering team’s information will help UW Dining to appropriately staff each store to better launch the mobile order system. The team’s recommendations will also help to foresee and deal with potential bottlenecks as well as operate more efficiently and ultimately contributing to a positive customer experience.

Bay Laurel: Transportation Logistics and Fleet
A second Engineering project team analyzed Bay Laurel Catering’s transportation alternatives in conjunction with catering’s move to its new facility in Willow Hall later this summer. Basically, 95 percent of the caterer’s business takes place at locations away from the main production space and requires transportation, delivery and set up. While the new facility will be larger and more modern than the older one in Haggett Hall, the necessity of highly coordinated delivery, movement of staff and range of events remains. Bay Laurel Catering General Manager Dan Faires served as technical mentor.

Student capstone team for Bay Laurel Catering fleet logistics