There’s no shortage of amazing, locally owned restaurants in San Francisco and around the country, but with COVID-19 closing the door to every single one of them, it can be hard to know which restaurants have adapted their menu to the pandemic. There’s a new app, though, that can help locals keep their finger on the restaurants reopening for takeout or delivery.
Built by a two-time foodtech entrepreneur, Foodgroup is SF’s quintessential mobile app for diners sheltered in place. Their mission is simple: Foodgroup lets you find aggregated, real-time updates from local restaurants while the community quarantine is still in place. Coupled with access to neighborhoods and six filters to browse with, Foodgroup is the app that every sheltered-in-place diner should have on hand.
Serge Amouzou, CEO and co-founder of Foodgroup, says because of SF’s shelter-in-place mandate, an app like Foodgroup isn’t only handy, it’s necessary. “Restaurants are closed and some are reopening backup for delivery or takeout” Serge says. “Some are adapting their menu to the pandemic and it’s our hope that diners will use Foodgroup to keep up with all of these changes.”
After logging into the app, a simple navigation screen appears. With a quick click, users can filter local restaurants, switch between neighborhoods and give High Fives and Shoutouts only through Foodgroup. Because users can interact with restaurants through the app, Foodgroup can be used as a social media networking tool, too.
“Social media platforms like Facebook are massive to the point where restaurants are no longer seen,” says Nick Krause, VP R&D of Foodgroup. “Foodgroup stands to be an app that enables diners to have direct access to great restaurants and their staff so diners can have an exclusive social network focused on restaurants.”
Essentially, Serge says, Foodgroup cuts through the social media clutter and gets right to the good stuff — the food. Foodgroup users will never have to answer that age-old question of ‘Where should we eat tonight?’ because they will already have a curated list of top-notch options ready to go on their phone. Instead of experiencing dining-out paralysis, users will enjoy a smorgasbord of restaurant options (with possible discounts ready to be redeemed).
By putting restaurant content in diners’ hands, it enables diners to be up to speed on the latest in the dining scene going on in their city. And diners can go in knowing all the deals available in what is a tough time for restaurants.
Other important information like restaurant main cuisine and location are easily displayed within the app. By eliminating all the excess noise that often distracts users on other social media platforms, Foodgroup offers one consolidated spot specifically designed for discovering reopened places to dine out.
“I think everyone is going to use the app for different reasons — whether that’s to view new menu options or give High Fives and Shoutouts or claiming offers and discounts,” Nick says. “For me, it’ll be to answer the question of ‘What’s open and what are they doing?’ Because you can switch between neighborhoods, it’ll be more convenient to use Foodgroup instead of pulling up Google Maps.”
The creators of Foodgroup hope the app becomes a go-to source for local diners who want to stay up to date with reopening restaurants — and stay up to date with the changes in the pandemic.
With an increasing amount of diners set to return to restaurants, an app like Foodgroup is more relevant now than ever. Plus, Serge points out, by supporting Foodgroup, users are not only supporting local restaurants but also efforts to reopen the economy. It’s a win-win relationship.
“I’m a tech entrepreneur,” Serge says. “And with reopening on the horizon, it just makes sense to help inform diners of restaurant changes. We hope it’ll become a dependable resource for the city.”