Silicon Chef: A Half-Baked Guide to Food Startups

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DeliciousNutritious—Lets employees pre-order nutritious foods for overnight delivery to workplace break room refrigerators.

Dinevore—Personalized restaurant search and recomendations.

Dishtip—Information on the best dishes at thousands of restaurants, compiled from reviews around the Web.

Eat24—Find nearby take-out restaurants, browse their menus, and order online.

Eater—a national network of hyperlocal food and restaurant news sites. Part of the Curbed Network.

Eatery—An iPhone app for group meal tracking, from San Francisco-based Massive Health.

E la Carte—Hardened tablet computers for ordering, entertainment, and payment in restaurants.

Epicurious—Web and mobile recipe search drawing on Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines.

Exit 41—Web and mobile ordering systems for takeout food.

Flavorbite—A community site for sharing food experiences and photos.

Foodbuzz—A community of food bloggers, owned by Federated Media.

Foodcaching—Mobile social games that connect diners with restaurant discounts. Seattle only.

Foodia—Community ratings and reviews of food products, plus nutrition and environmental scores.

Foodily—Recipe search enhanced with social sharing features.

Foodista—A Wikipedia-style community encyclopedia for recipes and cooking techniques.

Foodler—Online ordering from local restaurants, for delivery or takeout.

Foodoro—An online marketplace for gourmet food from artisanal producers and farmers.

Foodspotting—User reviews of specific dishes at restaurants around the United States.

Foodtree—Crowdsourced maps linking farmers, grocers, markets, restaurants, and consumers.

Fooducate—Mobile apps for scanning food-product barcodes, learning about nutritional content, and making better shopping choices.

Fooducopia—An online marketplace for artisan foods, connecting food entrepreneurs, farmers, and customers.

Foodzie—An online marketplace for foods from small producers and growers.

FreshDirect—Online shopping for food delivered directly from farms to homes. Currently New York only.

FreshDish—Meal kits delivered to your door.

Gojee—Hand-picked recipes from food writers.

Goodplates—Dish-level recommendations for 700 restaurants in Boston and Cambridge, MA.

Grubhub—Online ordering of food for pickup or delivery by 13,000 restaurants.

Grubwithus—Planning discount restaurant meals with groups of strangers.

Kitchit—Online search and booking of chefs for social events.

Kitchen Monki—Recipe organization and sharing, plus a grocery list maker.

Locu—Developing an online application called MenuPlatform designed to help restaurants manage their online presence.

LoseIt!—Web and mobile apps for tracking food consumption and exercise.

Lot18—Daily deals on premium wines.

Love with Food—Ships a box of gourmet food samples to customers every month.

MooBella—Portable “ice creamery” vending machines that make a single serving of ice cream.

Munchery—Online ordering of meals prepared by personal chefs. Currently San Francisco only.

NatureBox—Healthy snacks delivered monthly for $19.95 per month.

No Wait—Mobile apps that alert restaurant guests when their table is ready.

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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15 responses to “Silicon Chef: A Half-Baked Guide to Food Startups”

  1. Josh Bob says:

    Interesting stuff, Wade, but I disagree with your assessment that there isn’t enough space for multiple players in the restaurant market.

    Just looking at casual restaurants alone, there are over 150,000 potential customers – only about 25% of which are part of the top 200 largest chains. So unless one victor emerges by being able to acquire a huge number of independent / small group restaurants, there will be plenty of space in the market for multiple players.

    Not to say that we wouldn’t prefer for Textaurant to be the only player. :)

  2. Owen Wright says:

    Checkout Nice use of the daily-deal model to introduce foodies to new foods.

  3. Tim says:

    This is quite a list. You mentioned that the market is getting a little ‘frothy’. I’ll respectively disagree and say it is great consumers have a variety of food related resources.

  4. Joe says: has a much more full-featured app for paging guests when their table is ready than any of the 3 you listed.

  5. Sunil says:

    Great article Wade. There are definitely a lot of players in this space but I think its great to see innovation in the restaurant industry that has for a long time had very traditional and outdated methods.

    I’d like to throw our hat in there as well as a new discovery engine for urban diners. Our focus is on the details around dishes so you can find dishes by cuisine, price, meal type and lifestyle like vegetarian or gluten free.

    TopDish for Iphone

  6. Conrad Chu says:

    You missed one:

    The only food startup that actually serves up food … and not send you to a restaurant :)

    It’s a marketplace that connects personal chefs to individuals, delivering healthy, locally-source gourmet meals on-demand with an hour’s notice.

  7. Wade RoushWade Roush says:

    @Conrad Chu: Actually, Munchery is already on the list – near the bottom of page 2.

  8. Marco Flavio says:

    For those interested in continuing the conversation, I did start a Linkedin Group: Food Startups – USA. Do come and join us.

  9. Please include DeliciousNutritious in your list. We sell fresh, healthy food online in partnership with employers, with delivery directly into break room refrigerators before the start of each work day. Thanks!

  10. Rajesh K says:

    How can be the largest ordering service (with 7,500 menus) when GrubHub has 13,000?

  11. If you were to update this article, what would you write? Curious how food tech has changed – I feel like I’m just now hearing about food tech startups.

  12. Wade Roush says:

    Hey Kevin. This article boils down to a big list, and I do try to keep it up to date by adding a listing whenever I hear about new food startups. I think the trend I was highlighting has only expanded since this piece first appeared. The FoodStartups group in San Francisco, for example, keeps growing — it seems like every meetup they have attractes about 50% more people than the one before.