As someone who doesn’t have their own car for when I want to go out to eat, I’m a huge fan of food delivery services such as UberEATS and Postmates: Both companies are known for couriering food from places that don’t traditionally deliver, and allow me to enjoy some of my restaurant favorites without fraternizing about how I’ll get to a location.
But as great as the services are, they aren’t offered everywhere—including my college town of Binghamton. When I first found out, I was honestly disappointed; I have an unhealthy obsession with Panera Bread, and the only way to get to the one near my school was either by driving there or walking along the freeway. And considering most of the people I knew didn’t have cars on campus, either, I came to the conclusion that I’d never make it to Panera until I went home for holiday breaks.
Then one of my friends told me about JoyRun, a new food delivery service that was starting on Binghamton’s campus. According to her, the service worked just like the other ones I used back home, as people would receive your delivery requests through an app, pick up your food and contact you when they’re outside with your order. The only difference was that JoyRun was exclusive to college students and people in their college towns—not to mention that all couriers were students themselves.
How It Works
Being a peer-to-peer platform, JoyRun mainly focuses on connecting people in the community through group deliveries. When you open the app, you’ll have the option to either request a run or join one on the feed, the former meaning you have to wait for a runner to accept your order request. As soon as the runner gets your food, they’ll then message you to choose a meeting spot so they can personally deliver it to you. And within a short window of time, you and whoever else was a part of the run will be chowing down on your favorite off-campus eats.
Then there’s the matter of payment. Similarly to other food delivery services, all transactions for JoyRun are done within the app. Users have to enter their credit or debit information—Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are all accepted—and once the card number is saved, all orders should be automatically charged to that card unless a new one is added. Plus, you can stock up your JoyRun account with JoyBucks, money you plan to use specifically for orders on the app.
As for payment requirements, the delivery service is relatively flexible. Unlike most traditional delivery places, JoyRun has no order minimum; customers could ask for a $1 coffee from McDonald’s, and have it delivered with no extra charge other than the runner’s delivery fee. In addition, the delivery fee has no default price, either. The student courier can charge between $0 and $5 for making a run, and while it’s a toss-up whether or not you’ll be paying the cheaper delivery fee, the app offers promotions that can save you from paying the fee altogether. And as always, tip is left to the customer’s discretion once they have gotten their order.
The delivery service is also beginning to make a name for itself, thanks to its easily accessible employment opportunity. As a runner, college students are able to make fast cash without going through any hiring or application process. They basically start runs whenever they’re available to perform deliveries, and the more runs they go out on, the more cash they earn toward achieving their monetary goal for something they want to buy.
More than that, JoyRun has an exclusive Runner’s Club for its most dedicated runners. The club members are presented with a variety of sweet benefits: monthly bonuses up to $150, access to special delivery menus and even free swag and giveaways. For what it’s worth, the runners who are approved to join can increase their earnings significantly and complete goals faster. They just need to do a minimum of five runs a week in order to maintain their membership status.
But no matter if you’re a Runner’s Club member or not, all runners get the opportunity to earn achievements and build their social cred. After every run, students can give their peers badges for their service—the On Time badge, the Champion badge, the Supa Nice badge, the Perfect Badge or a combination of the four. Not only do students receive points for every badge they earn, but they can be featured on the app if they’ve accumulated several badges, and as they continue to do more runs, they may even be featured on the JoyRun feeds of all participating campuses.
Since its establishment in 2015, JoyRun has managed to expand from the West Coast to the East Coast, with runners in Florida, South Carolina and obviously New York where I attend school. But even though the company has made outstanding progress in the last two years, it hopes to bring its services to other communities beyond college towns. Right now, the company’s looking to deliver to offices and neighborhoods around the world, and considering everything the app has to offer, it’s a safe bet that it’ll soon be available outside the college student population.
In the meantime, the student-run service can be accessed on all college campuses throughout the United States. All it takes is 25 students to unlock your campus. So go ahead and sign up; after all, who doesn’t like more delivery options and money-making opportunities?