While aimlessly wandering around Temple University’s Main Campus with friends in search of a bite to eat during his freshman year, Sidney Sadel decided to create an app that would help students save time and money.
Sadel, a sophomore electromechanical engineering major, launched his first app, uEats, on Nov. 4. The app aims to help Temple students find places to eat and familiarize themselves with restaurants or vendors within a one-mile radius of Main Campus.
uEats lists restaurants and food trucks around campus, along with information about pricing, the restaurant’s hours of operation and its distance from the user. The app includes features like a “mood button” that allows users to select what type of food they want and then generates a list of randomized options based on their mood, Sadel said.
“Say you’re in the mood for, like, breakfast, or pizza, or tacos,” Sadel said. “You can select that and you press ‘randomize,’ and it gives you a random restaurant that’s open and within walking distance near you.”
Users can update a restaurant’s information in the app, like letting others know about closures, changes in hours or specials, Sadel said.
Sadel included this feature because, while staying on campus during the Fall 2020 semester, he would often search online for places to eat, only to find out they were closed after arriving at its location — information that was missing from their websites.
uEats is available in Apple’s app store and has been downloaded more than 350 times since its release, Sadel said.
The app has helped David Brunner navigate food vendors on and off campus and discover restaurants he was previously unaware of, like Champ’s Diner, located on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street.
“I use it for a lot of my meals and figuring out where I’m going to eat next,” said Brunner, a sophomore criminal justice major. “I think a lot of people will as well.”
Sadel began developing the app in August and started working on it full-time in September. At first, he devoted about an hour of work each day to teaching himself about programming, he said.
“As I started to learn more and more, I really started to enjoy it more,” Sadel said.
Sadel chose to create the app on his own, rather than hiring a developer, to save money and expand on his software development skills, he said. Before releasing the app, he asked his friends and members of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity to test a prototype version, he said.
Sadel’s roommate, Aidan Lynn, downloaded uEats immediately after its release and wishes the app was available to use when he was a freshman. Lynn hopes the app will benefit all Temple students who choose to download it by familiarizing them with the restaurants around campus, he said.
“I downloaded it right away,” said Lynn, a sophomore finance major. “I definitely think it’s gonna be a good idea and hopefully successful.”
Sadel received permission from some restaurant owners and food vendors to include pictures of their restaurants in the app, like the Foot Long Truck, located on 12th street near Norris.
John Amzovski, the manager of the Foot Long Truck, hopes uEats will help bring more customers to vendors on campus, which is especially beneficial during the pandemic, he said.
“It’s something to get your name out there, you know,” Amzovski said.
Sadel created his own software development company, SiuB Technologies, in September, and hopes to one day use the company to expand uEats to other college campuses, like West Chester University or Pennsylvania State University, he said.
Sadel and his team are working to build a takeout feature for uEats that allows users to order and pay for foods, track order progress, pre-order meals for specific times and automatically apply discounts.
“Our goal with uEats Order is to cover the restaurants and trucks on campus that aren’t covered by generic takeout services, and to help businesses in need get more customers,” wrote Sadel in an email to The Temple News.
Sadel is excited about the release of uEats and hopes to continue improving its features and eventually create more apps to benefit students in the future, he added.
“It feels great,” Sadel said. “I never thought that I would be able to, like, get this far in this short period of time, and it’s really cool to have something on the App Store published with my name on it.”