"We should open a restaurant. We make great sandwiches," I said to @twelch12. He replied, looking at my pork tenderloin slices topped with cheeses and jalapenos, "And apps. We should have apps for apps."
He’s referring to iPhone applications for appetizers - that would be fun. I can sense some rolling of eyes, and I realize the idea of inserting a digital system to order food and drinks may sound ridiculous to some, but the idea is not as much about streamlining the service or cutting the cost of a waiter. Waiters are a staple; moreover, they provide personality to the dining. What Thomas and I began to discuss highlights the trend in digital data flow and analysis, not to mention social potential in the social media frontier.
If orders for food and drinks were placed via a mobile device, the possibilities explode for the restaurant. The device could show what’s hot, have a rating system with comments for the chef/manager, provide easy data on quantity and time/date trend of specific foods. The restaurant could lean out it’s inventory or know when to bring in the freshest food for the most demanded moments. It would be fantastic for rookies to order based on real data favorites and compare likes to other, more familiar tastes.
If the system could link to an app with high depth such as Foursquare, where the data could be deeply analyzed and interpreted by their team. And since Foursquare recently commented how they are in the data business not just check-ins, the idea of ever flowing information would be incredibly lucrative and powerful to their development. Similarly rated and sampled data could offer new restaurant suggestions through a very deep use of the “Explore” function. It would not need to be Foursquare, but I feel it is the most recognized social sharing service directly related to this idea. Maybe @arainert and/or @dens are already pursuing this.
I could see flat screens at a bar showing real-time graphs or charts of what is being ordered and how long meals take to be at a restaurant delivered. Maybe the most ordered beer of the night goes on discount the next night. Happy hours could be taste relevant and games could be created. The 100th Vegas Bomb is free…I know a few people interested. Restaurants could have foods promoted and bars could have drinks promoted. There lies another source of small revenue. Although, I think if this were to hit bars, due to a positive correlation of clumsy smart phone handling and elapsed time, maybe the application should be based on an individual’s phone, not a venue owned asset.
These are just some thoughts and ideas built from a couch discussion on a Sunday evening. It kind of reminds me why @twelch12 and I dropped Chemistry II in college; late night brainstorms instead of studying/working. Plus, Chemistry was hard.