How many times have you wanted a specific food item but didn’t want to search through each of the dining hall menus for the item? Prathamesh Bang ’20 has developed the solution to a problem with which we have all struggled.
His app “CU Eats” allows you to input any food item you are looking for and then see which locations are serving your item. Saving your favorites allows you to quickly check the app day-to-day to see where your preferred meals are being served. Currently, you can use the app for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and small icons tell you whether the item is at a dining hall or a location that takes BRBs.
When asked where the idea came from, Bang said that he had originally developed it for a class but decided to pursue releasing it on the App Store after receiving positive feedback from his friends. According to Bang, releasing on the App Store was relatively painless but required him to work with Cornell due to the fact that their menus are technically intellectual property. He says that it was a seamless experience, and his app is now being downloaded by the Cornell community, receiving reviews and gaining traction.
When asked about potential competition with the Eatery app, Bang noted that he does not see his app as competition but as simply another app with a feature that the Eatery app does not currently have. He believes that the problem he is solving is one that many people in the Cornell community have.
To test it out, I searched for “chicken” on the app. Within seconds “chicken” appeared on my favorites with two icons indicating it was available in a dining hall and an eatery that accepts BRBs. Upon clicking on “chicken” I was brought to a list of locations that were serving chicken for dinner (I checked the app around 5 p.m.), from honey-baked chicken in 104West! to Sicilian chicken in RPCC. It was a seamless and efficient way to look at any and all locations that were serving chicken for dinner. I then successfully added a few of my other favorite dishes. It was great to be able to see a lot of different dishes on one simple screen and because of this unique feature, I would rate CU Eats 4.5 out of 5 stars.
In the future, Bang hopes to bring the app to different universities and build out some of the features. He is taking it step-by-step and hoping to grow his user base through word of mouth. Bang is a testament to how students are not only striving to create solutions to everyday problems that we all may have, but also doing it in an innovative and exciting way.