You can now peruse for dinner much the same you might peruse for a potential date. In a food-meets-Tinder mash up, New York-based Entrée has made its way to Columbus.
Roommates Danny Tippens and PJ Pattamatta developed the concept after many a squabble and search for the answer to “What do you want to eat?” Scanning Yelp or Foursquare seemed inefficient, so the pair decided that instead of starting with the restaurant, starting with the dish.
“You really eat with your eyes,” Tippens says. He points to research that backs up the claim that when a diner sees an appetizing dish or a dish in person, it leads to a quicker decision.
Entrée asks app users for meat and cuisine preferences to kick the dish-doling algorithm into gear. Tinder users will find the ‘swipe left if a dish isn’t what hits the spot, swipe right if it looks good’ familiar. Click on a dish and the app shows restaurants in the area that are serving it up.
Entrée curates the initial generic dish photos, and is implementing different ways of sourcing actual restaurant photos for the follow-up dishes, ensuring the highest-quality images possible.
Tippens says they consider themselves restaurant agnostic. Entrée doesn’t have to have partnerships with every restaurant it lists. Dishes are shown based on personal preference versus other services where advertisers might pay for prime placement.
Instead, to generate revenue, Entrée relies on an affiliate revenue model with its last mile partners. The app has a deal with Uber, allowing users to order a ride to a restaurant once they’ve selected a dish. A partnership with Open Table is also launching in the next few weeks so diners can make reservations.
From its launch in New York City in August of 2016, Entrée has expanded to 10 cities, including Columbus.
“We really liked Columbus because we really wanted to attack some of the not necessarily the huge metro cities, but cities that have a good food scene and also have kind of a young, affluent audience,” Tippens says.
Entrée has found its core users are students and young professionals, with OSU having a huge influence on their decision to expand to Columbus.
As the local market adds to the young app’s expanding list of cities, Tippens says they wanted to get the app into users’ pockets to for a few different reasons. First, to learn more about what features should be integrated with the app, “And most importantly to improve on the algorithm which essentially learns your taste preferences,” Tippens says.
The goal is to learn an Entrée users preferences to be able to better predict what they will be hungry for in the future.
For more information, visit getentree.io.