Buffalo technology contest gives birth to mobile restaurant app

With the emergence of new culinary technology, online chef courses and digital ranking systems for restaurants, it’s hard to deny that the food industry in the U.S. is progressively becoming more digital. Largely, this is a very good thing as it increases awareness, knowledge and functionality of all facets of the industry for both patrons and professionals.  While there’s certainly no shortage of demonstrable progress of this phenomenon, it was evidenced even further during the weekend of Oct. 25, 2014 at the Buffalo Startup Weekend. The annual event, which showcases the best in new businesses focusing on technological advancement, was won this year by a group of individuals who designed an application for use in the restaurant industry.

The application
The winning team at this year’s Buffalo Startup Weekend was a group of individuals who designed an application known as Three Square Meals. According to the Buffalo Business Journal, the program, which is designed for use on a mobile interface, is intended to serve not only as a rankings system for cuisine, but also as a way to distribute analytics regarding the consumer experience at different establishments. By combining facets of multiple existing applications such as foursquare and Yelp!, the application enables patrons to check in at restaurants upon their arrival. Buffalo News reports that the program then allows these individuals to track and rate their meals. The application then, in turn, provides the owners of restaurants with valuable information surrounding the customer experience. For example, it can let a proprietor know what menu items are popular or trending, which items aren’t doing well and more. It can even allow an establishment’s management to send loyal customers coupon options through the application.

Buffalo Startup Weekend
The weekend event, which operates as a celebration of local ideas in technology, features different teams competing for varying forms of support. This year, there were over 16 teams, across which nearly 200 different individuals got involved. The entirety of the competition, as the name of the event suggests, is encapsulated in one weekend. Pitches are given to judges on Friday, and then the rest of the weekend is spent in development until final presentations and demonstrations are made on Sunday. Among the prizes given to the winning team are a host of services aimed at establishing a brand identity, such as promotional videos, graphic design assistance and the aid of a web development team.

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