We would all be happy if the reviews by ‘real people’ about restaurants were past “I hated it! It took them 5 minutes to get my order! *insert abuses written in internet slang*”. Well, let’s move past that utopian idea and talk about ChefsFeed – an App that brings us reviews from professional chefs! So now, you won’t be considered a liar if your answer to the question, “Who recommended this place to you?” is “Mario Batali did.” Along with their refreshing business model, ChefsFeed’s CEO Rich Maggiotto had a few other interesting things to share with us.
Congratulations on your fantastic App. Seeing the title ‘Chef’ before the name of the reviewer really makes it easy to trust the reviews. What led you to the concept of this App?
After hearing their clients frustration with unreliable user-generated reviews that had nothing to do with their dishes, co-founders Steve and Jared Rivera realized there was a need for something better and more reliable that would re-empower the restaurant industry and give chefs back the control of dialogue.
How did you manage to rope in the likes of Mario Batali, David Chang and Christina Tosi? What was it about your App that they liked?
We currently have 1,200 chefs on our platform. It is a self-selected network that has been identified by chefs. Chefs recommend chefs whom they admire, are like-minded and who are friends. These chefs enjoy that we are re-empowering the restaurant industry and want to be in good company of other chefs they respect and may even be competitive with. Every recommendation a chef makes is an extension of their reputation and his/her own palette.
What has been your marketing strategy with the App?
We work in close partnership with the Apple and Android teams and have a robust review system in place, catering to the unique needs of users in each ecosystem. Our partnership with Apple resulted in us being featured as the #2 position on Apple’s best new apps within the App store on launch day, being front-and-center in the food & drink category. Additionally, sponsorships with companies who want to be associated with the best chefs in the world and content syndication with some of the best brands who utilize our videos are important marketing levers.
The Wall Street Journal, TIME, The New York Times and the editors at iTunes are just a few of the fans of your App. What does this validation mean for the App?
This validates the desire and critical need for qualified restaurant and dish recommendations!
Your YouTube channel is addictive and mouth-watering. What was the purpose behind starting that? Has it benefitted the App in any way that you can share with us?
We wanted one channel to share all of our awesome content. Users can find the videos on our website and app as well.
Your App is available for both Android and iOS devices. How different has your experience been working with the two platforms?
We never questioned only having the app on one platform. For us, it was important to be available on both Android and iOS because our users and chefs are active on both. There are unique opportunities within each platform that our team of of developers and engineers build, design and test for continuously.
Do you have a secret ingredient that you would like to disclose to help new developers take their App to the same heights as yours?
We design to meet a specific use case: ChefsFeed is the inside connection to the best dishes and food culture. Keep the user in mind and understanding your audience – both the technical app reviewer and casual users’ experience. Developers must also stick to their values. We spent the last several months working closely with fellow chefs, restaurateurs and lovers of food to best represent our identity—ferociously passionate, unapologetically bold creators. We’re psyched about the response so far.
Lastly, what is next for ChefsFeed? Where would you like to see the App go from here?
We hope to have more media content, more engaged chef users, and capture the eyes of more consumers across the globe.