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HofUSA texting program leaves sore thumbs

By Shannon Nia AlomarSTAFF WRITER Hofstra’s eatery “Hofstra USA,” located on the north side of campus, tried to keep up with students’ demands but was quickly shut down when the popular restaurant attempted to add texting to its way of alerting people that their food was ready. Hofstra USA is one of the only late-night eats on campus and has a “Dave and Buster-style entertainment venue…[and] continually changing menu derived from student suggestions and late-night hours,” according to dining services. Since Hofstra USA is a hot spot on campus, Lackmann Services wanted to try to add something new to the way people were contacted when their orders were ready for pick-up. Normally, patrons are given a numbered buzzer, similar to the ones handed out at restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory. Although this system was not flawed, the attempt to try texting as a way of communicating with customers was something that Lackmann was willing to be put to the test. A Lackmann worker who preferred to be unidentified mentioned how much students disdain for the program encouraged them to retract the system altogether. “We received a lot of complaint emails from students expressing their dislike for the texting. We were just trying to try something new, but the overwhelming response from students convinced us that returning to the traditional system would be the best thing to do,” the Lackmann worker said. Arianna Queenan, junior broadcast journalism major, said initially the program seemed innovative but after utilizing the service a few times, her opinion was altered. “One thing I liked about it was I felt as though it gave me the [option] to leave Hof without worrying whether or not my buzzer would actually work outside, but the buzzer reassured me that there was an order to how people were being served,” Queenan said. Queenan also mentioned how she expected the technology to be more advanced in terms of storing student’s information in connection to their Hofstra ID cards. “Having to write your name and number every time you made an order became tiresome. Also the thought of my number being randomly written on a piece of receipt paper bother me a bit. They definitely tried, but overall the process of texting each individual person seemed to actually make the process longer in my eyes,” Queenan said. Although many students shared the same viewpoint as Queenan, some students had a more supportive outlook on the change. Sarah Harris, junior psychology major, also believed Lackmann was on to the beginning of a great initiative. “From what I’ve observed it was effective and quick. Although it was initiated in September, and there was a month to gather opinions, I believe it would be more efficient to wait a bit longer [for more data],” Harris said. In addition to the debate of whether it was efficient or defective, there were several students who did not know there was trial for any new communicative style at Hofstra USA. Senior business major, Jackson O’Connor, said that the change did not affect him either way because he was not aware of the short-lived texting trial at the eatery. “I was actually completely unaware of the new technology but I don’t think it is an improvement from the buzzers that they used last year, “O’Connor said.

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