App provides Charleston foodies a chance to become 'Tastemakers'
A few months ago, a new app launched in Charleston that makes it easier than ever for locals to find awesome restaurants in town.
Instead of giving a restaurant, coffee shop, or bar an ambiguous 1-5 star review, users get one "favorite" in each category in their city, and the app ranks the top 10 favorited places. Users can become a Tastemaker by "checking in" at each location to increase the value of their opinion. This is especially helpful for people who don’t like to take the time to read or write long reviews, but still want some crowdsourced help on finding the next spot at which to dine.
I did an interview with Taste co-founder/CEO Andy Seavers to give insight on the making of the app and its place in Charleston.
1. Why do you think Charleston needed Taste/what inspired you to create the app?
There are so many places to go in Charleston that I don't want to waste a night eating out by going somewhere sub-par. When I go out, I want to have the best experience possible. I think that anyone visiting Charleston wants the same thing - to eat somewhere amazing - but before, their only options were to sift through review sites to find a place that fit their cravings. Taste was inspired by a desire to easily find the best places to eat in a city, voted on by locals truly know what is best.
2. Where would you like to see Taste go in the future?
As a co-founder and CEO of Taste, I see the app truly becoming a staple for foodies, travelers, millennials, and hungry people anywhere. It’s easy to use, and provides valuable insight on where to eat or drink in cities across the country - straight from the locals themselves. Taste is the app you can trust wherever you are, whatever you're craving.
3. How can restaurants benefit from the app?
Restaurant owners get frustrated with review sites - reviews can often be biased or unreasonable. With Taste, the restaurants are ranked by locals who know best. Each user just gets one "favorite" vote in each category, but they can change it at any time as they try new places. It's a much more positive interaction between restaurants and patrons. Additionally, restaurant owners will be able to discover what demographics favorite and check-in to their restaurant which can help with their marketing strategy.
4. Why do you think people will love the app?
It's a fresh, positive look on eating out. We've removed reviews and five star ratings and replaced it with "favorites". Reading through a normal review site, you’re likely to get bogged down by this negativity. We wanted to use favorites so that when you use Taste, you’re not having to waste time scrolling through the negative reviews. When you’re hungry or busy traveling, using Taste helps you decide where to actually find that cup of coffee or sushi roll or burger you're dreaming about - if you love to discover good food, you'll love Taste.
5. What's your favorite Charleston restaurant?
My current favorite restaurant is Lewis Barbecue. Their food is amazing and high quality, so it didn't take long for it to become my go-to.
Sydney Gallimore is a cat-loving food writer who's lived in Charleston for almost 10 years. Her life is fueled by meals at various restaurants around the Holy City, iced coffee, and craft cocktails.