Tinder For Restaurants

Amanda and I have a couple friends visiting us in Mexico City this weekend. One of them is single and was user Tinder and it made me think of how Tinder is a very elegant (and human-focused) solution to a matching problem.

It allows for very simple and quick decision making. You can scan through and surface level evaluate options at a rapid pace.

The same solution could be applied to a different matching problem, like finding a restaurant to eat at.

Food delivery apps are amazing, but most of them are still clunky and don’t make it easy to decide on a place to eat. Having a photo heavy and intuitive app that allowed you to quickly filter through restaurants would be a much better experience.

Right now to search ten possible options on Uber eats takes ~10 minutes, you should be able to surface level scan 20 restaurants in a minute.

Imagine a tool with a user interface similar to tinder–photo focused with swiping to express interest–that displayed photos and information on restaurants.

Like Tinder, you could initially filter for some interests and you could use the app for two use cases:

  • Finding a restaurant near you.
    • You set a distance filter and then can quickly swipe through restaurants until you find a restaurant you are interested in that is nearby. Swipe right to show your interest.
    • You could use progressing filtering. When you swipe right it would filter those restaurants into groups, that you could then go through and eliminate¬†choices until you made a final decision.
      • Eliminating options in rounds is much more effective and low effort decision making.
    • Eventually, you pick a restaurant and swipe up to make a reservation or signal your decision.
  • Finding take out
    • Instead of filtering off distance, you filter on takeout availability and time, then restaurants are presented to you like they are on Tinder.
    • You find the restaurant you like and then proceed to an second level swiping dashboard for the dishes available at the restaurant.

Some other ideas around this:

  • Adding a curation function. Like on Spotify, how you can create public playlists, foodies could create restaurant hit lists, then you could filter through those lists. Learning which curators you trust.
  • You could use micropayments to incentivize users to share more information (like how long the wait is, how there food was, and uploading photos of different dishes.)

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