Mobile Apps: Find Food on the Road. Fast.

Mobile Apps: Find Food on the Road. Fast.

By | 2016-07-27T19:39:52+00:00 January 12, 2013|Categories: Blog, Small Business|Tags: , , , |

A week or so ago we took a weekend-long roadtrip to San Antonio. Now, that’s quite a roadtrip for a weekend. It’s a 12-hour drive, so we got on the road at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, drove all day, attended the Army All-American Bowl to see my amazing nephew perform the halftime show with the All-American Band. We did have some time to chill, have a nice dinner on the Riverwalk and just have some good family times. The trip was well worth it.

So, as we were driving, naturally, we were looking for lunch on the road. I figured that would be easy. Jim was driving, and I have Yelp and Urbanspoon apps on my iPhone, so I figured we’d have no problem finding a place to eat in towns with which we’re unfamiliar.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve been a Yelper for quite some time and I like the iPhone app. But when you’re on the road trying to find something nearby – quickly – it’s a pain. Here’s why.

 

yelp-2

The Yelp iPhone app. A wide variety of venues to choose from.

 

 

Then you try to find something nearby.

 

So ... what do all these red pins mean? Is that a McDonalds? A Pizza Hut? How am I supposed to know.

So … what do all these red pins mean? Is that a McDonalds? A Pizza Hut? How am I supposed to know?

 

The problem with this app is, by the time I click on the red pin to find out what the restaurant is, we’re past it. And no way are we turning back just for an In & Out Burger.

 

This info is nice and helpful if it's the chosen spot, but by the time I'm here, it's too late. Jim drives fast.

This info is nice and helpful if it’s the chosen spot, but by the time I’m here, it’s too late. Jim drives fast.

 

So, I turned to Urbanspoon.

 

urbanspoon-1

I love the interface, with the photos and hot spots. Very cool.

So I pull up nearby restaurants.

urbanspoon-2

 

Again, nice with the ratings and all, but we just need food. Fast.

Again, nice with the ratings and all, but we just need food. Fast.

 

So, as we’re both getting a bit stabby for lack of food, I get an idea. An iPhone app just for folks on the road. Simple interface, fast, so that you can find somewhere to eat before you pass it. We brainstorm names, think about features, we’re both getting excited.

Until. Jim says, “Oh, do they make an app called ‘Poynt’ for the iPhone? I check the App Store. Yep, they do.

Bad news, my burst of entrepreneurial spirit is extinguished. Good news, we are actually going to find food.

So here’s Poynt.

poynt-1

Pretty much what I was thinking.

Simple. Clean. Tells you what's there.

Simple. Clean. Tells you what’s there.

 

poynt-3

Exactly my idea. Yeah, that sounds good, give me directions. Maybe even a phone number. Get me there.

 

poynt-4

Directions from where you are. Nice.

 

So here are the directions from our current location. It’s simple, gives you the information you need, quickly. Which is what you need when you’re hungry on the road.

If you love a good road trip, try Poynt. Free in the iPhone app store, and available for Android as well. Maybe it’ll keep you from getting stabby while you’re on the road.

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2 Comments

  1. Grant Parish January 15, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Our GPS unit has this feature. Just touch the food icon and it shows nearby restaurants and once you select one, it inputs it as a via point in the system and gives you turn by turn directions. I think that it how most of the car navigation systems work.

  2. beth g sanders January 15, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Very cool. We just mount Jim’s phone on the windshield for GPS.

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