May 18, 2010
Dining gets social—in the media sense
Communal dining out may be the original social networking, but now the digital variety may be changing what’s on the menu. A Salon article points to a study of Korean teenagers that found that heavy Internet users tend to eat less than their peers. And social media has “changed the way we experience and react to food,” writer Sara Breselor observes: “Eating is no longer about privately savoring a meal. It’s about Yelping and blogging and … taking pictures of our food and posting them online.”
In Midtown Manhattan, a new restaurant chain, 4Food, will be leveraging social media in its mission is to “De-Junk” fast food. According to its website, Web-based technologies will allow 4Food to make personalized recommendations based on a customer’s lifestyle and health goals. Patrons will be able to customize and “market” their meals online, saving the company marketing dollars that it will instead use to “enable us to purchase better quality ingredients and keep our prices down.” Pre-launch, 4Food is hosting a contest asking New Yorkers how they would de-junk the city; submissions can be Tweeted or submitted on the website.
In addition to social media, the company’s credo includes sustainable building and operations practices (earth-friendly building materials and in-store composting), Maximum Disclosure of nutritional info and cooking techniques, fair-wage practices for farm and retail workers and a Green Palate menu (local produce reduces the menu’s carbon footprint, for example.) The first location opens in July. We’ll be first in line.
Photo credit: jlcwalker