As Colgate students who have lived or worked in large cities will know, food delivery services have never been easier to access. Websites like Seamless and Grubhub take a customer’s credit card information, the customer selects the food they want delivered and the website coordinates the delivery; the process is simple and convenient.
Additionally, these websites frequently deliver food from restaurants without their own delivery service, meaning a wider range of options are available to customers at home.
However, businesses like Seamless are most efficient when established in densely populated areas (and areas with lots of food options); as a result, online delivery businesses have little incentive to establish their service in rural, low-population areas like Colgate’s campus.
However, in 2011, students at Yale University decided that one-click delivery would be a popular option among college students; they chose a beloved New Haven sandwich known as “The Wenzel,” to be the guinea pig for their operation. David Klumpp, a Yale undergrad at the time, started a website called “One Click Wenzel,” which he described as “literally a giant button which would order you a sandwich if you clicked it.”
In the first year, Klumpp’s website sold over $60,000 of Wenzels, a staggering number, and he realized that the business should be expanded. They called the new service “Crunchbutton,” and since then, their team has expanded the operation to over 15 universities around the country, including Yale and Hamilton College.
Colgate’s branch of Crunchbutton just began last week. Two Colgate seniors, Sophie Salzman and Levi Bursch, have been working as sales and marketing interns for Crunchbutton; they have recruited a team of five drivers who deliver food from Rusch’s Bar & Grill, McDonalds, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and the Utica Street Cafe, and they hope to soon begin delivering from the Royal India Grill, La Iguana, the Barge Canal Coffee Co. and Pizza Hut.
Students can download the Crunchbutton mobile app or use the Crunchbutton website to select their orders. There have been about $220 worth of sales so far, but each day has grown busier.
Crunchbutton is “not just a business,” Bursch said, “but a service which truly improves the quality of life here at Colgate. Our goal is not profit, but to provide an effective service.”
“Crunchbutton actually fills an important gap at Colgate. Until now, the only delivery options were pizza and Chinese food,” Salzman said.
Salzman and Bursch are still looking for students with cars on campus who might be interested in working as Crunchbutton drivers. Drivers are considered employees of Crunchbutton and are paid $3 per delivery, plus whatever tips they accumulate. Bursch, who worked one four-hour shift as a driver last week, delivered five orders and earned about $30.