The website that made Wenzels available with the click of a button now offers more than just the popular sandwiches from Elm Street’s Alpha Delta Pizza.
One Button Wenzel — a website that invited students to “Wenzel me” by ordering customized Wenzels for delivery — relaunched last week as Crunchbutton. The new website has expanded its food offerings to include eight new restaurants in an effort to better meet college students’ late-night needs, said Youbeo, Inc. CEO Judd Rosenblatt ’11, who helped start One Button Wenzel and then created the new website with his high school friend Ian Webster.
While One Button Wenzel allowed students to design their own Wenzels by selecting toppings and sides, Crunchbutton has added non-food choices — condoms at $1 apiece and red Solo cups at 50 for $5 — to those options. Crunchbutton includes five additional restaurants that will deliver their food throughout New Haven late into the night: Brick Oven Pizza, Little Salad Shop, China King, Zaroka and Thai Pan Asian. Students can also place orders for pickup at Yorkside Pizza, A1 Pizza on Broadway and Gourmet Heaven.
“We listened to our customers — fellow Yalies — who wanted us to expand,” Rosenblatt said in an email Monday. “So we’re making it really easy for Yalies to order anything they want with the click of a button.”
Cameron Musco ’12, a computer science and applied math double major who developed One Button Wenzel with his identical twin Christopher Musco ’12, Steven Winter ’11 and Rosenblatt, said it made sense to create Crunchbutton based on the success of One Button Wenzel. The original website, which launched last April, was so popular that Alpha Delta had to hire an additional employee to accommodate all the Wenzel requests, he said. Alpha Delta manager Mahmut Turan said the website has generated at least 50 Wenzel orders a night.
Still, an owner and a manager at two other restaurants expressed concern about the website. Adam Juarez, the night manager at Gourmet Heaven, said some students who order for pick-up never come to the store to get their food.
“After Toad’s and the bars close, everyone wants to order because they don’t want to stand in line,” Juarez said. “Some students must fall asleep.”
George Koutroumanis, a co-owner of Yorkside Pizza, called Crunchbutton “abstract” and “impersonal.”
Rosenblatt said he plans to include other restaurants in Crunchbutton’s ordering options and plans introduce a mobile app for the website soon. Cameron Musco said Crunchbutton may expand to other campuses as well.
The system is “zero hassle” for its users, Rosenblatt added. Like One Button Wenzel, Crunchbutton sends an automatic email to the restaurant once an order is submitted.
“[The simplicity of repeat ordering] should appeal to a drunk college kid just as much as your grandmother,” Rosenblatt said. “We are focusing on colleges first.”
Sezgin Ilitli, the manager at A1 Pizza, said the restaurant is not involved with the website. But Rosenblatt said his company is still implementing its partnerships with the new restaurants.
“We’ve spoken with them about joining and they are waiting on getting a computer to receive incoming orders,” Rosenblatt said. “In the meantime, we’re so dedicated to letting Yalies order their favorite food that we’re immediately calling in orders ourselves!”
Christopher Musco said the limited availability of on-campus food outside of regular dining hours will help Crunchbutton succeed.
But Mike Jin ’13 said he does not think the new website has improved One Button Wenzel significantly, since it offers foods that are not in high demand among students.
“It’s not Wenzels,” he said. “People aren’t going to one-button Zaroka.”
Cameron Musco said Crunchbutton is simpler for ordering food than Campusfood, an online food ordering service used by Yale along with colleges and universities across the country. Campusfood was purchased in September 2011 by online ordering website GrubHub, which now has more than 250,000 restaurant menu options and appears on campuses nationwide.
Abby Hunt, public relations manager for GrubHub, said in an email Monday that the company’s free mobile app is a significant advantage of the services, because it allows students to “order anywhere, anytime hunger strikes.” Over 22 percent of GrubHub’s revenue comes from orders come from “mobile orders,” according a statement GrubHub released in September after purchasing Campusfood.
Hunt also said GrubHub’s variety — with 57 restaurants near Yale’s campus — make it competitive with Crunchbutton. But Christopher Musco said the more limited listings on Crunchbutton help students select from New Haven’s best food options by narrowing their choices.
Alpha Delta is open 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 3 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.