- Ontario-based startup Sirved has launched a redesigned restaurant app that uses more photos to help diners find menus for different restaurants, according to a company press release. The app currently features more than 400,000 restaurants throughout North America and is free to download.
- The app is searchable by dietary needs or keywords, including gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, as well as by location through its map view.
- The new app now includes ratings and reviews culled from Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Google and Yellowpages. Although the ratings are available, users have the option to browse for menu options only by photos.
The redesigned product from Sirved joins a growing list of app-based platforms to help diners discover new restaurants. The visual focus on menu items allows consumers — who are increasingly less loyal to brands — to discover new places to eat. It is also a strategic move in the age of Instagram, but one that is not uncommon in the space. An advantage that Sirved offers are the aggregated reviews from numerous platforms, providing a more comprehensive look at a restaurant. What customers cannot do, however, is make a reservation through the app after finding the restaurant of choice.
Diners are relying more and more on peer-to-peer recommendations to figure out where to eat these days and far less on professional reviews, according to restaurant reservation app service OpenTable. Social media also is an important component of restaurant reviews given how quickly news can spread through those channels and how influential posts can be. According to a study from marketing agency MGH, 45% of U.S. diners have tried a restaurant because of a social media post from the establishment.
OpenTable is one of the longest running services offering not only a comprehensive menu database but the ability to book a reservation directly in the app. Yelp and Foursquare have their own app that features reviews and menus. Eat 24 boasts 25,000 restaurants on its platform, while Urbanspoon allows users to book reservations after perusing reviews. Expert-focused Zagat, review-focused LocalEats and cleanliness-focused DiningGrades are a few other prominent services with similar features like search filters and customer reviews.