August 30, 2018, BY Beth Kaszuba

Students choose food at a Bucknell dining hall.
Bucknell's new FoodU app provides students with information about hours of operation and menu items available at campus dining options, such as Bostwick Marketplace. Photo by Brett Simpson

Looking to grab a burger at the Bison, but don't know the hours? Not sure if the entrée you're eyeing at Bostwick Marketplace is vegan — or free of something that might trigger an allergic reaction? Or maybe you just want to track down some Flying Bison nacho tots late at night?

Bucknell's new FoodU app is the University's one-stop shop for information about all things edible on campus.

The app, which officially launched Aug. 1, allows users to create a profile that lists food preferences, such as vegetarian or gluten-friendly, and allergies to ingredients such as milk, strawberries, chocolate and tree nuts.

According to Brittany Lynch, marketing manager for Dining Services, the University can now code menu items, so users who have identified allergens see trigger foods highlighted in red and safe foods highlighted in green.

"It's another touch point if you're trying to avoid certain ingredients," Lynch said, adding that campus dining locations that are open appear as lit up on the screen, while those that are closed are grayed out.

"We can also do push notifications if something changes," she explained, pointing to menu specials or weather events, such as a snowstorm last winter that altered hours at the University's coffee shop, the 7th Street Café.

FoodU also allows users to provide immediate electronic feedback on their Bucknell dining experiences. Previously, diners filled out paper comment cards.

The app, developed by Parkhurst Dining, is available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play, and is accessible through the Bucknell app

"The FoodU app is a great way to provide students with a better experience overall," Lynch said. "Outside of New Student Orientation, dining is one of the first ways students begin to socialize. We take that seriously, and we want them to come here to meet and enjoy great food."