A Gen Y’s Perspective: iPhones and Restaurant Apps A Big Help

October 18, 2012

By Jessica Alexis – jessica@urbaneats.net

Upon my graduation from SCAD, (Savannah College of Art and Design), I moved to Atlanta for job opportunities in my field of graphic design and advertising. My job search eventually landed a great position and I settled in to a cozy apartment. I knew Atlanta had a lot to offer in general. But, I had no idea it was this vast when it came to food! I like to describe myself as a “foodie;” a person with a particular interest in food. Being new to Atlanta and a foodie, I was excited about the culinary journey that awaited me!

My goal, of course was to try the “hippest” restaurant spots in town but I wasn’t sure how to locate them. Luckily, I realized that my main and best resource for this journey was going to be my iPhone, also known as a smart phone. By now everyone knows that Apple recently released the iOS6 operating system that runs on the iPhone 4S or 5. Included in the iOS6’s newest features is an enhancement for my friend, Siri. Siri not only has the ability to find a restaurant, but she can now even make reservations. It is as easy as the push of a button. When I use Siri, I always find what I’m looking for.

Ironically, I recently read an article last week in Nation’s Restaurant News titled “Study: Restaurant strategies differ for smart phone, tablet apps” It talked about a study done on “apps” that help drive consumers to restaurants. Turns out 75% access restaurant info on the go. And 8 out of 10 mobile restaurant users go on to make a purchase. Seems that all restaurants should have an app!

In addition to Siri, I have a few other ways I like to go about finding a good restaurant, most of which are accessible on my iPhone:

Yelp: I use this the most. Yelp is popular and you can read reviews from real people to help make your decision. Also the star rating is simple and well known. I usually won’t click further unless the restaurant has 3 or more stars. Ok, 4 or more stars! There also needs to be at least 2 reviews and a website.

Google: We all use Google for pretty much everything. When it comes to searching for a restaurant, I use Google if I already know the name and just need to get basic information such as the address and/or phone number. When I’m out and about, I grab my handy dandy iPhone. I go to Safari and type directly into the Google search. When the search results come up, I make sure it is on the “Places” tab and it will ask to use your current location. Google is also great for getting directions and using the Google Earth feature. iOS 6 also has a spoken turn-by-turn navigation feature with Google Maps.

Scout Mob: Besides it’s attractive design and humorous lingo (no whammies)…I like Scout Mob because it has everything AND you get a deal, (better than Groupon or Living Social). It doesn’t have personal reviews but there are “Scout notes” where they kind of describe the place and there is a link to the website.

Well there you go foodies! Happy food hunting!

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