Jason Rikard and Jonathan Mayhak, two recent graduates from this department, have just released Grubbly, a website and iphone app (Android coming soon) where you can find local food specials. Currently it only covers Columbia but plans are to expand to nearby cities. The app is featured in the State Newspaper. Also, check out their blog.
For the moment, grubbly.com is not a money-maker. Mayhak and Rikard glean specials from the Internet or by personal experience. They often just snap pictures of specials boards with their iPhones to be logged in later. “We go out a lot,” Rikard said. The app is more of a showpiece for their freelance programming startup Apparctica, they said. And perhaps, once the two can figure out a way to quantify how much traffic they are driving to restaurants (without the use of coupons), they can institute a small monthly fee. In the meantime, they are kicking around ways to build grubbly by communicating such things as the vibe of the room, the character of the clientele, the décor, the architecture – taking it to the next level. “Information about how cool it looks and the people who are there,” said Mayhak. “Not just an aggregate of information,” Rikard said.