Appetude Vying to Be the Social Network for Food – and Ordering, Too

September 19, 2011

1:49 pm

Angel-funded New York City startup Appetude has a plan – and part of that plan involves giving data to their competitors. More specifically, Appetude is contributing to OpenMenu, an open database of menus updated by restaurants.

“We’re all innovating in food tech. Even if some person is going to compete with us, I still think he should have easy access to menus,” says founder and “foodie” Mark Alayev. “It’ll make us better and it’ll make the industry better.”

Using OpenMenu – and sharing with the competition – is one way Appetude plans to stand out among the cornucopia of food apps available. Another way is utility: in addition to the features that “the social network for food” should definitely have – comments, “yums” (likes), and photos of dishes – Appetude also lets users order from restaurants.

“Food discovery is not enough – we need to add a sense of food utility,” says Alayev. Essentially, Appetude is combining the food photos of Foodspotting with the ordering capability of Seamless and GrubHub.

Appetude is launching its web and iOS app in the NYU area of New York – the home of early-adopter college students and young professionals and tons of restaurants. They are offering those restaurants a good deal, says Alayev, whose mother and grandfather were restaurant owners and who is familiar with low restaurant margins. While other services may charge up to 15% per order, Appetude only takes standard merchant fees to process orders.

Appetude has a couple of other “tricks” up their sleeve, including dish recommendations, but for now you can join us at the Tech Cocktail NYC mixer to see their first live demonstration.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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