Student input is centerpiece of updated restaurant guide

Becky Bowman

Northwestern’s online restaurant guide, with some content that hasn’t been updated in six years, will soon receive a much-needed overhaul, said ASG Technology Director Prashant Velagaleti.

Velagaleti and two other students worked on the update throughout the summer. The Associated Student Government will post an announcement about the update on its Web site at the end of this week, he said.

The new guide will contain almost all student input, Velagaleti said.

“The great thing about the restaurant guide that we’ll be releasing is that students can actually enter menus themselves,” said Velagaleti, a McCormick senior.

Initial restaurant information will be gathered by ASG’s external relations committee. Committee Chairwoman Jada Black said the group is aiming to begin with 50 restaurants.

The Web site also will feature an interface allowing students to add their favorite restaurants and menus to the list, Velagaleti said. Through student additions, the site should eventually contain all of the area’s most popular restaurants, he said.

Once the site is up and running it will contain “Amazon.com-like” commenting options, where students can review the restaurants listed, Velagaleti said.

But students won’t have total freedom to bash their least favorite eateries. Entries of the comments and menus will be monitored by an ASG official, Velagaleti said.

The existing guide, first posted in 1995, lists the addresses and some menus of many restaurants in Chicago and Evanston as well as other Chicago suburbs. The listings are categorized by cuisine and by the availability of delivery services.

Though the guide is now outdated, it has served its purpose, Velagaleti said.

“It has been used a lot,” he said.