Traveling offers a myriad of cultural experiences, chief of which is cuisine. Realistically you will travel to a new country and will get caught in a tourist trap and miss out of on the culinary treasures. This is why FoodieTrip created the dining marketplace that connects you with locals and resources to ensure the cultural cuisine that makes traveling worth it. Serving over 100 cities, you wont have to worry what you are eating on your travels.
AlleyWatch chatted with CEO and founder Matan Magril about the Startup and how they are helping you travel smarter.
Tell us about the product or service.
Today’s traveler is sick of tourist traps. In fact, travelers are hungry to get off the beaten path, and they’re using cultural-specific food to discover and understand the world like never before. FoodieTrip is a peer-to-peer marketplace connecting travelers with local, passionate food guides for authentic gastronomic experiences in 75+ cities. Our marketplace helps foodies save time researching restaurants, overcome cultural and linguistic barriers, and stay safe while trying adventurous foods. With FoodieTrip, travelers can eat like locals all around the world.
How is it different?
Considering that tourism is one of the fastest growing and fragmented industries in the world, FoodieTrip faces competition both inside and outside of the food tourism niche. Yet, not a single market player has the true activity customization or the quality assurance found in FoodieTrip’s marketplace. Our competitors contain a hodgepodge of experiences ranging from stereotypical bus tours to cooking classes, all varying greatly in quality. FoodieTrip is the only current market player to concentrate on culinary experiences. Furthermore, FoodieTrip’s business model is disruptive within the industry. Our competitors take fees as high as 30% from service providers. FoodieTrip, on the other hand, has transferred its fees to the consumer (15%), much like other marketplaces. This allows guides to offer major cost savings to our user pool.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
According to the same report, 30% of American travelers are now choosing their next travel destination based only on the availability of culinary experiences.
What is the business model?
FoodieTrip utilizes a simple marketplace-pricing model. Users are charged a 15% service fee on top of listed experience prices. Guides pay 5% of their experience price once the experience is complete. FoodieTrip incurs a 3% payment processing fee leaving it with a 17% margin per booking.
What inspired the business?
FoodieTrip was born from a journey I took to Vietnam. Struggling to find truly authentic cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City, I decided to take a motorcycle-based food tour exploring the city’s best-hidden culinary treasures. The tour awakened my love for Vietnamese cuisine and culture and allowed me to connect with my local guide in a way that couldn’t have happened in a restaurant. Upon returning home, I created FoodieTrip to help other adventurous foodies enjoy the same type of authentic experience.
What makes you think that your offering will be viable when many others have tried this before?
A combination of a fantastic product and a disruptive and experienced team. Additionally, since we launched Beta in April 2016, we have seen marks of success. We have 290+ experiences in 75+ cities, 12,000+ registered users, and more than 25,000+ monthly visits.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We aim to launch our B2B product suite which caters to mom & pop tour operators, grow our active traveler and guide base, and partner with major airline and hospitality brands.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Test everything! If it works, you’ve succeeded. If it doesn’t, no one will hear about it anyway.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Gary Vaynerchuk. I’d love to get more insight on his ability to scale using one-to-one interactions.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is a part of FoodieTrip’s DNA. There isn’t a city that represents exploration, hidden gems, and connecting with strangers over late night drinks more than NYC. This is exactly what FoodieTrip embodies.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Pata Negra in the East Village.