December 7, 2009

Restaurant API?

Filed under: cool, entrepreneur — michaelangela @ 12:51 pm

I like this concept. I could see people doing this because the start up is low. At first glance it doesn’t seem to be a problem about being a viable business model. The question to me seems to be is it profitable enough to warrant a full-time business. The example given of the 20-day-per-year model suggests it’s not a full-time venture… unless it takes that long to prepare for the event. Perhaps it is a full time venture and they make enough off of it each time that it really works.

But even if it isn’t full time, if there are restaurants willing to be used in this fashion, or just places where food can be prepped can be found, then those places could become known for certain types of dishes and a Yelp style rating could be developed. (Thinking off the top of my head here.) That would be the restaurant api. But in this case it would be very concrete things (no abstract classes or object inheritance here). Oven is good for baking. Sinks too small to work with. Floor space good and flexible. Everything you wish could me is on a cart so you can move it where you want. Etc.

So the idea sounds cool enough and would lower the barrier to entry for new cooks looking to make their mark. In fact what it would be doing is sort of how software tools became cheap enough for average folks to get their hands on things and make something to be noticed. That’s how I got into software development. I used FlashDevelop to do development for a simple MXML app using a remote datasource provided by amfphp. All free stuff. I happened to send it by the API provider as a “hey I put this together and thought I’d show you” and ended up working for them for a year. 😛 (And learned AS3, bought FlexBuilder 2, got into Eclipse and that whole world and…) I could see the same happening for folks using time-share restaurants.

Upside-Down Examples

Time-Share Restaurants

Speaking with one of my neighbors here in Crested Butte, she started talking about wanting to create a restaurant, which is a tricky business at best and even harder in a resort town with its ebbs and flows and off-seasons.

I mentioned the example given in Seth Godin’s book Tribes, about a restaurant in New York that is only open 20 days a year, on selected Saturdays. You find out and sign up via the web, and they have a full house every time. Because they don’t have to worry about being open at the whim of walk-in customers, they can spend all their time focusing on food rather than being constantly distracted by day-to-day management of a storefront.

We wondered if a restaurant space, or even just a commercial kitchen and searching for spaces that could be used in a guerrilla fashion, could be a viable model. Working with a number of different kitchen users becomes much more practical via the web.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Restaurant API? […]

    Pingback by Flex… um… without Flex? « Ramblings — December 8, 2009 @ 7:51 am

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