Sweet Lime – 2100 Sutter:
Sweet Maple - 2101 Sutter:
Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?
It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
Foodspotting has been sold.
Seems like there’s not a whole lot of money to go around considering all the people involved, but you’d have to call this a pretty successful app.
“OpenTable to Acquire Foodspotting
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 29, 2013 – OpenTable, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPEN), the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Foodspotting, an app for finding and sharing great dishes at restaurants, for approximately $10 million in cash pursuant to a stock purchase agreement. The completion of the acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
“We’re proud to welcome the talented Foodspotting team to the OpenTable family,” said Matt Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of OpenTable. “The Foodspotting team is as passionate about dining as we are, and we’re looking forward to leveraging their unique expertise in the areas of imagery and social sharing to enrich the OpenTable experience for diners and restaurants in new and exciting ways. By adding more visually compelling content to help people decide where to dine and discover dishes they’ll love, we hope to make it even easier to find the perfect table for any occasion.”
“We’re so happy to have found a home for Foodspotting where our community can continue to thrive while our entire team continues to focus on creating great dining experiences,” said Alexa Andrzejewski, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Foodspotting, who will be joining OpenTable as a lead user interface designer. “While working with OpenTable as partners we realized we could create more intelligent, seamless and beautiful experiences if we had the opportunity to integrate our products more deeply. We look forward to contributing our mobile, social and design expertise in ways that will delight both diners and restaurants.”
By enabling OpenTable to deliver a richer visual and social experience for diners and provide its restaurant customers with new opportunities to showcase their offerings, the acquisition supports the Company’s focus on continuing to enhance the ways it helps diners discover and book the perfect restaurant table. OpenTable recently added dish photos through a collaboration with Foodspotting, giving diners a small taste of the kind of enhancements that will be coming once the Foodspotting team is on board. In addition to welcoming the Foodspotting team to OpenTable, the Company plans to maintain the Foodspotting site and mobile apps on a standalone basis.
About OpenTable, Inc.
OpenTable is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating approximately 10 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 26,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company’s website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet’s most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated more than 385 million diners around the world. The Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and the OpenTable service is available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the UK. OpenTable also owns and operates toptable, the leading consumer destination site for restaurant reservations in the UK.
OpenTable, OpenTable.com, OpenTable logos, toptable and other service names are the trademarks of OpenTable, Inc. and/or its affiliates
“Foodspotting is a visual guide to good food and where to find it. Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can recommend great dishes and see what others recommend wherever you go.
We started Foodspotting in 2009 when we realized that there were many restaurant review apps, but there was no easy way to find or rate specific dishes. We set out to create a new kind of local guide that is unique because:
Find whatever you’re craving, see what’s good at any restaurant and learn what foodspotters, friends and experts love wherever you go.
Browse photos of nearby dishes and see what looks good. We want to make finding good food as easy as looking in a bakery window.
Recommend dishes by snapping photos or simply saying “Loved it!” We don’t allow negative ratings because we’re all about foods people love.
Our goal is to cover the earth with amazing food sightings, from our childhood hometowns in Pennsylvania to food capitals like Tokyo. Since launching Foodspotting in January 2010, over 2.5 million foods have been spotted around the world, but we’re counting on you to represent your city by sharing your favorite local dishes.
In January 2010, Foodspotting launched the first and leading mobile app for finding and rating dishes. Today, you can use Foodspotting to see what foodspotters, friends and experts like Chow, Travel Channel and Wolfgang Puck love wherever you go.
Featured as App of the Week in both the iPhone and Android app stores, Foodspotting has received attention from The Today Show, The Cooking Channel and Inc Magazine and was named one of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Apps of 2012 and a Top Travel Application by Travel + Leisure. Foodspotting is backed by Blue Run Ventures, Felicis Ventures, High Line Ventures, 500 Startups and Zelkova Ventures as well as a syndicate of angel investors including Dave Morin.
Based in San Francisco, Foodspotting has built a worldwide community of foodspotters who love to find and share interesting dishes wherever they go.”
Does area Republican and Mayor Ed Lee backer Ron Conway own a piece of Yelp? ‘Cause that’s all that I can think of after seeing this doozie of a press release, below.
So let’s stop the party for a second here, Yelpers:
First, tell me this, tell me why San Francisco doesn’t require restaurants to post their latest Health Department scores “prominently” for tout le monde to see. You know, the way the do it in New York City and Los Angeles:
Instead, you want people to log on to Yelp and read the Yelp ads?
Is that “leadership?”
No it’s not, Interim Mayor Ed Lee.
Hey, wasn’t it your political faction what put the kibosh on the effort to require the posting of grades where they belong?
Yes it was.
Wasn’t that kind of an “Open Data movement” kind of a thing back then?
Yes it was.
Hey, Ed Lee! Why not require San Francisco restaurants to post their scores where people can see them?
That’s what most diners want, right?
Check it, right from the Frisco Zagat:
‘“An overwhelming 83% of San Francisco surveyors say they agree that restaurants should be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health department inspection (as recently passed in NYC, taking a cue from LA).”
All right, here it is, the press release from Fantasyland.
(NB: “Haters” aren’t born, they’re made.)
“WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 — Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Chairman of the US Conference of Mayors Technology and Innovation Task Force, and Yelp CEO and Co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman announced the initial integration of city-provided restaurant health score information on the site that connects people with great local businesses. San Francisco will lead the charge on this innovative effort to make valuable government data more easily accessible to the public; New York City restaurant grades will also be added as business attributes in the weeks ahead.
Working with the technology departments of San Francisco and New York, Yelp’s engineering team designed the Local Inspector Value-entry Specification (LIVES) which enables local municipalities to accurately upload restaurant health inspection scores to Yelp’s database. Consumers in SF and NYC will be the first to benefit from this partnership upon the full rollout in the weeks ahead. Philadelphia is also expected to participate along with other municipalities that adopt the new specification.
“This new partnership with Yelp to offer restaurant health inspection scores on its site is another significant step in the Open Data movement,” said Mayor Lee. “By making often hard-to-find government information more widely available to innovative companies like Yelp, we can make government more transparent and improve public health outcomes for our residents through the power of technology.”
“Increasing the transparency and accessibility of important public information is another example of how San Francisco, New York and other municipalities are leading the charge in bettering citizens lives by fostering innovation,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and Co-founder of Yelp. “It’s exciting to be a part of an important initiative to disseminate valuable health department information to the 84 million unique visitors that turn to Yelp each month on average.”
According to a study in the Journal of Environmental Health(1) (March 2005), Los Angeles County’s decision to require restaurants to display hygiene grade cards on their entrances led to a 13 percent decrease in hospitalizations due to food borne illness. The study also demonstrated that the mandatory public display of these health grades improved the overall average score of restaurants in Los Angeles by incentivizing improved best practices across the local industry. As a leading website and app for dining decisions, Yelp’s open data initiative LIVES stands to empower consumers and improve the quality of life within the cities that participate in the program.
Details about and screenshots of the LIVES implementation can be found at yelp.com/healthscores.
Yelp (NYSE: YELP) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Poland. Yelp had a monthly average of 84 million unique visitors in Q3 2012(2). By the end of Q3 2012, Yelpers had written more than 33 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp’s mobile application was used on 8.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q3 2012.
(1) Source: Journal of Environmental Health,http://kuafu.umd.edu/~
(2) Source: Google Analytics
This new tax is a done deal.
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I don’t know, seems a bit of an awkward place to pahk thah cah in the DivCoNoPaWesternAddition, but this new yellow and blue sign from CALIFORNIAPARKING doesn’t lie:
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Near: The Independent Pandhandel, Haight Ashbury Area, restaurants
834 Divisadero St.”
“Concrete auto repair building on 2 floors. 50 foot frontage on Divisadero St. Lease is up very soon. NC-2 zoning with potential for many commercial uses. Schematics available for a adding 4 residential units above the existing building. VACANT.”
Like this. Can you see the Canadian Pavilion and the German? This is less than 10% of the exhibit hall space. It would take you hours to check out all the exhibitors:
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Now if you want, you can pay your $60 to check things out for yourself, but expect to find a trade show – it’s not oriented towards consumers at all. But every last food trend you could imagine (and some you could not) is in the house and everybody’s handing out samples and related swag.
And every last nook and cranny of Moscone North and South is filled up. The place is hopping. I expected to see at least a few attendees bummed out over the state of the economy, but I didn’t. The Great Recession is Over, people.
This truly is a world-class* event, as defined.
Bon courage, people of Fancy Food Fest ’12!
*The tedious cliche “world-class” was overused in the 415 already by former Mayor Gavin Newsom and those in his administration and, now, the current Ed Lee holdover administration (which is basically the same people but with rearranged titles) has stepped up its use. IRL, not everything what touches the City and County is “world-class,” capiche? And, IRL, not everything what touches San Francisco needs to be “world-class.”
So, why don’t we save this term for events and organizations where it truly applies, like for outfits like the San Francisco Ballet (oh, the debut of Onegin kicks off the 2012 Season on January 27th, get your tickets here) for instance? All right, carry on.
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As seen on the Embarcadero, fka East Street:
But don’t laugh, they control the fish supply at your favorite sushi place, I’m srsly.
“In America, first you get the sugar,* then you get the power, then you get the women.”
*Or fish, maybe that works too.
Well here it is, the before and after of the San Francisco Happy Meal from McDonalds.
Today’s the day that the San Francisco’s Healthy Meal Incentives Ordinance kicks in. The upshot is that now you have to donate 10 cents to Ronald McDonald House in order to get the toy.
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(Note the apple slices in the upper right. They’ve been around for a while.)
But uh oh, is Micky Dee’s charging sales tax on the donation? Yes it is. I cry foul.* (Uh, San Francisco McDonaldses, can you do that? Do you need to rejigger your registers?)
This sign was just put up. It’s all “10 cents adds a toy.”
Now I’ll tell you, I can recall buying a Hamburger Happy Meal in Palo Alto last year for exactly two-fitty ($2.50). It had more fries plus the free toy (but it didn’t have apple slices or a slice of cheese for the burger.) Anyway, prices be going up, it seems.
*So, the only reason to charge sales tax is if the 10-cent purported “donation” is actually for the “retail sale of tangible personal property,” right? So which is it, a donation or a sale? I mean if I donated money to Ronald McDonald House on Scott Street, they sure as Hell wouldn’t tack on sales tax, would they? Mmmm… I paid ten cents extra to get a toy, right? Thinking out loud here, could it be that, as far as San Francisco is concerned, the 10 cents shows that the toy isn’t included “for free” and therefore the sale need not comply with the HMIO, but as far as the state of California is concerned, McD’s is just selling the toy for 10 cents, so therefore, obviously, a penny needs to be collected and forwarded to Sacramento for each sale? (But of course, if you walk up and offer your 10-cent donation for just the toy, they’ll say, “No dice.” They used to charge $2 for toy only purchases). Have the legal advisers for area McDonalds restaurants thought this through? I don’t know. Anyway, the approach they’re taking appears to be a giant F.U. to the City and County of San Francisco. I’ll tell you, the path they’re on is full of rusty nails and garbage pails. Just saying. But hey, what about McDonalds Corporation in Oak Brook, Illinois? Did they sign off on this? I wonder. (Did they indemnify the local owners? By contract, or, you know, some other way. I’m just curious about who came up with this ten cent idea.) Anyway, this is me thinking aloud, just raising issues. I can’t wrap my head around “ten cents adds a toy” and how that relates to state tax law. Like when I got my Android phone plus two-year contract for $50, I had to pay another $50 or so in sales tax because the phone is worth far more than $50. For example…
I don’t know, I think this is going to be it, here’s the best media smackdown for 2011.
So there I was on the Twitter and I saw this from John Birdsall:
So then I’m all like yes, yes, yes, that’s exactly right, Jonathan Kauffman!
Go ahead, check it out, the “flawed” piece in the Chron: “Restaurants want to put brakes on food trucks.”
To Tempest Bar’s Tony Cooney:
Uh, gee, maybe your place isn’t so hot for lunch. Why not work on that instead of crying like a baby? Perhaps you should shut down or move?
To “San Francisco merchants, property managers and restaurant owners”:
To “opponents [who] complain that the law doesn’t limit the number of food trucks that can operate in a specific location”:
To Rob Black, “a lawyer and executive director of Golden Gate Restaurant Association”:
Lo-ser! (You gotta say that one the right way, as if harrasing Darryl Strawberry from the bleachers.
I mean, c’mon, do you think that a nerdy, downtown-backed lawyer out of U.C. Hastings College of Law would ever have a prayer of becoming Supervisor of District Six?)
FUCK YOU. Oh, wait a second, that’s not my line, that’s a direct quote from Chris Daly’s wife back in 2006. And at the time I thought, “Gee, what an odd thing to say.” But I’m starting to understand what she was talking about.
For example, Chris Daly wanted letter grades from the health department posted outside of San Francisco restaurants but the GGRA put the kibosh on that. Mmmm. Now, let’s take the time to explore this.
“An overwhelming 83% of San Francisco surveyors say they agree that restaurants should be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health department inspection (as recently passed in NYC, taking a cue from LA).”
Consumers want this, but the GGRA doesn’t so guess what, we don’t have it. You know what GGRA? The bottom 20% of your members shouldn’t even be in business, so why do you spend so much time defending them?
“Sales at restaurants receiving an A grade rose 5.7 percent, or about $15,000 a year. B-level restaurant sales increased 0.7 percent, and sales at C-level establishments decreased 1 percent.”
So you don’t want that* for your members, huh, GGRA?
I don’t know why restaurant owners in San Francisco expect so much. I don’t know why they don’t expect to ever have any competition.
Remember this earlier in the year, when a struggling restaurateur went apeshit and starting parking her SUV specifically to block a food truck?
I’ll put a credit in if you want, but I don’t think you do. She’s still out there.
Oh, different day, different street, different truck, different obstructionist but the same purpose of parking vehicles in spaces to kick food trucks out of San Francisco.
I’ll put a credit in if you want, but I don’t think you do. That owner is still out there.
Struggling restaurateurs go after food trucks for the same reason they go after Yelp, IMO.
Speaking of which, maybe this is the kind of thing what fuels the wrath of legacy restaurant owners?
Foodwise: Salads = 3 stars, (Mixt Greens / Working Girls/ Sellers Mkt and even Portico or Lee’s are better though). Sandwiches = 1 star (this has become an office joke. $8+ for two pieces of meat, 1 teaspoon of sourkraut, and 1 piece of cheese. Not prepared to order, sitting in a cooler behind the counter!
Atmosphere: Awkward flow from left to right , pleasant enough tables outside
Price: Crap. My salad was smaller than any of the choices above but cost more. And I went simple.”
In closing, let’s all give thanks to SFoodie Jonathan Kauffman.
Congratulations, JK, on winning MSM Media Smackdown of the Year, 2011.
*”This study examines the eﬀect of an increase in product quality information to consumers on ﬁrms’choices of product quality. In 1998, Los Angeles County introduced hygiene quality grade cards to bedisplayed in restaurant windows. We show that the grade cards cause (i) restaurant health inspection scores to increase, (ii) consumer demand to become sensitive to changes in restaurants’ hygiene quality,and (iii) the number of foodborne illness hospitalizations to decrease. We also provide evidence thatthis improvement in health outcomes is not fully explained by consumers substituting from poor hygiene restaurants to good hygiene restaurants. These results imply the grade cards cause restaurants to make hygiene quality improvements”