Amazon And Grubhub Introduce Cashier-Less Checkout To College Campuses

For better or worse, there will now be fewer opportunities for college students to interact with other humans thanks to a partnership between Amazon and Grubhub Campus that is bringing Amazon's Just Walk Out payment technology to campus dining facilities and stores, announces a press release sent to Tasting Table. Students will be able to use their Grubhub+ Student accounts to pay virtually by scanning a QR code using the Grubhub app, selecting items, and leaving the establishment. They'll avoid the hassle of waiting in line and the tedious process of having a human cashier ring up their items. It's simply grab and go.

"Our installation with Amazon's Just Walk Out technology is another example of how we are strengthening our relationship with our campus partners with cost-saving technology and driving student adoption," says Eric Ferguson, chief operations officer at Grubhub. "The services and products we provide for our campus partners are designed to enhance and improve the dining experience."

Students at Loyola University Maryland will be the first to gain access to Just Walk Out-enabled dining facilities, giving them more time in their busy schedules. Other college students can visit the Grubhub Campus website to see if their school is a campus partner and sign up to participate if so. Additionally, Grubhub Campus is expanding robotic delivery across campuses, giving students expanded access to dining options that may be inconveniently located.

Expanding campus options nationwide

So how does the Just Walk Out payment technology work? As the press release explains, getting rung up is "made possible by artificial intelligence like computer vision and deep learning techniques, including generative AI, to accurately determine who took what in any retail environment. Amazon built synthetic datasets to mimic millions of realistic shopping scenarios—including variations in store format, lighting conditions, and even crowds of shoppers—to ensure accuracy in any environment."

Grubhub+ Student accounts are used at 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. Via these partnerships, dining facilities, restaurants, and stores, both on-campus and off, are accessible using the Grubhub+ Student account option. Payment options are tied to the account and can include meal plans, credit cards, and debit cards. Students who are members of Amazon Prime or the discounted Prime Student plan are eligible for a one-year free trial of Grubhub+ Student. Included in the membership is free delivery as well as exclusive deals and promotions.

Grubhub has also been able to track what students order, giving campus dining programs a window into what kids want to eat and the option to improve offerings. For the 2022-2023 school year, the company announced that students loved burritos, chicken quesadillas, cheeseburgers, and plenty of coffee, often served cold. Popular items in the morning were donuts and bacon, egg, and cheese bagels and boneless wings and pad Thai at night.