Restaurant apps turn into a lifesaver during the pandemic

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Photo By Jasper Bernstein

A WCHS student uses the Dunkin’ Donuts app to order food pickup. The Dunkin’ Donuts app allows students to order food safely during the pandemic.

By Jasper Bernstein, Observations Editor

In a world of increasing economic uncertainty, WCHS students look for savings and deals at every turn. However, some students may not realize that one of the best ways to save money is in their pocket: apps for specific restaurants.

As the cell phone rose to prominence, students were provided with thousands of new apps to choose from. Lost in the chatter of important apps to download were those created by restaurants. But in recent years, these apps have gained more traction – especially in the WCHS community.

“These apps give me a great opportunity to save money in places I go to a lot,” junior Seth Goldfine said.

Most major restaurant brands have recently created apps. For example, a popular center for students is Cabin John Village, located less than a mile away from WCHS. 13 restaurants in the Village have an app available, as compared to the five restaurants who do not. 

These restaurant apps come in all shapes and sizes, with some offering more services than others. 

“My personal favorite app is the McDonald’s app, [as] it lets me order food for curbside, indoor pickup, gives me a full menu and a rewards program. Not to mention the deals,” junior Jake Schuman said. 

The services offered by the McDonald’s app are plentiful, showing the vast capabilities that an app can bring to the dining experience. 

At the heart of the McDonald’s app is the free large fries deal. Officially labeled free large fries with any purchase, this deal provides unexpected value for WCHS students. The promotion allows customers to, as the name suggests, get a free large fries with any purchase. This purchase can be very small, giving students a great deal.

“I love getting the large fries deal,” Schuman said. “I always get a drink for $1 and the fries which is a ton of food for only a dollar.”

Another commonly used restaurant app is the Dunkin’ Donuts app. Similar to McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts has a convenient location in Cabin John Village, allowing students to take full advantage of the deals offered. One of the major upsides to the app is that it has adjusted well to the current state of the world.

“I really like the Dunkin’ app because it lets me order from my phone during a pandemic,” Goldfine said.

The Dunkin’ Donuts has been transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a new curbside table added outside the Cabin John Village location. Employees use this table to place mobile orders, allowing students and customers a contact-free, convenient way to use the app. 

Even though these apps have provided many useful features, the rise of restaurant apps may not be all positive. These apps save money for consumers, but can also reduce the amount of human contact needed in the food-purchase process. For many WCHS students, this is an important and fun part of their life that restaurant apps have the potential to render obsolete.

As restaurants become more technologically friendly, WCHS students have to make choices about exactly what they want their favorite restaurants to look like and use their money to decide. But one thing is for sure – these restaurant apps are here for the long haul.