HungryBuffs.com features online ordering for ultimate convenience
Every student craves a particular food from a particular restaurant, but just doesn’t have the energy to get in the car and go get it. Now that perfect meal is just a click away.
Two freshman students, Danny Rolland, a business and entrepreneur major, and Doug Steinhurst, an open-option major, were quite disappointed at the selection of food in Boulder. After gathering menus from various restaurants, they created a Web site with phone numbers and menus of Boulder restaurants. But soon, this concept expanded into much more.
Steinhurst said the two developed the idea in November to create a Web site where students could order food online from any restaurant in Boulder.
After going through a lot of paperwork, approaching restaurants, convincing them to participate on the Web site and getting some high school friends from Baltimore to design the site, HungryBuffs.com was born. The first day that it was functional for online ordering was Jan. 31.
“We started with about 20 restaurants for online ordering and we are adding a few more each week,” Steinhurst said.
On the site, students have a multitude of options. Not only can students order from many of Boulder’s best local restaurants online, but they can also call in orders or simply just look at restaurant menus. Delivery is an option for restaurants that previously offered it, and Rolland and Steinhurst convinced a few restaurants to start delivering.
“Eventually, we want to have everyone deliver,” Rolland said.
Other features include a search that can help a student find any restaurant on the site and a feature that saves students’ orders so that they can come back and already have a meal saved to their account that they can order again and again without any hassle.
On top of this, students get an e-mail confirmation after placing an order and get a call when a delivery has arrived.
The Web site is set up for convenience. All restaurants appear on a sidebar under the titles “open” or “closed” so students know where they can order. The restaurants are also categorized by food type or can be viewed alphabetically.
Students can use the Flatiron Meal Plan on the site and Boulder Bucks. Although it was designed for students, the site is accessible to all residents of Boulder.
The site offers special deals as well.
“We convinced restaurants that the better deals they offered, the more traffic they would get on the site,” Rolland said.
As with all new ideas, there were glitches in the beginning.
“There were kinks in the beginning with the online ordering,” Rolland said. “Almost every restaurant found something wrong on the site, like prices being different from what they were. But we have gotten all the kinks out now.”
Another problem Rolland and Steinhurst encountered was selling the idea to the local restaurant owners.
“It all depends on the owner,” Rolland said. “But once they sign up they get excited.”
Lindsay Shaw is the owner of Lindsay’s Boulder Deli at Haagen-Dazs, located at the corner of Pearl Street and Broadway. She was hesitant to start accepting online orders from HungryBuffs.com ,but eventually agreed after the persistence of Rolland. Since appearing on the Web site on Friday, Shaw’s concern has gone away.
“We have gotten at least two or three orders from them each day for the past four days,” Shaw said.
Another advantage of being part of the HungryBuffs.com system is being able to tap into a whole new market.
“This is a resource we haven’t had in the past,” Shaw said. “We are seeing more student business than ever.”
Steve Duarce, owner of Taste of Philly, located at 1911 Broadway, has seen business pick up as well since offering his menu on HungryBuffs.com.
“We have only been doing this since Sunday and we have gotten two deliveries off of it,” Duarce said. “I think a lot of students go online just to get the number and address. Business has slowly been picking up in the last few days.”
Since it’s inauguration, the site has been getting about 280 hits a day.
“Our goal is to have over 1,000 hits a day by the end of April,” Steinhurst said.
During the week, Steinhurst estimates he spends three to four hours a day working on his business. Rolland said he spends every free minute he has to make sure everything is running smoothly. The two creators take pride in their customer service and frequently visit the participating restaurants to make sure everyone is happy.
The future looks bright for HungryBuffs.com. Boulder Greens and the Boulder Creek Market are the next two restaurants that will be added to the site. Rolland and Steinhurst are also starting a contest to reward the person that uses HungryBuffs.com the most during a certain period of time. The winner will get a private jet ride from Boulder to Aspen and back with and four friends.
“It’s not a long trip, but it is a pretty sweet bonus for your dedication,” Steinhurst said.
They will also be sponsoring the St. Patrick’s Day party for the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
“We are going to be having HungryBuffs giveaways and some prizes,” Steinhurst said. “It is going to be really fun and an absolute blowout.”
Caleb Gruber, a sophomore aerospace engineer major, uses the site regularly.
“It is easy to use, has an awesome interface and has tremendous food,” Gruber said.
Freshman John Lumia, an open-option major, also enjoys the site.
“I chronically visit the site,” Lumia. “Service is smokin’ fast and me and all my buds use it.”
So far it seems most everyone involved is happy: creators, restaurant owners and users alike.
“We are happy with our immediate success,” Rolland said. “We are excited for the future.
Steinhurst may say it best: “HungryBuffs.com is built on simplicity and prides itself on being created for the students by the students.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Ashley Herzberger at Ashley.Herzberger@thecampuspress.com.