Friday, December 27, 2013

Moving to the new Dinnerwire.com App

I can pretty safely say that I was the first Sacramentan to use Foodspotting, the app for foodies who like to take pictures of their food.  Since they launched, I have met the founder, the team, and even been to the Foodspotting headquarters in San Francisco. It's a great app and a popular one.

There are other apps related to food that I do not use. I don't check-in with Foursquare and I very rarely Yelp. I never saw any decent return on Foursquare check-ins and only use it now to get the free valet parking at Ella. As for Yelp, I've always hated having to weed through bitchy comments to find worthwhile and helpful reviews. When it comes to helpful foodie reviews, I prefer those on Urbanspoon.

But I'm now switching over to Dinnerwire. Dinnerwire has it all in one place. I can check-in to the restaurant, take pictures of my food and post them, and write reviews or rate them. This is just the tip of the iceberg as it has more, and will be getting more, functionality soon.

In full disclosure, I'm now working for Dinnerwire and have been working as a consultant for them for the last six months.  They are a new app based in Davis and when I started last summer, they were still working on bugs.  That's where I came in.  As a foodie end user, I told them things that needed to be changed and what I wanted to see in the app that weren't there. Some of my suggestions are currently seen in the app.

For instance, before you could add a picture and then it bounced you out to the main menu. But we all know that we take multiple pictures at a restaurant. Now you can post multiple pictures without getting kicked out to the main menu.



Another feature that I wanted was more than a single 5-star rating system. I wanted to be able to rate on food, service, and ambiance.  After all, you can have great food and crappy service or vice versa. They not only added those ratings, but also value. 

Dinnerwire's CEO is Paul Katsch.  Paul owned a restaurant in Virginia for several years, so he sees the app and others out there from a restaurant owner's perspective.  

One of the things restaurants often battle with is the bitchy reviews. Now true, some bad reviews are fully warranted. But there are also plenty of people out there who just use their reviews for attention getting. There are those that like the anonymity and the ability to say whatever they please, even if it is untrue or vindictive.  I prefer to write my negative reviews (and I rarely do them) as a constructive criticism. "Hey, these things need attention/improvement!"

Dinnerwire encourages the restaurant owners and chefs to create profiles on the app.  If a bad review is generated, there can be dialogue and hopefully a beneficial resolution. Whether this will work out as a helpful avenue is still to be seen as more people start using the app.

There are some other things coming down the pipeline that I don't want to give away just yet. But Dinnerwire has some big plans for 2014. 

I still have the other apps on my phone, but I really don't use them anymore. I don't want to have to log into so many different apps and much prefer one that offers it all.  So consider joining Dinnerwire and friend me as Ms Munchie.  

Starting on January 1st, I will be handling Dinnerwire's social media accounts.




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