The Terroir Symposium ushered in a slew of culinary leaders into our fair city, stirring and stewing over a litany of industry topics that swirled from emerging food trends, to technology, to raw emotions- all carved up, dissected and revealed. Terroir digs deep with it’s programming, each year uncovering a layer of learning, discovering and adapting to the ever changing landscape that comprises the food and beverage industry.
Of particular interest was the segment on the slew of new apps for diners, and a panel of lady bosses who are driving the change. Reps from DINR, Open Table and bitemojo were on hand to dish out the deets on how the impact of our insatiable quest for instant everything has changed the way eaters dine out. Impulsive behaviour has forced restaurants to cater to spontaneous reservations, something that DINR director of marketing Natalie Goldenberg-Fife can attest to. Her company focuses on niche dining experiences, think heavyweights like Alo- reservations that are hard to come by and highly sought after can be released to last minute diners day of, by simply activating the app you can snap up tables that may otherwise sit vacant. This is a win-win, restaurant owners are ecstatic, razor thin profit margins rely on not only packing the house but also on turning tables- taking an automated approach to managing this relieves FOH the burden of constant calls, and diners are rewarded with the reservation of their dreams, and the dining experience that goes with it.
Open Table has been part of this instant movement since it’s inception. Leading the trend, their platform is almost world-wide, with restaurants around the globe clamouring for tourist’s attention. Open Table’s model is much different in scope to DINR’s, consider the two complimentary to one another- where DINR sources the most exclusive and hard to come by, Open Table features hordes of choices when it comes to dining, and also allows diners to accumulate points that can be exchanged for actual money- a cheque is mailed to them when they reach a certain point level and cash in so that they can use in a partner restaurant of their choice. And VP of Restaurant Marketing Alisa Weiner says that women are driving this trend, with Open Table reporting that their site is used by 58% women over men.
Millennials travel the most out of any generational group, and Yael Weiss Gadish celebrates this group with her bitemojo app. Her app treats travel and dining out as a collaborative effort, especially amongst this age demographic. Creating self-guided routes which take users on a unique food journey is part of bitemojo’s mission, and those on the site can accrue coins dubbed bitecredits. This approach allows users to also refer their fave ‘off the beaten path’ restaurants to further build the community and bitemojo reach.
So what is next for this burgeoning instant industry? Drone delivery? 3-D printed food? Tell us in the comments below!