what the what is this Wine n Dine app? PS. order this!
There is rarely a time when I'm not interested in what makes my friends so successful. Which of course got me thinking, you all must be wondering the same. SO, I figured I'd formalize my chat with my friend Josh Stern aka the Co-Founder of Wine N Dine by having him answer some questions just for you!
Michelle Williams: What did you do before Wine N Dine?
Joshua Stern: I started the first restaurant concierge app called I Know The Chef. It's a membership app that helps people get into the best restaurants in NYC, Miami and LA, without the hassle. It's now 6 years old and shares the same office space as Wine n Dine.
Michelle Williams: How many people are in the Wine N Dine company?
Joshua Stern: 6 people
How does Wine N Dine bring in $?
We monetize in a few different ways. We recently launched the first mobile menu tool for restaurants. So now restaurants can easily create a menu with dish images, dish descriptions, price and tags i.e. gluten free, vegan etc and we then distribute their menus across Wine n Dine and 50 other online platforms including Google, Yelp, Facebook and more. We also help restaurants target potential diners with interest points. So if a great Italian restaurant wants to attract more people who like Italian food in their city, they'll be able to offer an incentive to those diners on Wine n Dine.
Michelle Williams: Who do you consider to be, for lack of a better term, your competition?
Joshua Stern: People use Instagram Geo Tags and Yelp restaurant pages for the same reasons people use Wine n Dine. But those platforms aren't nearly as organized and structured like we are. We have dish names, dish ratings, tools for seeing what dishes your friends loved and more. On these platforms, you tend to see restaurant ambiance pictures, bad dish photos, people posing at the restaurant etc. Because we are dedicated for food, we're able to build out utilities for photo-based menus, unlike competitors. Our rating system is also unlike any other platform. We wanted to make our ratings more comparable to how people naturally talk about their food. So we have: Out Of This World, Must Order, Worth Trying, Average, and Avoid. Our users love how clear and easy it is to understand our ratings.
Michelle Williams: How is Wine N Dine better that what else is out there?
Joshua Stern: If a person downloads Wine n Dine, and uses it to help them order one time, they tend to never order at a restaurant again without checking Wine n Dine first. Many platforms out there give you advice on which restaurant to dine out next, but none of them focus on what you should order once you're there! That's our world. And it's arguably the most important part of the entire dining experience.
Who should use Wine N Dine?
Everyone who dines out at restaurants should use Wine n Dine. When people dine out, they're making an investment. When you spend $30, $50, $80 on dinner, you're making an investment. Wouldn't you want to make sure you order something delicious? Everybody has ordered dishes at restaurants that come out different than they expected or just simply doesn't taste good. Our app helps avoid that situation and helps make sure you're ordering the best dishes on the menu. Checking to see what dishes look like and which dishes people love there is simply responsible, logical and fun. If you care about having great food and don't want to order wrong, you should be using Wine n Dine.
Michelle Williams: What are the fun and unique ways you interact with your users?
Joshua Stern: I email every user who signs up and always ask them about their experience so far and how they like using the app. I get awesome responses every day from people praising the idea behind Wine n Dine and how they're excited to start using it for dining out and delivery. We also have events every month and I'm always asking users who attend about the app and what they love, what they don't love and more.
Michelle Williams: What is your favorite event that you've hosted and why?
Joshua Stern: For our first event we ever threw, we took over a burger spot and converted it into the diner from the movie Pulp Fiction called Jack Rabbit Slims. It was awesome. We brought in a jukebox and menus from the movie, had a dance off, dress up characters from the film and more. People talked about the party for months.
How has Wine N Dine been received by restaurants?
Restaurants love Wine n Dine because our users share what they love at the restaurant versus what they dislike. Our users rarely post dishes they hate, which is more common on other platforms like Yelp. So, naturally the platform is much more about what you must order, rather than what not to get.
Michelle Williams: What are your favorite restaurants that my readers must check out?
Joshua Stern: I'm hearing amazing things about Don Wagyu but haven't been yet. I recently went to JoJo on 64th street, which just finished a complete renovation and I absolutely loved it. It's the cutest spot I've been to in a long time. It's located on the ground floor of a townhouse and it just makes you feel like you're not in New York. Plus, the food was absolutely delicious so I highly recommend checking it out. I also loved Rosemary's Pizza which just opened up in the West Village (try the broccoli rabe pizza because it is Out of this world). Lastly, Gitano from Tulum has a pop up for the next 2 months in Tribeca. You'll literally feel like you're in Mexico, enjoying some tapas and mezcal.
Michelle Williams: What is the highest ranked restaurant on Wine N Dine?
Joshua Stern: This second, it's Bar Pitti. That tends to happen when it gets nice out because of their outdoor seating. And by the way, unless you speak Italian, using Wine n Dine there to order is an absolute MUST. The menu is in Italian and the servers there have that European style, where they don't really care about you so much and you have about 30 seconds to make a decision before they go tend to a different table. Their bread, olive oil, pesto pasta, tuna, truffle pasta, branzino and tartufo dessert are all Must Orders.
Michelle Williams: Most important question of the day, what is the highest ranked coffee shop on Wine N Dine?
Joshua Stern: One of our top coffee spots is Mudspot on East 9th street