Hank Marvin in the UK?

If you eat out in the UK you might be interested in a new website aimed right atcha… Here is the press release:

An online portal, which brings people with a passion for food together to share their dining out experiences, has been launched. iStarvin, a site that combines the convenience of a restaurant directory with in-depth content and eye-catching photos, connects individuals with an interest in food and dining, allowing them to follow each other’s activity or seek recommendations for a special occasion.

Unlike the launch of many of their competitors, iStarvin has already done an adept job of creating a highly comprehensive restaurant directory.  There are few, if any reviews yet, and there are one or two website glitches, but it looks like a great start.  Clearly they hope to create a community to contribute insights and recommendations, but the business model relies on restaurateurs taking the opportunity to embellish the offer (for a price) and include, for example, the facility to book tables online.  Like any advertising model this depends on Muggles like me and you using the service.

Being a mobile kind of guy, I rarely search a website unless it is apped up.  I am getting increasingly dissatisfied with Urbanspoon, Opentable, and AroundMe, so I hope that when iStarvin launches the iPhone app, it will be a truffle amongst mushrooms.

This is a well worn business model with no clear leader so I admire iStarvin’s balls in entering the market.  Having said that, they have learnt from their competitors’ mistakes and it looks to be the best attempt yet from a consumer perspective (and that is the critical success factor).

iStarvin is using social media well to publicise the new site.  I learned of it on Twitter from the excellently erudite Oliver Thring, one of the many food bloggers I met at EWBC.  If you are a foodie, you should also follow Niamh, Chris, Lizzie and Douglas, charming chaps and chappesses all.

One Response to “Hank Marvin in the UK?”

  1. Ehram Says:

    If you’re looking for a restaurant booking service with an app, have a try at Bookatable’s restaurant iphone app, it’s pretty decent from what I’ve heard. I’m waiting for the android version to come out, until then i’m stuck using a pc to make my bookings.

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