Every year, a class of Cornellians leaves Ithaca behind to continue reaching amazing feats. Some go to graduate school. Some take a gap year. Others become entrepreneurs and make mobile apps.
Upon moving to New York City after graduation, Sara Yun ‘13 found herself constantly switching between Yelp and Instagram to explore the dining scene. After spending hours finding a place to eat, she realized there had to be a better way to discover new culinary experiences. In October 2014, she partnered with fellow Hotelie, Patrick Choi ‘14 and her esteemed father, Professor Kenneth Yun, to solve this problem by creating Phoodieur.
Phoodieur is a customizable mobile app that provides users with a visual food and restaurant search experience. The app bridges the data of restaurant reviews with restaurant-goers’ pictures in a one-stop application.
Upon creating an account, the user creates a profile by selecting locations (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Ithaca, etc.) and cuisine types (African, diners, juice bars, etc.). Then the magic happens: a feed of mouthwatering, real-time pictures of dishes, meals, and drinks bless your screen. Like most social media apps, users can scroll on a never-ending feed until they spot an image that catches their eye. Clicking the picture will send the user to a page with all of the restaurant’s information, including reviews. What’s more: Users can follow friends and people with similar tastes.
Phoodieur officially launched in Manhattan in Oct. 2015 and has since expanded to all of New York City’s boroughs. It will expand to Ithaca in March 2016. The team attributed this expansion to the fact that Ithaca is home to both Cornell University and an amazing food culture. The young, social media-oriented demographic also makes for a promising audience.
The team sees the app constantly evolving and improving in order to provide the utmost restaurant discovery experience. They also see their app as a bridge connecting hospitality and technology; traditionally, the hospitality industry has been behind and adverse to such innovations.
Yun is a Cornell Hotelie with a background in finance and design. Choi, also a Hotelie, has a background in finance and operations in the both hotel and food and beverage industries. Kenneth Yun, Sara’s father, is a professor, engineer and the founder of YuniNetworks. Sara and Patrick attribute the idea and development of Phoodieur to their time at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, where they had unparalleled access to opportunities and exposure to food and beverage and entrepreneurship programs.
Phoodieur is available on the App Store for free.