Students’ website shares food, drink values


“If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right,”  William Shatner once said, and for most college students, saving money isn’t just a choice about being right, it’s a necessity.

For many students, one of the most important components of college is saving and budgeting.

While trying to save, students not only sacrifice purchases, but also commonly sacrifice going out to eat or spending an evening downtown due to monetary constraints.

As a result of some students skipping a night out, one UND student may have found the solution to combat these troublesome money constraints.

Student Brandon Miller came up with the innovative idea for a website called Grand Specials.

Grand Specials offers a one-stop shop to find all of the great food and drink deals the Grand Forks area has to offer.

The website lists all the daily specials for restaurants in the area so students can go online and check out which spot in town has the cheapest prices and best deals of the day, every day of the week.

Miller came up with the idea for Grand Specials when web and mobile publishing instructor Eric Morrow asked his class to generate website ideas to pitch to the class. 

While pondering the idea for the class, Miller attempted to think of something he enjoys that could be incorporated into a website design.

“I’m pretty sure I was hungry at the time because food was the first thing that came to mind, and that got me thinking, I should go out to eat tonight, but I don’t have that much money to spend,” Miller said.

While looking for a spot to eat, Miller tried searching deals for restaurants around town and seemingly could not find a place where he could see all of the deals in once place.

“That’s when it hit me,” Miller said. “I’m going to create a website where people can find restaurant deals and menus so everyone can see exactly what they can get and how much it will cost.”

After hearing the idea behind Grand Specials, everyone in the class wanted to be a part of Miller’s group, so Morrow decided to make it a full class project.

“I think this was a good opportunity for students to figure out how websites and real life problem solving works,” Morrow said. “The best thing for students to do is stuff that’s practical. Especially in the field of communication.”

Junior Jamie Holmgren is one of the web and mobile publishing students involved with the Grand Specials project.

She is in charge of running the social media pages for the website and mentioned the class was eager to hop on board once it heard the idea.

“We all liked Brandon’s idea of having a website with all the deals in Grand Forks since there are a lot that aren’t advertised and people don’t know about them,” Holmgren said.

With the launch of this new website, both students and citizens of the Grand Forks community will now be able to search for the specials and deals in town.

“I believe not only students but everyone will enjoy using the website,” Miller said. “It is an easy way to find great deals on food and drinks at all of the restaurants and bars in the Grand Forks area. Who doesn’t want to get great deals and save money?”

Even though this assignment started as a class project, Miller plans on having the site continue to grow even after the semester ends. He plans to keep the site up and running as long as possible depending on the feedback he gets from the community.

“As of now, we have the domain name for one year. If the feedback stays positive, I will repurchase the domain as long as possible,” Miller said.

Those interested in checking out the website can do so at

With this new website, the broke college blues may become a thing of the past. All students are encouraged to embrace the savings and, as Grand Specials’ tagline suggests, “feed their fork.”

Amanda Hefner is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]