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Fast Talk

Can An App Tell You What You Want To Eat? Foodspotting Is Trying

The tech wizards in this month's Fast Talk say they know what you want before you do. Here, Foodspotting CEO Alexa Andrzejewski on how her smartphone app helps eaters discover tasty local dishes.

Can An App Tell You What You Want To Eat? Foodspotting Is Trying
Alexa Andrzejewski | Photo by Toby Burditt
Photo by Toby Burditt

Alexa Andrzejewski
Goal: Help smartphone users discover specific dishes at local restaurants.

"When you recommend a restaurant dish, you're asking people to commit time and money to actually trying it. So there's a risk they will get mad at you if they don't like it. We get that. That's why, instead of telling users to eat one thing from one restaurant, our Foodspotting app gives them options, and we're transparent about our process. We explain, very clearly, why Foodspotting is showing each food to them—maybe a critic they like recommended the dish, maybe the flavor profile is similar to another dish they often eat—but what to eat is totally up to them. Eventually, we may be able to offer up single recommendations. But you have to wonder if people would even trust us. Maybe, with food especially, they like to have choices."

More Fast Talk: Predicting Desire
Shiva Rajarama

Read the extended interview

A version of this article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.