For anyone who has ever looked at a restaurant menu with “TMI” (Too Much Information) and wondered “WTF?” “What’s THAT Food?” or “What Tastes Flavorful?” or “What are The Favorites?” on the menu as judged by the people who have dined there, a new mobile app will put your mobile where you mouth is!
Chewsy, a free iPhone app for discriminating diners, dishes up real-world ratings and reviews on restaurant dishes served in restaurants across America. So far 11 cities are featured — Austin, Boston, Chicago, D.C., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, with more than 100,000 eateries being logged. While New York boasts the largest concentration of restaurants at more than 20,000, the greatest number of customer reviews to date have come from the Seattle market. It would appear we like to comment on good food as much as we like to consume it.
Chewsy doesn’t seek to cover every dish a restaurant cooks up. “In a perfect world, 5-6 items per restaurant would be ideal, said Chief Chewser, Chaitanya Sareen. “We hope we can help answer what are the top 3 dishes people should try on the menu, and what are the 3 to stay away from!”
Unlike a general restaurant review app, Chewsy does not seek to aggregate the ratings that get submitted by taste-testers into an overall restaurant score. Chewsy gets down to the meat and potatoes, the peas and carrots, the actual reviews of dishes served at the “butt-in-seat” level. For that reason, the founders do not believe the app will be “gamed” by chefs, waiters, bus boys or SEOs hungry for high Web ranking.
The rating metric for Chewsy is the Spoon: “Five Spoons” being the equivalent of five stars. But there is also qualitative information that can be shared. “Warning! It’s a huge sandwich.” “You must try the fish.” Or, the simple knowledge of how to order — whether food cooked medium rare is well done.
Have you always wanted to give feedback to your favorite restaurant kitchen? The early impressions are that Chewsy is a “win-win” for
restaurants and gourmands alike. In one case, a restaurant owner was surprised to discover how one Chewsy customer was recommending other people order a particular dish. The value of feedback at that level is serious food for thought.
Co-founded by Chaitanya Sareen with fellow foodies Trevin Chow, Rob Jarrett, and Herman Man, Chewsy has been a pet project for the four Microsoft colleagues. Thanks to smooth sailing through the Apple App store and planned deployments on Windows Phone 7 and Android, the day job may soon become an option for the quartet to chew on.
Why not send your compliments to the chef, or your kudos or caveats to friends, by installing Chewsy today? Bon appetit’!