Words by Ashton Vogelhuber
Every college student is familiar with the chaos of finals week. It’s the last chance to bring a B up to an A, cramming everything from a semester into one test and studying nonstop. Everyone knows what it’s like to be holed up in the library for days on end with no time to take a break or get food. Enter JoyRun, an app designed to bring food, or anything else you need, right to you.
“JoyRun is a free delivery app for students by students directed toward students, faculty and staff to use on campus,” says Luke Kollar, a student leader for JoyRun and a sophomore majoring in communication studies.
The app keeps things simple with easy-to-use software and user-friendly directions. All that’s required is a Facebook account and a debit or credit card.
After setting up an account, a buyer orders food or whatever they need and a runner will call it in, order it online or stand in line to pick it up. Then the runner delivers it to the buyer.
Runners set a delivery fee buyers can accept or decline, depending on the price. An average delivery fee is $3, like a pizza delivery charge. The app has JoyRun QuickPay, which protects runners by reimbursing their accounts.
“Your delivery fee, if you get tipped and the cost of food will be reimbursed to your account as soon as the next day,” Kollar says.
You don’t have to work for JoyRun to become a runner. Instead of placing an order, you select “I’ll run” and become a runner for that order.
JoyRun is most commonly used for food, but buyers can get household items as well.
“If you don’t have a car, you can literally order groceries,” Kollar says. “That’s the coolest thing about it, honestly, because people that can’t drive have access to that.”
The app turns any restaurant into a delivery.
“I use it all the time because, obviously, Chipotle doesn’t deliver, and I’m always picking up deliveries from Chipotle or Penn Station or Taco Tontos,” he says.
Sophia DelCiappo, a sophomore majoring in visual communication and design, likes the idea of JoyRun.
“If you’re busy, there’s somebody there who will bring you food,” she says. “I like how convenient it is.”
JoyRun was founded in 2014 in the Silicon Valley. It launched at the University of California, Davis and spread from there. Now, the app is on 55 different campuses. It came to Kent State at the end of the fall 2016 semester and is already showing extreme growth.
Kollar is a restaurant liaison for Kent’s campus and focuses on building partnerships with local businesses.
“We go out, talk to them, explain to them what JoyRun is, how we can bring them more business and benefit them by getting them to the freshman demographic, the people that live in dorms or are from out of state that don’t have cars,” Kollar says.
When it gets a new company to sign on, JoyRun prints out fliers with a $5 off coupon code on one side and the restaurant’s name on the other side and places them all over campus.
JoyRun has daily deals for restaurants it’s partnered with. It could be 20 percent off bubble tea or 50 percent off sushi.
Kollar and his team of approximately a dozen students table at various spots around campus offering discounts to students if they download the app. The code JoyRun5 will take $5 off for first time users.
“Normally we do the library from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” Kollar says. “We’ll be at Bowman Hall at noon and Cartwright Hall sometimes early in the morning for the big lectures.”
Kollar’s goal is to keep the app growing on campus.
“Eventually we’ll be more than just campus, we’ll be campus and community,” he says.
Ashton Vogelhuber is the technology reporter for The Burr.