I’m here to shill again.
Over the past year I’ve been transitioning my career. I’ve made it known that I am leaving behind the brick-and-mortar lifestyle of the mom and pop entrepreneur and am throwing my hat into the technology ring. Reinventing myself suggests I get to be/do whatever I want, so I’ve decided to marry my greatest passions, food and technology as I travel down new paths. The entrepreneurial skills I’ve amassed over 20 years allows me some flexibility to hone in on where I can best contribute.
I recently landed as a consultant at a company called Foodspotting. They’ve asked me to help them reach the next level in the evolution of the company. They started as a vehicle for food enthusiasts to take photos of food, dishes specifically, and share them with the world (on Foodspotting itself) and throughout your social networks. As a result of the millions of photos they quickly amassed, Foodspotting morphed into a serious discovery tool for people who are looking for something to eat. By browsing the best dishes nearby or searching for particular dishes, FS became a top player in connecting hungry people to yummy food. Looking forward, we believe there is an opportunity to help restaurants connect more closely with their patrons. I’ll be sharing more on how later.
But today I am sharing the news that Foodspotting launched their new website. And as jaded as I have become about much of the food and technology scene, I’m blown away by what you can do with this site.
So let’s say you’re someone who likes Unagi. Go to http://foodspotting.com and search for Unagi and you’ll get a stunning photo wall of the most popular unagi dishes in the world. Enter a destination, say San Francisco, and get the most popular (or latest if you prefer) unagi dishes in San Francisco.
One of my favorite dishes, as I illustrated previously, is Cacio e Pepe. Or how about Roast Pork Sandwich in Philadelphia, or Pizza in New York, or Naples, or even Bangkok! Search on anything, anywhere, and you’ll get serious food porn that you can share on your networks (the share icon is next to the search bar). I’ve spent the past few weeks playing on the beta site shooting links to all of my food friends.
Moreover, this is an amazing way to really drill down on what is good in a place. The truth is that the more people shoot photos of any particular dish, the more popular it is within the food crowd. I’ve found no other resource for democratizing food discovery than this.
Try it and you’ll see. If you know an area and you search for the most popular dishes, it’s going to be spot on. For example, in the Mission District of San Francisco, you can’t argue that Salted Caramel at Bi-Rite, Secret Breakfast at Humphry Slocombe, Morning Buns at Tartine and Pizza Margherita at Delfina aren’t the must-have’s in the neighborhood. Dig deeper and you’ll find the secret gems that only foodies know about (can you say bacon-wrapped hot dogs?). It’s the perfect food-crazed travel tool.
I look forward to utilizing this more as a blogging tool. Any time I talk about a dish, now I can show you with other people’s (mostly great) photos. Now go spot some food and share it with me. What is the coolest search you can do on the new Foodspotting?