Last year two Santa Barbara City College graduates created SBmenus.com, a free Web site devoted to connecting users to the best local spots for dining and drinking.
Bryan Brand and Dusty Stutsman started the site in the summer of 2008 to help students arrange for delivery or pick up food orders. The Web site also informs users of bar specialties in Isla Vista, Goleta, Mesa, upper and downtown State Street areas. What makes their Web site unique to Santa Barbara, the two said, is that users can potentially coordinate all their dining and drinking needs through the online portal.
Brand said online interest from UCSB students prompted them to become heavily involved in the I.V. area.
“A vast majority of our online traffic comes from UCSB and CC,” Brand said. “It makes sense because most of our restaurant clients cater to that area – Pita Pit, Gina’s Pizza and Déjà Vu are examples.”
According to Stutsman, SBmenus.com is the first site of its kind in the area.
“One of my favorite quotes is ‘success comes to those who get in front of the inevitable,'” Stutsman said. “We saw a lot of potential in the Santa Barbara market and being in front of anyone in online ordering in Santa Barbara is getting in front of the inevitable.”
According to SBmenus.com, the site presents its users with simple services that make finding food, drinks and activities easy. Of the services offered by SBmenus.com, Brand said he was most surprised by the popularity of the bar specialties.
“The most heavily trafficked area is the bar specials,” Brand said. “You can see all the bars downtown, know who’s playing and see drink specials… And you can see it all in real time.”
Brand said he has stayed in Santa Barbara to work on the Web site because of a personal goal to own his own business.
“My dad owned his own business and I always wanted to own my own business,” Brand said. “I didn’t want to be a number on the corporate scale and we knew that Santa Barbara had great market potential.”
The pair said they hope that in the future SBmenus.com is the first choice for students and residents of the greater Santa Barbara area when they want to order food online.
“We want to be the place where people, whenever they think of food or have questions about a restaurant, come to,” Stutsman said. “Our immediate goals are to infiltrate the rest of our regions as we have done in I.V. We want to have a presence in all of the regions.”
Brand graduated from Wagner College in New York City with a degree in marketing, and Stutsman is currently a senior at Colorado State working for a business degree with a real estate emphasis. Both said they drew inspiration from a similar Web site based in Michigan that was very successful.