It’s the question we’ve all asked someone at some point in our lives — “Where do you want to go for dinner?”
Newman alumnus Lucas Hanson is creating an app to help us solve that ever-so-common dilemma.
Feest is a free app that will soon be available to download on all platforms of smart devices. Hanson said the app will feature current restaurant specials, allowing users to quickly decide what delicious local eatery they would like to enjoy.
“People will have one place to look,” explained Hanson, “rather than checking individual Facebook pages and out-of-date websites of individual restaurants.”
Hanson and his brother, Sam, have been working on the design and development of the app for approximately eight months and hope to have the launch happen sometime in May. “It’s in beta testing,” said Hanson. “It’s on my phone now and functioning very, very well.”
As for how Hanson came up with the idea for the app, he said that happened because of soccer. “My dad had an app that showed soccer games, and when their start times were,” he said. “My friends and I wished we could do that with specials and restaurants.”
After some brainstorming, Hanson decided to call his brother to fill him in. “He graduated from KU with a degree in computer science — he’s the developer on the project. I worked on the design, chose color themes, fonts, etc.”
Hanson said he is focusing on local restaurants rather than chains and has 29 currently involved with more to come, including a food truck integration that will specify locations along with their specials.
“I’m always hearing ‘there’s nothing to do in Wichita’,” he said. “But there are some really cool places you can go. There are so many opportunities in Wichita.”
Hanson graduated from Newman with a business administration degree in 2016 and credits much of his drive to his education and time at the university. As team captain of the soccer team at Newman, he said he learned a great deal about leadership and determination.
Following a season in which the team only won a single game, Hanson said he was able to help turn the team around the next year with a 13 game win. He said something he learned that year is that “you can do a lot more than you think. If I had this idea (for the app) before NU, I think my mindset would’ve been a lot different. That really instilled in me that if you do put the work in, you’re going to see some rewards.”
He also said he gained a more positive outlook on life because of his coach, Cliff Brown. “His advice was that you can control your attitude and emotions,” Hanson said. “There were times I was really down, I just kept working and trying because of something he (Brown) instilled in me. He does that with players, he gets them to a certain mentality. That mentality is what kept me going. That’s hard to do, to keep going with no money for awhile, but the self-control I gained at NU through Cliff — I just can’t stress enough how thankful I am for being able to go through that experience.”
Hanson said he’s also very appreciative of the time and effort his brother has contributed. “I’m really thankful for my brother. He has a full-time job. He wakes up really early to work (on the app) in the morning before he goes to his job. I’m thankful to him and his family.”
Wichita should be on the lookout for Feest in the very near future. Hanson said he’s excited about the launch, and because the app will feature specials at the individual restaurants rather than the whole menu, users will be able to have a quick, efficient experience and be able to focus on going out and having a good time with their friends or family.
As for the not-so-near future, Hanson said he has tentative plans to expand the app to different communities, including Lawrence, Emporia and the Kansas City area.
Hanson said he wants others to know that they can do anything they set their minds to as long as they’re willing to put in some dedication and hard work.
“We didn’t need a big investor, we just really put our time into it. All we had to do is just work really hard.”