How often do you ask ‘where should we go to eat tonight’? Having tried (what you think is) every restaurant in the city, it’s time you found out about the rest of the NYC dinning scene, and DINE is here to help. DINE is the curated restaurant finder taking away the struggle of finding a new or unknown restaurant. The app includes categorized restaurants, understands your dining tendencies and lets you check a curated newsfeed of local dining news. If you are someone who takes eating seriously, Dine is your all in one solution.
AlleyWatch spoke with Aaron Hutcherson about the Startup and how they have quickly expanded to multiple cities.
Tell us about the product or service.
DINE by Tasting Table™is a curated restaurant finder that makes it easy to find the perfect restaurant for any occasion. The app includes a range of recommendations, from the most popular dining destinations in each city to under-the-radar finds that only dedicated food lovers would know. Find a restaurant using our “Discover” feature, or use the map to choose a spot nearby. Need some inspiration? DINE includes thematic lists (like “Weekend Brunch”) that are updated weekly by Tasting Table editors. Each recommendation includes reviews from trusted critics, and you can even book a reservation through OpenTable or Resy or hail a ride with Uber right inside the app. Use DINE for all your restaurant adventures, and check back often to swipe through your “Feed” of the most important restaurant openings and other news. Explore lists, discover restaurants by neighborhood, or even search for whatever cuisine you’re craving. With a recent update, you can now follow other users, including friends, chefs, industry influencers and that random friend-of-a-friend who spends every night seeking out the coolest spots in the city that the major critics haven’t found yet. Best of all, once you create your DINE profile, you can share your impeccable taste with the world by sharing your lists of favorite restaurants, spots to try, best brunches or whatever else your stomach desires.
How is it different?
The main aspect that sets DINE apart is the curation—our database only includes the best and most popular restaurants in each of our markets, so only restaurants that we recommend people visiting are listed. Food and restaurants are our business, so you can trust our taste. (We also cull suggestions from a number of critics, chefs and local experts.) In addition, we aggregate all of the info you need for each restaurant in one place: location, hours, contact info, reviews from major critics, notable dishes, and more. With our recent update, you can now follow other users to easily see what restaurants they like or are on their lists of places to try.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Our app is for any- and everyone that likes to go out to eat. Based on the cities we are currently in, that’s over 30 million potential users.
What is the business model?
Having a mobile complement’s Tasting Table’s overall business strategy to make the company as a whole more attractive to potential advertisers.
What inspired the business?
We started the app because we felt like there was too much noise when people are simply looking for a good place to eat. We aim to be the single, authoritative source to answer that question for people.
Why does someone need this instead of just using Yelp?
While Yelp can be a great help, at times it can be cluttered with nonsensical reviews that don’t truly reflect the quality of a restaurant; additionally, restaurants can pay to have their listing at the top of search results. That’s why we collect information from multiple sources to help save you time and energy from sifting through hundreds of Yelp reviews. But even if you do want to see what Yelpers have to say, you can easily access each restaurant’s Yelp page with a quick tap.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Topline user growth, increased retention, and increased engagement. We’ve seen hints of this in the short time since we’ve introduced our new features and hope to see this trend continue.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
This isn’t something we never heard, but we frequently have to remind ourselves to make sure we have the systems and tools in place to measure our success, from the big metrics (overall users) to the effectiveness of a new feature.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
We’re big fans of Beyoncé and her dining choices, so we’d love to meet her.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants of any city across the world, so New Yorkers could use the most help in sifting through all the options to find the best places to dine.
Where is your favorite fall destination in the city?
Anywhere along the waterfront is great during the fall to hang with friends or grab a bite to eat. That time of year is perfect as it’s not too hot to make you sweat bullets, yet you don’t have to worry about frostbite from staying outside too long.