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Students launch late-night snack business

BEIJING, April 24 -- Students have come out with a solution for the late-night munchies.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University students can now order snacks late at night via the Internet after two fellow undergrads started a business to deliver food to dorm rooms.

The Website, allows students at Jiao Tong's suburban Minhang campus to fill out an online form to make their order. The menu includes omelet pancakes, danbing or Chinese-style pizza, bacon rolls and pearl milk tea. Students can also choose how spicy they want the snack.

Orders need to be submitted before 9:20pm so that staff have time to buy snacks from nearby stores and deliver them from 10pm to 10:30pm.

Money is paid upon delivery and the price is the same as in the restaurant, according to the Website.

Xie Yu, a third-year student at Jiao Tong's school of information management and one of the business starters, said the idea came after observing the booming night snack market around campus.

"Students always have an early supper at school canteens about 5pm," Xie said. "We easily get hungry again after studying for hours."

However, school canteens close at 10pm and stores are too far from campus. Xie and his classmate Li Ze launched the business last month.

Setting up the Website was easy for the two information management majors, Xie said.

But they did have a problem persuading bosses at stores and restaurants to establish a partnership with them.

"Those self-employed bosses were unwilling to open night service for us at first, not to mention further business co-operation," Xie said.

Xie said the business earns commissions from suppliers which fluctuate accordding to sales. Xie refused to disclose how much they earn from the delivery business.

The night snack dorm delivery service proved popular with Jiao Tong students. Xie said sales soared from several dozens orders at first to more than 200 every day within one month.

The business has also created part-time jobs. More than 10 fellow students were hired as delivery boys. Part-timers earn about 12 yuan (74 US cents) per hour.

Wang Zhen, official with Jiao Tong's student affairs management committee, said the school will support students' who start businesses so long as it benefits campus life.

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

 Source : xinhua  Editor: lichao
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