Partnering with Lulu’s and Poke House at Town and Country plaza, startup JoyRun introduced its service to Paly students on April 1st.
Although JoyRun primarily operates on college campuses throughout the country, Paly is the first high school that developers have targeted for the app. The app allows users to order food before arriving at a designated restaurant.
According to Adam Ibrahim, the Palo Alto city market manager of JoyRun, which was founded in 2015, it has been successful at Paly because it allows students to order food ahead of time and then pick it up without having to wait in line.
“JoyRun has been at Paly for just two weeks. And already hundreds of students are using it to beat the lines during lunch. Students love saving time or getting the food when they are stuck in a club activity.”
Sophomore Leon Romeo was among the first students to use JoyRun.
“The convenience of skipping the line has opened up more possibilities for where to eat at lunch. Usually the line for Lulu’s is really long,” Romeo said. “This always prevented me from eating there, but now with the JoyRun application, I can get my meal with plenty of time left in the lunch period.”
JoyRun is working to improve the way students purchase lunch at Paly by helping restaurants offer pickup options for students, according to Ibrahim.
To advertise and increase its reach to students, JoyRun offers occasional deals through the app, such as $5 tacos at Lulu’s, $5 Poke Bowls and $1 drinks from Boba Guys.
“I first learned about JoyRun when they informed me that if I downloaded the app, they would give me a free Gatorade. After I got the app, I found some of the deals they offered, and I’ve been using it to skip lines ever since.”
In addition to allowing students to pre-order meals by selecting what meal they want from the restaurant, JoyRun gives students the opportunity to pick up and deliver orders.
“I like that students are able to deliver to each other because it can make your life easier,” Chang said. “When you aren’t able to pick up lunch, it is nice to have the option of having someone else do it for you. It can also serve as a way to meet new people.”
Students must have a debit or credit card in order to use JoyRun increasing its efficiency, according to sophomore Dylan Chang.
“I would not support the addition of a way to pay with cash as the restaurants would most likely take more time to come out with the meals, defeating the purpose of saving time using the app.”
Students can also earn app credit which can turn into discounts on their next order. One issue with the app, according to Romeo, is that it does not require proof of identity to claim a meal.
“There should be a more secure way to confirm that you are indeed receiving your order because now all you have to do is state your name,” Romeo said.
According to Romeo, this is problematic because once a customer orders, other users can see it on their live feed who ordered and from where they ordered, making it easy for users to state a false name of someone they saw on the feed and claim that someone else’s meal.
The concept of skipping the line is something that JoyRun has used to elicit interest from many Paly students. However, Romeo hopes to see more restaurants develop partnerships with the company.
“The more restaurants that offer JoyRun, the better it is for Paly students because that increases the number of places where we can skip the line,” Romeo said.
According to Ibrahim, next school year JoyRun hopes to expand to more restaurants.
“We love to run exciting deals with our partners and build awareness with Snapchat and student organizations,” Ibrahim said. “We’re super excited to keep growing at Paly with exciting deals and new restaurants.”