UT students create new dining menu website

Natalie Venegas

Incoming UT students can now make faster and easier dining selections through a new menu website created by three computer science students.

“I saw that the dining menu was already accessible to students, but there were a lot of things I didn’t like about it,” said Nikhil Kumar, who came up with the idea for the menu. “It was something I wished I had as a freshman living on campus, and I just wanted to make it easier for other students.” 

Kumar, a computer science sophomore, said he used UT’s official housing and dining menu to craft the web app, which launched a couple of weeks ago and displays food options available to students on campus. The digital platforms allow students to filter through food items for specific food restrictions and search for food items within the menu.

Kumar said he came up with the idea for a more comprehensive menu system last semester when he didn’t find filters on UT’s dining menu. To get the website’s software application up and running, Kumar said he enlisted two of his friends to help him with coding
and designing.

Computer science sophomore Pravat Bhusal said he decided to help out his friend because he saw a need for the website among students. 

“A lot of UT students have allergies, and they need a way to filter through all the food items because it is really difficult to look through all the items,” Bhusal said. “Nikhil and I wanted to create a personal project, and as computer science majors we wanted to help solve a problem that we both saw.” 

Computer science sophomore Fronrich Puno, who designed the website, said he joined the project because he wanted to make things easier for other students.

“I feel like doing one little nice thing for UT would benefit everyone,” Puno said. “It goes to show that an app like this can be put to good use and help make college students’ lives a little
bit easier.” 

Many components of computer science needed to be integrated in order to get the application running, which was a challenging process, Puno said.

“The approach we took was something we had to think about for a long time,” Puno said. “We didn’t have that much experience as we were just freshmen … It was a
learning curve.”  

Kumar said he thought the website was just going to be a personal project for him, but it turned out to be much more than that. 

“I was experimenting with something, and I learned so much with my computer science degree (because) I was able to do something with it,” Kumar said. “I’m hoping that all students will find this useful and that it can help freshmen make their dining experience a little bit better.”