Wednesday evening, as the first week of classes awakened campus from its winter slumber, Kurt Niiler ’18 of Freedom, N.H., and his Bobcat Den Delivery staff already had their work cut out for them. As soon as their student-developed app was turned on, the orders “started popping,” says Niiler. “Eleven in the first 10 minutes!”

The new app, developed by last year’s staff, makes ordering ­— and fulfillment — a breeze. Customers enter their order and location, the information populates a spreadsheet that the team views on laptops at the Den, and Den staffers fill the orders.

Then, the Bobcat Den Delivery team groups the orders  in backpacks and delivers them across campus via bicycle.

The delivery staff, which on Wednesday comprised Niiler, Thorn Merrill ’19 of Morrisville, Vt., and Hadley Moreau ’19 of Falmouth, Maine, gains an intricate knowledge of Bates geography.

As Merrill explains, “It forces you to really know the Bates campus” — for example, “things like what rooms are mountain side and street side” at the 280 College Street residence “and where all the different Wood Street houses are.”

There is no typical Den Delivery customer. Some were studying, some were with a group of friends, and still others were alone in pajamas, watching Netflix. All of them were hungry.

“Each shift, you experience this mosaic of Bates campus life,” Niiler says. “I think it’s a pretty unique experience to have, and it’s cool to get to know some of these people you might not have crossed paths with otherwise.”

The service is available from 9 p.m. until midnight, Sunday through Thursday.

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