UW-Madison sophomore Ethan Claes will help bring a new meal option to campus as he readies for the upcoming launch of Envoy, a student-to-student food delivery system.
Scheduled to debut at UW-Madison around Oct. 26, Envoy is an app-based company which allows users to order food from popular local restaurants using their smartphones. The orders are then picked up by student delivery persons called “envoys,” who take them directly to the customers.
With a delivery zone stretching from Lakeshore to the Capitol, Envoy will cover virtually all university residence halls, as well as most areas saturated with students. The entire delivery process is expected to take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
After ordering, customers will be presented with a picture of their specific envoy and be able to track the delivery process in real time.
“You can see your burrito coming toward you on the map,” Claes said. “If you’re going to the library in 10 minutes, you can have it sent there.”
Claes plans to launch Envoy with 18 delivery people, each of whom will work eight hours throughout the week. Each week, envoys will be able to self-schedule their hours, a feature designed to make working as a student easy and flexible.
“I only employ students as delivery people and you have to have a .edu email to actually order food,” Claes said. “That’s something I take pride in ... I only give money to students and it’s a service for students.”
Currently, the company partners with a handful of State Street establishments, many of which do not otherwise offer delivery. These include Chipotle, Qdoba, Wendy’s, Noodles and Company and Pita Pit, among others.
As UW-Madison’s campus manager, Claes is a part of a small team of Envoy partners scattered throughout the nation. The app already launched at University of Southern California, home to the company’s co-founders Chad Massura and Anthony Zhang, last week and about a dozen more campus launches are scheduled in the coming months.
Claes, who joined the Envoy team in its early stages, encourages students to follow through on innovative ideas.
“I’ve learned so much in the last couple of months being in Madison about what is possible here and it’s only made me more excited and it’s made me really glad that I went through with all of this,” Claes said. “It’s not only been a learning experience, but it’s been a lot of fun and really fulfilling.”