9.3.2013: Next Resto’s Video / Startups


SF’s 4505 Meats Announces New Restaurant Via Twitter, Neighborhood Reacts

Last week, San Francisco’s 4505 Meats announced — on Twitter — that it’s opening a new barbecue restaurant in the hip Divisadero neighborhood. That’s cool in itself, but the really exciting part is how the neighborhood responded online — from neighbors to neighboring restaurants. The Little Chihuahua, at the other end of Divis, sent support via Twitter, as did Madrone Art BarRagazzaZiryab, and more.
As this neighborhood evolves and becomes even more of a serious neighborhood destination, these restaurant community connections become super important. Social media elevates restaurant-to-restaurant conversations, but thanks to Twitter’s public nature, everyone is privy to the well-wishing conversations between their favorite spots — and anyone can chime in, creating a digital neighborhood community of support. So, what appears from the outside as many separate, walled establishments becomes one big, happy neighborhood family of support. This obviously resonates well in San Francisco, and will surely spell success for so many of these neighborhood favorites, new and old.



Next’s Bocuse d’Or Teaser Trailer

Chicago’s Next, run by amazing chef, C+T favorite, and general smarty Grant Achatzreleased a teaser video for its latest menu/concept: Bocuse d’Or. Named for the biennial cooking competition that brings the best-of-the-best chefs from around the world, the menu itself is a reflection of the incredibly precise and regimented rules of the competition. The challenge is not unlike “Iron Chef;” teams, which represent their home countries, must create 14 dishes and three garnishes from the same three proteins (in 2013, Irish beef, turbot, and European blue lobster.)
The video features proteins trout, pheasant, and beef, and in typical Next fashion looks quite dramatic, with impeccable presentation and fairly intense background music. The video runs under two minutes, but does a pretty fantastic job of conveying the “dinner as theater” vibe that Achatz loves. Plus, the quality is outstanding, thanks to the restaurant group’s in-house creative team. Love it.



Foursquare Data Tells You Where to Open Your Restaurant
Thanks to our check-in obsession, Foursquare has amassed a whole lot of data, new uses of which are still up for discovery. The latest: researchers at the University of Cambridge found that Foursquare data can help determine the best location for certain restaurants (in this case, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s) in Manhattan.
While the study focused on a relatively small area, the data researchers used could probably be applied anywhere; awesome because what was previously a non-exacting science (choosing a restaurant location) could potentially turn into an exacting one — powered by actual data from actual people’s actual habits. Super smart application.



Delivery Startups Get You Food Fast

Straight outta the Bay Area (no surprise here), two new food delivery startups take on the Seamless/GrubHub giant. A recent article profiles DoorDash and SpoonRocket, both currently serving small California communities. The basic premise is similar to any online ordering system, but each company takes a slight twist: DoorDash sends orders directly to restaurants, but provides its own delivery staff who go to the restaurant, pick up your food, and deliver it straight to you — for a sort-of high fee of $6 per delivery ($12 for an order over $100.) SpoonRocket features two chef-prepared dishes daily (their chef, not a restaurant) and  will charge a $40/year membership fee plus $6 delivery fee (curious how they both landed on that number.)
Two companies, two ideas… will be interesting to watch how (well, IF and how) they are able to scale to include areas outside the Silicon Valley fence.



Gift Favorite Restaurant Meals with Gratafy

In more brand new app news, (this one limited to Seattle and LA) Gratafy is a new way to gift family and friends their favorite restaurant experiences. You choose the item from a list of pre-selected places (it’s a fairly large list), and then can digitally send your gift (delivered via email or Facebook.) Gratafy touts the use case of times when friends are throwing a birthday party at a bar or restaurant, but you can’t attend — but you can buy a digital/real drink for said friend to enjoy during the event. Sounds pretty appealing to me, and it’s quite thoughtful, too.



  • The best Instagram images taken at Bon Appetit’s top restaurants of the year — Bon Appetit
  • (Another) awesome newsletter alert! Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill launched a good one —@Rick_Bayless
  • Keep track of your favorite wines (and more) with this mobile app — Vivino
  • “When in Hawaii,” even Grant Achatz eats Spam — @Gachatz

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