A new type of food service is being offered that allows students to order food online from local restaurants in San Luis Obispo.
Food Court at CampusSpecial.com is a website which allows students to find a restaurant in the area, order and pay online. It was founded by the same company that distributed the “$100 Dollar Bill” coupon books during the start of Fall quarter.
Online account executive Stephanie Scott is the account manager for more than 300 different restaurants nationwide.
“The Online Food Court was built by students, for students,” Stephanie said. “There (are) no service fees to use the site. It’s a one-stop spot to shop at a great variety of places.”
Two Cal Poly students, business administration seniors Kamryn Machado and Kaitlin McKernan spent their summer marketing to restaurants to join the site for the company.
“The whole project here is essentially ours with some direction from the company,” McKernan said.
Both Machado and McKernan applied through a listing they found on Mustang Jobs.
“We basically got to do everything ourselves,” Machado said. “We went to our favorite places in town and signed many restaurants.”
With the launching of the website, Campus Special has reached 90 different campuses across the country. In California, they have restaurants available for students at Universities of California Davis and Santa Barbara and now Cal Poly.
“We expand every year so we’re always bringing in more areas,” Stephanie said.
Some restaurants join because they don’t have a Web site and Campus Special is a way to provide one for them.
“It is great exposure and gives restaurants more presence,” Stephanie said.
Kyle Scott, manager at Evos, has been working for the restaurant since it opened in 2008.
“(Evos) joined because it sounded like a good idea,” Kyle said. “We understand students don’t have a lot of time and we want to make ourselves as accessible and convenient as we can.”
To reach out to students, Campus Special advertised in coupon books with deals like $2 off its first online order, and an application on Facebook.
“Right now we haven’t had any students come in because of Campus Special online,” Kyle said. “I’m thinking a lot of students don’t know about it because it’s new. Maybe that’ll change as the word gets out.”
Cal Poly has different regulations for advertising on campus than the other universities involved with Campus Special. Usually there is a literal chalking campaign — advertising with chalk messages on pavement — along with the coupon book to advertise the website. However, the chalking campaign is not allowed here.
“Since we can’t do the chalking, we’re trying to think of different creative ways to advertise on campus,” McKernan said. “I think it’s all about awareness now. Students will use it if they know about it. Not only is it convenient, but students don’t have to pay to use it. It’s perfect for a student’s lifestyle.”