There no longer has to be awkward silences while eating on-campus because diners can fill the airwaves with music and groove as they chew.
Jones and Harris have introduced Rockbot, an app that is like an interactive jukebox. It allows anyone with the app the ability to queue up songs they want to listen to.
Steven Granados, Chartwells director of marketing and guest experience, said the key factor behind implementing the app was because of the number of requests from students for music in dining halls.
“People have always been requesting it through our guest satisfaction surveys,” Granados said. “The satisfaction survey gauges things every semester, like what (students) want us to include, how pricing is, etc. One thing that is always in there is music.”
The app was connected first in Harris last November and then in Jones last December.
The app can be used in any location that recognizes the program – even at a barbershop.
“I get my haircut in this barber shop in New Braunfels and they actually use the app too,” Granados said. “There’s a beacon that sends out a notification to everyone that has the Rockbot app downloaded when you walk by it. There is one at a register in Jones.”
Chartwells will soon be placing tents on each table with information about the app and how to download it. Customers can also ask student workers like Victoria Reyna, criminal justice sophomore, about how to play their favorite tunes. Reyna has worked at Jones for almost two years and says that Rockbot has not only brought joy to the customers, but also to her work day.
“It is so entertaining to be able to check out people at the register while listening to music,” Reyna said. “Every other song is a good one so you can catch on. You see other people dancing and singing, it is fun.“
Though Reyna suggests the app to customers, she said she never quite knows what to expect from the music selection.
“There have been moments where it is like ‘okay, I feel this’, and there have been others that are just not,” Reyna said. “People have played elevator music and that is not good music to be playing in Jones with a bunch of college kids.”
Asinate Korosaya, political science freshman, said she has enjoyed the variety of music played during her dining experience.
“I have not had a least favorite song yet,” Korosaya said. “I like the difference within the queue. Every time you come in it is a different artist or genre.”
Korosaya heard about the app through a friend and has been queueing up her own selection of throwback songs ever since and highly suggests the app to anyone who regularly eats on campus.
“Having the ability to request your own song and having everyone listen to the song that you choose is exciting,” Korosaya said.
The app can be download from the app store for both Android and Apple phones. Chartwells is working on expanding the locations that use Rockbot to Au Bon Pain and Georges. Until then, students can have fun queuing up while digging in at Jones and Harris.