Washington DC’s Decentralized Restaurant
As we already described in ‘Trend 4: Pop-Up Everywhere’, the popularity of pop-up food concepts is growing, whether it is about pop-up restaurants or flexible food sellers. Of course, street vending is not a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, more and more mobile food concepts build their brand by smart use of social media. Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter enable flexible and pop-up initiatives such as the Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck to instantly organize people in a physical way. Washington-based initiative The strEATS takes the online presence of mobile food vendors to the next level by mapping out current locations of a number of the city’s favorite food trucks. In fact the website creates an online decentral restaurant. As Springwise explains:
“Many of the new food trucks we’ve featured have used Twitter to broadcast their current locations, of course, but for consumers with multiple favorites, monitoring multiple feeds can become a burden. So argues The strEATS, which now offers a map-based alternative.”
The idea is simple: users enter their current location, and the website shows which food strucks are nearby. Furthermore, the website’s map provides a quick overview of all Washington DC’s purveyors at once. Various food trucks have their own page on The strEATS, offering extra information, such as specials, menus and the latest tweets. The people behind The strEATS are currently working on an app that should bring the website’s functionality to the iPhone. This reminds me of the smartphone app by US mobile food vendor’s platform Roaming Hunger, which already allows you to follow street food.