Commons to Partner with EasyEats to Bring Back Den Delivery

Bobcat+Den+worker+Roman+Hudgins+%E2%80%9921+hands+over+a+Den+Delivery+food+order+to+Olivia+Kranefuss+%E2%80%9922+in+2019.+Den+Delivery+is+one+of+the+most+established+student-run+businesses+on+campus.++

Phyllis Graber Jensen

Bobcat Den worker Roman Hudgins ’21 hands over a Den Delivery food order to Olivia Kranefuss ’22 in 2019. Den Delivery is one of the most established student-run businesses on campus.

Madeline Polkinghorn, Managing Editor

COVID-19 has radically changed what used to be one of the most universal social experiences at Bates: dining. While it has recently been announced that students will be able to make reservations to dine in at Commons, one former campus landmark – the Bobcat Den – has not been available to students in almost a year. 

However, as life on campus continues to change and we navigate the pandemic, Bates dining has devised a new way of connecting students back to the Den tradition.

 Beginning this Thursday, students will be able to receive Den delivery through Easy Eats, an LLC partnership between Bates and Colby that provides safe and contact free delivery from restaurants around the Lewiston/Auburn area to individuals living on campus. 

In this case, rather than simply providing delivery from local eating establishments off-campus, Bates College dining will officially partner with the organization to bring Den delivery directly to students. Prior to the pandemic, students used to be able to order Bobcat Den Delivery through a mobile app. 

Students who have experienced contact tracing or been in isolation have previously had their food delivered through Easy Eats and Bates Dining Services, but the new partnership will afford this opportunity to all students.

Cheryl Lacey, Director of Dining Services at Bates, remarked that this partnership was born out of a desire to maximize both convenience and safety for students. 

“Due to COVID restrictions,” started Lacey, “we are unable to offer eat-in service at the Den. We then considered what the late night pick-up experience would be like during these winter months and decided that a delivery service would benefit us. Not only does it make the experience of getting food more pleasant than trudging across campus in the cold, it also reduces the number of students gathering together to pick up food. Easy Eats has already been assisting us with delivery of quarantine and isolation meals this year and it made sense to expand the relationship.”

The options for food will be a warm reminder of previous days of Den dining. “A limited menu, which includes all the favorites, will be available. As we move forward, we will be reviewing these offerings and making changes as necessary.”

Den Delivery was started by Matt Perejda ’14 in 2013. The student-run delivery service has been passed down to a new owner each year, maintaining the beloved business for nearly a decade. In fall of 2019, 20 students rotated delivery shifts.   

Den delivery via Easy Eats will be available starting Feb. 25, Thursday through Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.