By Joshua Klafter, Editorial and Social Media Intern
Social media, particularly on the mobile app spectrum, is one of the largest growing industries of the past decade. Almost everyone uses some form of social media apps. However, not almost everyone, but literally everyone, needs to eat.
Naturally, a conglomeration of both social media apps and the restaurant industry is meant to be. Many restaurant chains have already taken advantage of this trend, constructing their own apps and social media accounts to reach out to customers. However, a new type of app is shaping the restaurant industry, one download at a time.
There is an emerging collection of popular apps that don’t just focus on one restaurant or chain, but on the industry as a whole. These allow you to compare and contrast, read reviews and sometimes even order in food from nearby eateries. Today, I want to take a look at some of the most popular of these apps and discuss what makes them stand out amongst the competition.
A list by Paste Magazine cites EAT24 as a unique restaurant app. Recently acquired by Yelp, not only does EAT24 provide you with reviews and star-based ratings of places you may want to eat at, but also allows you to order food in from over 25 thousand restaurants. That’s right, the creators of the app also run a delivery service. Although delivery times and fees differ for each restaurant, the process works the same for any listed. Therefore, you can order whichever type of cuisine you are in the mood for without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Paste Magazine also lists Zagat as a popular dining app. Zagat allows you to filter restaurant options by cuisine type, location and, most importantly, price. Therefore, you save time by eliminating restaurants out of your price range right off the bat. With a unique scoring system that takes food, decoration and service into account, you can quickly find the dining location that’s perfect for you.
The also listed Dining Grades works similarly to Zagat, but with one key difference. It mainly focuses on a factor that its competitor left out: cleanliness. Using a letter scoring system, Dining Grades shows you which restaurants are clean enough to meet your standards. Whether you want a spotless, fine-dining environment, or simply just want to avoid another case of food poisoning, Dining Grades has you covered.
Mashable makes note of discount apps such as Groupon and Livingsocial on its list. Both work very similarly, allowing you to purchase coupons, and sometimes even free meals, for your favorite dining locations. Although they don’t only focus on the restaurant industry, that facet of these apps is one of their most popular.
Mashable also takes healthiness into account when listing Unified Lifestyle. This app catalogs a massive amount of individual restaurants, as well as chains. After finding the perfect restaurant for you, and dining there, you can use the app to record your caloric intake from the meal. This will allow you to better balance your daily calories and not go overboard. The app will prove especially helpful if you are someone who eats out very often.
Clearly, there are many apps out there to improve your dining experience. From easy delivery to health management, today, there's an app for almost anything restaurant related. For more app recommendations, read more.