Hungry? No time to buy food? This is a common scenario in campuses, especially at public universities, not only during exam seasons, but almost every day.
Recently, Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Student Affairs Division and the Student Representative Council introduced the first ever food delivery service called the “Putra Food Delivery” for UPM students, aimed at saving time for those who are busy with daily routines and helping those without transportation.
It also serves as a platform for UPM students who work as “food delivery riders” to inculcate the entrepreneurial culture among them, helping to generate side income.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs) Professor Dr Mohd Roslan Sulaiman said the programme would allow students to have easy access to buy their food and deliver at their door step.
“The main objective of the food delivery service is to make sure that students get their food, even though they are busy with their day-to-day routine, such as attending classes, sports and extra-curricular activities on campus.
“The idea to implement Putra Food Delivery came as a result of observations which found many students going out of campus to buy food,” said Roslan.
He added that the service involved a collaboration with several food outlets around UPM campus and Serdang.
Roslan said the selection of food outlets was based on students’ preferences, as they were the ones who frequented the places.
“We, however, will make sure that the selected food outlets meet our requirements, such as affordability and cleanliness.
“We will conduct a survey from time to time to ensure the food prepared by operators involved is of good quality.”
Through the Putra Food Delivery service, those who wish to place an order only need to state their choices via WhatsApp.
“The mobile numbers of food delivery riders will be available on posters placed at residential colleges and common areas on campus.
“However, in the near future, we will develop an app so that users can download it on their phone for easy access.”
Reservations to order for lunch are open from 9am to 11am, and the food will be delivered between 1pm and 2pm, while dinner reservations are from 5pm to 7pm for delivery between 8pm and 9pm.
The food prices are within the students’ affordability range, which is about RM5. Services are extended to weekends.
He said that each food delivery rider could send three orders at a time because the food delivery box attached to the motorcycle could only fit three packages.
He added that riders must have a motorcycle and a valid driving license.
The trial run for the service was done in November last year, and since then, 19 students had expressed interest in becoming food delivery riders, who were selected through interview by the Students Affairs Division.
“This not only gives them the chance to increase their pocket money but also help their friends to get food supplies,” said Roslan.
“We also hope to get more students to be our food delivery riders. Based on the feedback we received, a lot of students have showed interest.”
Student Representative Council deputy vice-president (welfare and infrastructure) Muhammad Firdaus Razali, 24, said he hoped the programme will benefit students and gain attention among students in the campus.
“We will promote this programme through social media sites. We are also planning to take part in activities organised by the university so that more students will be aware of us,” said Firdaus.
“We also encourage more students to participate in this programme as a food delivery rider.”
Second-year student Asyraf Norhanif, 24, said he became a food delivery rider to support his studies.
“In addition to helping fellow students who want food delivered to them, this can also increase my pocket money,” he said.
Asyraf said his part-time job did not interfere with his studies as he does deliveries only during his free time and when he had no classes.