Let’s face it – Americans love to eat out! The average consumer spends approximately $2,500 a year dining out at restaurants according to the United States Department of Labor. NewME Accelerator Spring 2012 graduate, founder Chris Lyons wants to make that dining out experience a great one with PictureMenu.
PictureMenu is an iPhone and iPad app that allows users to view restaurant menus. It is the simplest way a restaurant can have their menu viewable on a smartphone or tablet.
There are other food apps out there like OpenTable, Yelp, and Foodspotting, but PictureMenu is approaching the food space a little differently. The app focuses on menus through photography with a goal to create valuable technology that restaurants can incorporate into their daily workflow.
“We allow any restaurant the opportunity to easily provide their restaurant’s menu on an iPhone without having to hire a developer,” Lyons says. “It’s only the first version and we are currently learning important wants and needs from the restaurants and users based off of the success we are already seeing.”
PictureMenu is helping crowd-source the world’s menu onto one platform.
The app provides a discovery platform for users to find great restaurants based off what they’re in the mood for or what’s nearby. After they find a restaurant they can then go into that restaurant’s guest favorites and add a photo of what they ate. Next to their description of the dish they can add a price to the meal so whenever anyone visits that restaurant on PictureMenu they can now see the item the user uploaded.
Food photography has become extremely popular today, especially with the launch of Instagram in 2010. Keeping that in mind, PictureMenu allows users to take pictures of your dish and share it directly to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
PictureMenu has 1,500 downloads from 24 different countries and 350 menu items already added since its launch only one month ago.
“We’ve had great feedback from users and restaurant owners that love the app,” Lyons says. He explains how NewME has been one of the most valuable resources to his company’s growth and himself as a CEO.
“The access of knowledge and depth of mentors has really allowed me to make smarter business decisions and develop within the start-up community, Lyons says. “The value of simplicity, design, and product all contribute to the success of PictureMenu’s traction; and all of those characteristics of the company matured with the help of NewMe Accelerator.”