Wildcat Express extends hours, menu options for delivery

Olivia Wainhouse

Students craving Burger King, Jamba Juice and Panera simultaneously can once again use the student-run company, Wildcat Express Delivery.

Wildcat Express Delivery, the only student-run company at Northwestern that delivers food from restaurants in Evanston to students, has returned for its second year.

The company, which began delivery off campus this year, added Merle’s and Jamba Juice to its selection, with more options on the way.

“We have a couple more on the back burner that might be coming,” said Co-Founder Joseph Lischwe, a Weinberg senior. “This year we tried to implement new restaurants, new pricing, new hours, so hopefully students are more receptive to that.”

The company was formed last winter by three students, Lischwe, Weineberg senior Qiyun Cai and Communication senior Louise Huterstein.The co-founders created the company in order to meet students’ food delivery needs.

Wildcat Express is a part of Northwestern Student Holdings, an entrepreneurial group run by students and a board of directors. The company delivers food to individual customers from a variety of restaurants including Burger King, Chipotle, Cosi, Jamba Juice, Merle’s BBQ, Panera and Zoba Noodle Bar.

Nicole Fredericks, a Medill sophomore, said she found Wildcat Express especially useful during freshman year when she lived in Bobb Hall, a far walk from Evanston.

“I know I used it a lot last year because whenever it was rainy, cold or nasty out, I would be like ‘I don’t feel like leaving the room,’ so I just ordered delivery,” she said.

Fredericks also found Wildcat Express convenient because she and her friends could simultaneously order from different places.

Julie Ramirez, Merle’s general manager, said the program has been successful so far.

“It is solely for the Northwestern students, and this way they can build a relationship with students and through us as well,” she said.

Wildcat Express is open every day except during school breaks, delivering from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. to students on campus and off campus.

Last year was a trial period for the service because restaurants were hesitant to sign on with a inexperienced student company, forcing Wildcat Express to charge a cover charge of 30 percent, Lischwe said. This year, however, Wildcat Express has officially signed with several restaurants and has been able to cut prices for students.

The company charges face value plus tax with an additional $3.25 delivery fee, Lischwe said.

Last spring, Wildcat Express delivered to more than 200 individual students and received about 450 orders, said McCormick sophomore Mike Deem, the company’s vice president of operations.

Last year, Chipotle was the most popular delivery choice, accumulating more than 60 percent of Wildcat Express’ orders.

Lischwe said he is hopeful students will take advantage of the company’s new partnerships and pricing.

“My goal this year is basically to make sure that students know that this is a business for students,” Lischwe [email protected]