Campus Special recently launched a free online menu service for the student body.
The electronic Food Court serves as an online extension of Campus Special’s student services, which currently include a quarterly coupon book — widely recognized for its hundred-dollar bill cover page. The Web site allows users to browse restaurant menus and order food from local eateries, relieving them of the need to brave the streets of Isla Vista for sustenance.
Campus Special co-founder Joe Jacobs said he created the virtual Food Court in order to provide an online supplement to his company’s various money-saving aids.
“The coupon books have been around since 2005 and I think… a lot of the restaurants wanted online ordering and a lot of students were telling us that they wanted online services,” he said. “The first part was just getting the restaurants up there.”
Jacobs said Food Court, which is available to over 90 major campuses nationwide, brings value to students by providing them exclusive online deals. The service also allows students to search restaurant menus by keywords, remembers previous orders and provides daily specials as well as exclusive deals.
According to Jacobs, Food Court differentiates itself from other web service because it’s completely free to use.
“I didn’t even know that SB Menus charged $0.60 until I got all the way through the order.” Jacobs said. “They almost kind of snuck it in on me. Maybe students don’t look at it so they don’t realize they’re being charged.”
Additionally, former Campus Special intern Nicole Easley, a third-year communication major, said she uses the site because of its convenience — the service can be accessed via Facebook and iPhone applications.
“Everyone gets lazy, so it’s really nice to just be able to go on your computer and get food delivered directly to you,” Easley said. “The coolest thing about Food Court is that it’s on Facebook so you can be looking at friends one second and then you can shift over a second later to get food.”
Aside from benefiting students, Food Court also provides students with internship opportunities.
Intern Arielle Podolski, a third-year communication major, said her internship allowed her to become more socially astute.
“I definitely [learned] how to handle rejection… and not take it personally,” she said. “I got a lot more confident talking to people in higher positions.”
This quarter’s coupon booklet includes a voucher — with the promotional code UCSB$2f — that will deduct $2 from students’ first online orders.