Snackpass has arrived at Princeton. Now it’s time to leverage your social capital and optimize your gastronomical experience.

For the uninitiated, Snackpass was birthed at Yale and quickly gained traction at over fifteen college campuses across the country. Snackpass partners with local restaurants to offer enticing discounts and rewards—50% off at Jules, Playa Bowls, Hoagie Haven, and KBG, just to name a few.

Besides the student discounts (limited time offers are added periodically, so be sure to watch your notifications!), Snackpass is fundamentally a food pickup app, allowing you to order ahead and skip the line. This means you can chow down immediately after making the always-too-far 1:00 a.m. trek to Hoagie Haven. Very important!

If those features aren’t enough to persuade you, Snackpass also has a fun social side to it. Whenever you order with Snackpass, not only do you earn points that can be used for free food, you can also gift points to a friend of your choice. The app keeps track of point exchanges between pairs in the form of a loading chicken egg. When you two have gifted each other enough, your baby chicken hatches! I’m not sure what happens after that though—I haven’t gotten that far with anyone yet 😔.

Snackpass was created partially because one of the founders wanted a way to gift a smoothie to his crush. You too can do this! Just use the app’s gift feature to send food to a special someone, or send platonic snacks for birthdays and general pick-me-ups.

But when all is said and done, the central problem is really this: how do you game your friendships to maximize savings?

The first step is to lure as many of your connections as possible to the app. This can be done by inviting them to apply your unique code in app. Every time someone enters your code, both parties receive a few special discounts that change periodically (currently 50% off at Pizza Den, 50% off at Jules, and a $1 half-hoagie at Hoagie Haven). Since you can’t be sure when your friends will enter the code to activate the discounts, the smart move would be to space your invitations out to make sure you don't miss out on discounts from your favorite restaurant. That might look something like this:

Use my code, “zacksnack”, right now if your last name starts with A-M; if your last name starts with N-Z, wait until next month to use it.

Obviously, this crude and inefficient approach has many problems, but within your personalized network of friends and acquaintances, strategically spacing out your invites will definitely be easier. Alternatively, when desirable discounts arise, you can hound your friends to immediately input your personalized code.

The next step is to establish your partnerships. In an ideal world, all your Snackpass buddies would gift you points any time they order, while you would cycle through them all (to maintain the connections) slowly. The world is not ideal, sadly, so we’ll have to refine that strategy. You may only get a portion of each partner’s gift points, but you can try to specify which points you’re gifted. Because the points you give are specific to the restaurant you ordered from, it is prudent to create restaurant-specific collaborations. You can have an Olives friend, a KBG friend, and a Lil Thai Pin friend. Carefully analyze your network’s spending habits and preferences to determine which person gets assigned to which restaurant. If you know a Playa Bowls addict, you’ll want to get all his/her Playa Bowls points.

After calculated distribution of these restaurant assignments, as well as the delivery of hollow equal-point-reciprocation promises to your friends, all that’s left is to sit back and reap the profits from your genius Snackpass kingdom. Congratsss on your sssuccesss! 🐍

All jokes aside, be sure to check out the (very wholesome) Snackpass app ... just don't forget to use "zacksnack" when you do!