A sampling of e-retailer and vendor announcements from the NRF show floor this week.
The James Beard Foundation, Eater, and The Village Voice Partner to Help Diners Make the Most Informed Restaurant Choices
SEATTLE, March 28, 2011 – Urbanspoon, the leading mobile restaurant discovery application and reservation management system, today announced its newly designed iPhone app -- featuring a brand new user interface and filters that enable diners to discover great restaurants based on the elements most important to them, including awards recognition from the James Beard Foundation and content from both Eater and the Village Voice.
The new app provides a more comprehensive view of the restaurant experience based on likes, expert content, and visual elements, with an emphasis on user photos. Together, these inputs help Urbanspoon users get an immediate snapshot and find the right restaurant for their preferences, at the right time. Diners can now also filter restaurants by James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award winners and nominees, the essential 38 Restaurants in major cities as selected by Eater (“Eater 38”), and Critics’ Top Picks from the Village Voice.
“People are faced with restaurant review overload, so our goal is to give users a quick expert snapshot allowing them to find the right place, based on both their history and what’s trending nearby,” said Kara Nortman, SVP of Consumer Businesses, CityGrid Media. “Combining valuable content from industry leaders like the James Beard Foundation, with our own food blogger reviews and diner feedback, gives Urbanspoon users a richer understanding of a restaurant’s food or experience in just a few taps.”
New features include:
- Filters that Personalize Restaurant Discovery Process – Diners can select restaurants based on a number of criteria, including: hottest restaurants (restaurants in your area with the most blogger and critic activity); user feedback (thumbs up or down) and photos; what’s available tonight; price; restaurants that have been “Wishlisted” and other editorial filters.
- New Editorially Selected Lists – The app integrates industry recognition from The James Beard Foundation, Eater, and the Village Voice. Diners can choose from 22 years of James Beard Award Restaurant and Chef Winners and Nominees (known as the “Oscars” of the food world), the “essential 38” Eater restaurants in major cities, and the Village Voice critics’ top picks in over a dozen markets. Content is also combined with expert reviews from the Urbanspoon blogger network, one of the world’s largest local food blogger networks.
- Mapping Feature– Restaurant lists now feature an interactive map that allows users to filter by cuisine, distance, name, popularity and price. Drag and drop the pin to a different spot on the map to explore restaurants in other areas and find the perfect spot for dinner tonight or brunch next weekend.
- Wishlist – Diners can use the proximity-based “Wishlist” to keep track of restaurants they want to try. Once users are signed in, they will be notified if places on their wish list are in the immediate area, so they never miss a chance to try the new hot spot and document their culinary adventures.
- New UI – The sleek visual design features bold filters at the top of the home screen to make the selection process simple and intuitive, while preserving the serendipitous discovery option that is Urbanspoon’s signature slot machine shake.
The Urbanspoon app for iPhone can be downloaded for free in the iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/urbanspoon/id284708449
Urbanspoon is a leading online local restaurant guide, aggregating restaurant content from across the Web including newspapers, professional food critics, bloggers and diners. Urbanspoon allows diners to make restaurant reservations through its online booking service, both on the Web and mobile. In addition, Urbanspoon offers restaurants Urbanspoon Rezbook - a complete reservation and table management system built to run on the Apple iPad. Urbanspoon is a subsidiary of CityGrid Media, LLC (www.citygridmedia.com), an IAC (NASDAQ: IACI) operating company, and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
About the James Beard Foundation
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and preserving America's diverse culinary heritage and future. A cookbook author and teacher, James Beard was a champion of American cuisine who helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by offering a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of our culinary culture. These programs include educational initiatives, food industry awards, an annual national food conference, Leadership Awards program, culinary scholarships, and publications. In addition to maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs, the Foundation has created a robust online community and hosts tastings, lectures, workshops, and food-related art exhibits in New York City and around the country. For more information, please visit www.jamesbeard.org. Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter.
Eater (eater.com) obsessively reports on dining and drinking in the nation's most vibrant food cities. Since its launch in New York in 2005, Eater has opened sites in 16 more cities around the country. And Eater National brings Eater's signature coverage to parts far and wide, with beefed-up reporting on celebrity chefs, reality TV, and national dining trends. Eater is published by Curbed.com, LLC, and is headquartered in New York.
About The Village Voice
Village Voice Media is the nation's leading alternative media company, providing cutting-edge coverage of news, food, music, arts and events with websites, mobile apps, and weekly print newspapers in thirteen major American markets from New York to Los Angeles, Miami to Seattle. Its national network of blogs and apps reach readers across the country, and the online advertising solutions offered through Voice Media Group cover the nation's Top 50 markets and more than 25 million monthly unique visitors.