Choosing a place is very social. Think about it. You decide where to go with other people. You desire to read reviews from people like you. And, you want to go to places that can be enjoyed by the entire group.
But social place searching is hard to do, andthe existing players in the market struggle to be social.
For example, let’s pick on Yelp. Yelp struggles to be social because it is impossible to run a search query that accounts for the preferences of multiple users, even though we rarely eat or drink alone. Yelp also struggles to instill trust in its review system because users don’t know the taste of the reviewers – and how can you trust a user that you don’t know?
The same goes with CitySearch, Ness, and Alfred. All these technologies are set up for individual restaurant searches. But every time I eat, it’s with other folks.
At Hoppit, we believe that the future of place searching is social, and we designed Hoppit with that consumer psychology in mind. Hoppit is pioneering the concept of social place searching; our search engine and complex algorithms can take into account the taste of multiple users. We’re striving to always have an answer to the question - “What should wedo tonight?”
Next time your group is trying to decide where to go, check out Hoppit.
After a very successful alpha, Hoppit has kicked off its Beta 2.0 redesign! Let the hackathon begin :-)
Restaurant search has gone the way of personalization, and we here at Hoppit believe that our Place Genome Project is going to change the way consumers discover new places to eat and drink.
Let’s first consider Pandora. Pandora’s Music Genome Project is a fantastic example of how to do data-driven recommendations. A song is represented by a list approximately 400 “genes,” and each gene corresponds to a characteristic of the music (e.g. gender of lead vocalist, level of distortion on the electric guitar). Your average Coldplay tune has 150 genes, and when you throw Coldplay into Pandora, its algorithms find songs with a very similar gene pool, and play them for you.
I assert that the best way to recommend restaurants and bars is via this same gene-based approach. Places have many unique “genes,” too. For example, a restaurant can have:
And the most important genes (that we believe no one has really touched on yet):
Ambience genes differentiate restaurants. If you think about it, there are 1,000+ Italian restaurants in Manhattan. But, there are only about 20 Italian restaurants in Manhattan that are cozy, with a fireplace and exposed brick (probably 1-2 per neighborhood).
Ambience also plays a key role in your occasion. A large, classy Italian restaurant is perfect for a family dinner. A dimly-lit, romantic Italian restaurant is perfect for a Valentine’s day date. And a cozy, hole in the wall Italian nook is good for a 1st date.
Hoppit is trying to transform the way we find new places by focusing on ambience. In Hoppit, you can find the exact ambience you desire (down to the nitty, gritty details). It’s the first of its kind, and it’s where we believe restaurant and bar searching is going.
-Steven Dziedzic, Founder