UK Dining partners with Grubhub to provide more Flex opportunities


Brady Saylor

A Starship delivery robot travels across campus on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Brady Saylor | Staff

Savannah Garnett, Reporter

Last August, UK announced that the online food ordering and delivery service Grubhub would be teaming up with UK Dining to allow Flex and Plus accounts to be used on the app for restaurants and fast food on campus. They also include free Grubhub Plus on select off-campus restaurant delivery.

Once students, faculty and staff download the Grubhub app and enter a Lexington address while on campus, they’re prompted to verify their university status with a linkblue ID. After signing in, users have the ability to order ahead and pick up food using Flex or order from restaurants on campus using Flex to be delivered by Starship delivery robots with a small fee.

One student, Asha Reid, a nursing major from Lander, Wyoming uses Flex on the Grubhub app often. She explained what that process looked like for her.

“It was good; it was smooth. Super easy, I just punched it in and then it came fast. And that was about it,” she said. “(I use it) here and there, depends what I want, what I’m feeling, but if I don’t want to go out when it’s cold, I’ll use it.” 

Since the service was introduced in the fall 2022 semester, UK students have taken advantage of the new partnership and have ordered delivery and pickup using Flex dollars on the app, though some students are still unaware of the partnership.

“I had no idea that you could use flex on Grubhub,” Aliya Perrin, a UK student, said. “That’s game changing.” 

While students like Perrin did not know about the service, once they heard of the news, they said that they would be using it in the future.

Emily Cox, a biology major from Birmingham, Alabama, was also surprised to hear about the changes. She said that she will be using the new feature now at “Chick-fil-a or Starbucks.”

Devon Hurley, a marketing manager at UK, said that UK Dining and Grubhub teaming up has made campus-wide improvements.

Hurly said that the benefits go far above the ones that individual students are seeing, and the productivity of all dining at the University of Kentucky has gone up.

“Ordering pickup or Starship robot delivery reduces wait times for all students, especially during peak hours at high-traffic locations,” Hurley said. “The UK Dining partnership with Grubhub is beneficial for students in multiple ways: Providing more flexibility in how and when students can dine on campus, reducing wait times at UK Dining locations, and offering students complimentary access to Grubhub Plus, which provides free delivery from select off-campus orders in the Grubhub app.”