Have you ever sat bewildered gazing into a restaurant menu not having the slightest clue on what to order?
I know this situation has occurred to me on more than one occasion and resulted in an awfully long time to place an order. The last time this happened to me I promised myself I would do my research before visiting a restaurant. I found myself on websites/apps such as Tripadvisor and Yelp that provided a lot of detailed customer reviews and pictures of food. However, I found the information on the interface of these websites to be scattered and disorganized whilst the reviews were generic in regards to the user’s overall experience of the restaurant and not the actual food on the menu. Speaking of menus, I couldn’t find them on these websites either. I was looking for a description of specific food items on a menu from the customer’s point of view. Frequently, what I imagine an item off the menu to be and what it is like in reality can be two completely different things. The light bulb went off in my mind; I need to create a restaurant review/menu app that integrates the restaurant menu and provides specific user reviews on items off the menu. I present to you Food-E-View!
What is it ?
My innovation proposes a B2B approach as I initially want to target restaurants to download this app. I then propose restaurants to provide customers with iPads/tablets to review specific items on the menu that they have ordered at the restaurant. The app will allow users to describe the item within a 200-character limit. This should happen preferably at the end of the meal. The restaurants can use coupons or vouchers as an incentive for the customer to use the app. The app interface will be that of the restaurant menu. When a user clicks on an item of the menu a picture and customer descriptions of that item will pop up on-screen. The user can then scroll down and get more insight on the specific item on the menu with reviews and pictures. The app proposes a description of the food item from a customer’s point of view rather than a full customer review. The idea of the app is to help customers quickly understand what they are ordering with short insightful and illustrative reviews on specific items on the menu.
Upon conducting my research, I found numerous apps such as Tripadvisor, Yelp, Restaurant finder and Urban spoon. They all offered much of the same service such as: rate and review food, find restaurants nearby, view what restaurants friends have visited, searching restaurants by category and special offers etc. To make sure I wasn’t the only one having this problem I visited Manchester city center to gather opinions from customers and staff in restaurants such as MyLahore, Dimitris, Zouks and eastZeast. The underlying problem many customers faced was simply not having enough information on the menu. This was backed up by waiters who also claimed customers asked a lot of questions about specific items on the menu largely due to lacking knowledge in particular food cuisines. Also questions such as portion size and texture of food was frequently asked.
The unique selling point of food-e-view is that it offers a business to business approach with the idea of integrating and bringing all restaurants onto one platform. The overall aim for food-e-view is to have all major restaurant menus onto the app. Once enough restaurants have signed up and a sufficient amount of reviews have built up the app will be offered to to the public on the App store and Play store. Digitising Restaurant menus that provide customers with coherent illustrations and specific first hand customer reviews will hopefully put an end to not knowing what to order.
Look out for Food-e-View!