*The company was dissolved in 2016
Magda Sternik and Diego Sanchez met whilst working for a larger financial corporation in London. Both had a background in computing and a very good idea in mind: to create a takeaway app that shows pictures of the best dishes offered in local restaurants that can be ordered with just one click.
Foodswiper was launched in early 2015. The app has received very positive feedback from the users that actually think it’s a great way of enjoying the experience of ordering food online.
So let’s tuck in!
Midlands Traveller: What is Foodswiper? And what is the objective behind it?
Diego Sanchez: It’s simple: Foodswiper is a website where you can browse pictures of the best dishes offered by restaurants in your area. When you find something you like, you can order it for home delivery with one click.
Using Foodswiper you can discover delicious food without the need to scan through long menus. Our objective is to enable users to find the best dishes with the least effort.
Midlands Traveller: How did you come up with the idea of Foodswiper?
Magda Sternik : It happened whilst wearing pyjamas! It was Sunday noon in London in early 2015. We were chilling at home, but getting more and more hungry. It was (not surprisingly) raining, and renouncing our comfortable indoor clothes to go out for lunch was not an option.
We resorted to finding a nice meal to order online. This turned out to be a complete disaster for a simple reason: we were hungry but didn’t know what to choose.
We faced a problem that many people face. We had thousands of dishes to choose from amongst many restaurants, but absolutely no way to know how they looked or what was their quality.
We spent half an hour browsing long text menus with 100+ items each without being able to make a decision. When we finally chose something, we received a meal that was not what we expected and felt disappointed.
It is very likely that the restaurant we ordered from had amazing dishes, but we didn’t know which ones those were. We thought: there has to be a way to improve this experience, for us and for others. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see pictures of the dishes? Furthermore, how about ranking every single one of them individually.
Instead of scanning through hundreds of average dishes we would like to go straight to the top ranked ones. This laid the foundation of Foodswiper, an app designed to ensure customers always find something they would like.
Midlands Traveller: There are many apps related to food services already. What is different about your service?
Diego Sanchez: The difference is in the way we present options. A traditional food services app forces you to read a lot of menus, scanning through many irrelevant options, and making it hard to find the best food for you.
For example, if you are a vegetarian, you have to click on every restaurant, find their vegetarian options, compare between many places, etc. It’s tedious and it’s hard to find what you want.
At Foodswiper you see a ranking of the best foods that every restaurant offers in your area. You can search “vegetarian” to instantly see all the options combined from all restaurants so that you can easily choose the best for you.
Every single food has a picture and a rating, so you always know what you are going to get and if it is good. The experience is faster and more convenient since you have to search and read much less.
Midlands Traveller: Foodswiper is the first takeaway app based entirely on food pictures. How does it work?
Magda Sternik: It’s simple: you enter your postcode and go straight to see pictures of food. The pictures are a selection of the best options local restaurants have to offer.
You can search something specific like “pizza” to see all pizzas from all restaurants in your area, or rather you can swipe through the pictures until you discover a new delicious food to try out.
We all are different and have different tastes. That is why at Foodswiper we offer you a personalised experience. When you use Foodswiper, the system will learn what types of foods you like and which ones you don’t.
Before you realise it, the app will be showing you mostly foods you love. I.e. if you are a Chinese food lover, the app will automatically reorganise the order of the results to show you more Chinese food. This way you don’t have to waste time.
Midlands Traveller: What is the profile of your typical users?
Diego Sanchez: All users have one thing in common: they love to eat quality meals. Since users can see the food, they almost always manage to find something that is great for them.
Typical users include foodies and photography lovers (we encourage you to share your own pictures of your meal with us). We also find the profile of people who just want a convenient tool to order food quickly and without hassle.
Checking our analytics, we see that many users are able to select the food they like in as little as 1 minute. Because you can search “Chicken Pizza”, and see pictures of all the chicken pizzas in your area, it is easy to compare price, quality, size etc to quickly make a decision that will make you happy.
Midlands Traveller: What kind of feedback have you received so far?
Magda Sternik: Feedback has been really positive. Many people find Foodswiper an excellent app since it can make their lives easier and can help them find the food they want in a more convenient and fun way.
We started building Foodswiper as something we would like to use ourselves. We are in the constant process of learning and adapting to our customers and we surely will go with the spirit of our community. If you use Foodswiper and have some feedback be sure to drop us a line, we would love to hear your suggestions.
Midlands Traveller: What are the challenges of a business like yours?
Diego Sanchez: Our main focus, for now, is to make sure the meals we sell are of the best quality and that the customers have an amazing experience using Foodswiper. We take a lot of care to display only the pictures that show exactly the food a user will get.
Using our app you will not find a “generic big mac” picture that many takeaways provide. And because of this, we need to be more selective in terms of what restaurants we partner with and this takes much more effort than just having every restaurant working with us.
Midlands Traveller: Foodswiper is covering some parts of the London area. Are there plans to expand it to other parts of The UK and Europe?
Magda Sternik: Short answer is yes, in the future. However, our biggest goal now is to perfect the product, and ensure customers are happy. Then we will expand to the areas where we see the highest customer demand. We would like to enable anyone who likes the concept to use the app in their location.
Midlands Traveller: What are your future plans?
Diego Sanchez: We are currently working on features that are providing social value. This includes inviting your friends, recommending amazing food you had to them or getting recommendations yourself.
Soon you will be able to upload and share a great picture of the meal you just had, and your friends will be able to order the same with one click. We also plan to provide more varied choices by incorporating more restaurants.
Photos | Foodswiper