The sharing economy. Crowd sourcing. Cloud based software models. These are phrases that have permeated almost every thing we read. Millennials have grabbed this concept by the horns and are literally applying it to everything. And their peers aren’t the only one’s who noticed. This summer President Obama visited 1776, DC’s largest start-up accelerator and incubator and the central hub for cultivating ideas and relationship centered on these phrases, to meet with their members and discuss these concepts. Alcohol delivery companies like Klink DC and Drizly are competing for market space and satisfying user demands. The Uber model is growing beyond transportation where it is not really competing with Lyft and Ridescout anymore (well, yes on a day to day basis, but stay with me here). The Uber model is competing with government contracting and defense procurement. With hospitals and research privatization and development. Their model that a user driven supply-and-demand economy that self-regulates (surge pricing) can thrive outside of the preconceived restraints of modern business are now expanding beyond transportation and into everything, including – you guessed it – food.
Is The James Beard Foundation the new taxi cab company? Will Yelp ratings soon replace Michelin stars? Not tomorrow they won’t, and likely not in the next five or maybe even ten years. But in our lifetime? Sure, that’s possible.
And yes, it all begins with you, the user.
Just like across the board millennials don’t support “big government” and do not think a bunch of old white men should decide how they regulate their bodies; foodies everywhere may not agree that The James Beard Foundation (the panel of old white male food equivalent) or the number of Michelin stars awarded means a damn thing to them about the quality of a restaurants food.
This is something I am very excited about. Enter the sharing economy, crowd sourced, “Yelp-on-crack” if you will, BestDish.com. According to their website,
Best Dish is an ongoing, user-judged competition that celebrates and rewards the best dishes around town and across the country. Who makes the perfect pizza? The tastiest tacos? The best burger? Remember, it’s not about cost, atmosphere, or location, it’s all about the Best Dish. Rally your friends, find new favorites, and show your town who’s the best. Just choose a city, pick a category, and award your Best Dish!
As we grow, we’ll expand the competition to new host cities so you and your friends can award Best Dishes all over the US — creating a national, gold-medal food guide.
Best Dish is a Mobelux product and the result of many hours of hard work, thorough research, spirited debate, and tons of pizza.
Ok, so maybe it’s sort of like Twitter and Yelp had a foodie baby, but this notion of users defining the worthiness of food is one that will only continue to mature and grow. Sure, BestDish.com has their “Best Dish Backers” pay $10 to support the group and that gives them a mini-icon with a link to whatever they choose (Instagrams and personal webpages seem to be most prevalent). And yes, restaurants can sponsor their individual dish page (better money spent than the Yellow Pages most likely). But hey, this is America and capitalism continues to reign supreme.
But think big picture. You have friends in town, you want to go somewhere new, what do you do? You text your friends. You ask others, that you trust, what they think. BestDish.com basically took all of that and created a platform for it. Yelp ranks restaurants. BestDish.com ranks dishes.
People typically crave pho, or a cheesesteak, or lobster risotto. They don’t crave restaurants.
Pretty soon we may not even be hungry, or know we want a cupcake, until a crowd-sourcing platform tells us so. And I’ll be in a bunker clinging to Slim Jims when that day comes. Until then, log-on BestDish.com and rank away peers!