The feeling is not unusual to most college students — coming in from an evening out in downtown State College, sensing that late night pang of hunger and the equally strong desire to not leave a warm, comfortable apartment.
For Penn State students, there is a simple solution to this difficult dilemma — logging on to LionMenus.com.
As their website proudly boasts, LionMenus, “The Best State College Restaurants with Convenient Online Ordering For Delivery & Takeout,” is celebrating its 10th year of business.
Started by former Penn State students — Chris Jeffery, Justin Goldman and Jason Kwicien –– while they were sophomores, the website began when the Internet was still very new, Brittany Karcher, director of marketing company Owned Markets, wrote in an email.
With the growth of the Internet, LionMenus also grew, evolving from a “restaurant menu guide to a full-scale online ordering platform,” Karcher wrote.
They have recently launched a mobile site, “making ordering food from [a] smartphone easier and more efficient,” Karcher wrote in an email.
The website offers both a delivery and a takeout option, with 51 restaurants available for customers to choose from. LionMenus allows customers to create an account that saves addresses and credit card information.
Students like Barbara Munin appreciate the simple and efficient design of LionMenus. Munin (sophomore- French) said the set up is really easy to use.
When Munin arrived back in State College from a weekend away, she said she did not feel like going all the way downtown to find something to eat. She logged onto LionMenus.com, clicked on Fresh Harvest Kafe and placed her order. The experience was “very convenient,” Munin said.
Bruce Fowler, owner of Fresh Harvest Kafe, 421 E. Beaver Ave., has worked closely with LionMenus since its inception.
Fowler said that about 25 to 30 percent of their orders come in from the LionMenus site.
Like Fresh Harvest Kafe, many other local restaurants have been featured on LionMenus since day one.
“We’ve been one of the top guys on [LionMenus] since the beginning,” said Matt Yadgir, general manager of Gumby’s Pizza & Wings.
Yadgir said that about 40 percent of their business comes from orders online via LionMenus. Customers also look online at their various specials and then call in their order, he said.
Working with LionMenus has “absolutely” positively influenced their business, said Chris Menseck, managing partner of Are U Hungry.
Are U Hungry — whose most popular items include creatively-named sandwiches and the “Xtacy Fries” — has partnered with LionMenus for about seven years, Menseck said.
Like Fresh Harvest Kafe, Are U Hungry also receives about 25 percent of its business from the popular site, he said.
Because of local community support over the past 10 years, LionMenus has seen a substantial increase in business.
LionMenus also focuses on what it can do to give back to the community that has helped them grow throughout the past decade. The website helps organizations such as Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, Penn State Homecoming and Penn State’s entrepreneurial program, Karcher said.