New Food Truck App Hits San Antonio

Food trucks have had an important role in San Antonio food culture for many years, with dozens of taco trucks and other vendors selling their good on street corners throughout the city. While many cities in Texas have wholeheartedly embraced the mobile food craze, San Antonio has until recently been slower to enact legislation allowing food trucks to operate freely in all parts of the city.

However there have been recent talks about moving food trucks downtown to develop a ‘culinary master plan’ and city legislation to pending approval will seal the deal. A new app to track food trucks may go hand in hand with this development.

SwebApps is a mobile application development company in San Antonio that recently devised the concept for the app, built a mobile site for it and submitted it to the app store for approval. With this app food trucks can sign up to get access its database and update their locations daily, or up to a week in advance. Consumers will then be able to use the app to find a truck’s location, and use advanced search filters like type of cuisine, payment options, and more. The mobile site is already up at safoodtruckfinder.com, the Android version of the app should be out within a week and the iPhone version will soon follow.

In New York City a similar app already exists called Tweat.It, which collects information from the Twitter updates food trucks make with their locations. Safoodtruckfinder is more accurate however, because food trucks actually enter their locations directly into the app. Collecting this information solely from Twitter allows that some locations are outdates and many trucks that don’t use Twitter often simply are not featured in the app. We can’t wait to see how this new app works, and until then San Antonio food truck fans can keep up with the mobile site.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Food Delivery Takes to the Skies with Tacocopter

Online food delivery has just been given its greatest novelty yet, an unmanned helicopter that delivers tacos straight to you. This new concept, called Tacocopter, is a new startup out of Silicon Valley which has recently garnered a huge internet following.

The idea behind Tacocopter is that anyone can order tacos on their smartphone, which will send a GPS location to the unmanned drone helicopter. The helicopter will then be equipped with made-to-order tacos and will fly out to find you and drop your food off right where you’re standing. Payments will happen online, making it a simple process for the helicopter to drop off your tacos and immediately fly back to the restaurant to take the next order.

The only catch is that Tacocopter isn’t exactly legal in the United States yet. Currently, the U.S. government is blocking the launch of Tacocopter, which has been around since July 2011, because of FAA regulations that prevent unmanned aerial vehicles to be used for commercial purposes.

Tacocopter cofounder Star Simpson said, “Honestly I think it’s not totally unreasonable to regulate something as potentially dangerous as having flying robots slinging tacos over people’s heads…On the other hand, it’s a little bit ironic that that’s the case in a country where you can be killed by a drone with no judicial review.”

In addition to the FAA regulations, Tacocopter faces a myriad of technical issues such as navigating through urban areas, keeping the tacos warm, creating a city map with precision to ensure that no crashes occur, avoiding birds, telephone wires and anything else that might interfere with the delivery. Indoor deliveries and theft from others are further complications with Tacocopter, keeping the product firmly grounded until some headway can be made.

In the meantime, the Tacocopter website is up and running, and offers some enticing visuals to keep us waiting with baited breath until we can start ordering flying tacos. Simpson is currently working on other projects but always heads back to Tacocopter, convinced that the benefits of the product outweigh the barriers.

Food delivery by drones could help reach locations previously unreachable, and they could eventually be used to serve customers in restaurants as well. The full implications of this product could transform the food industry, though Simpson states that the goal of Tacocopter is not to replace human labor in the restaurant industry.

Ultimately, if Tacocopter ever gets off the ground it should have a huge following, appealing to Americans’ love of food, gadgets, and laziness. With the U.S. government as the primary obstacle keeping Tacocopter grounded, we’re hoping that the FAA can make a small exception for flying taco delivery.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Food Trucks Embrace Technology in Keeping with the Times

Food Trucks have recently been exploring alternate methods of business to compete with their brick and mortar rivals. One of the best methods food trucks have been using is integration with innovative technology to manage and maintain their businesses, while attracting new customers with flexible ordering options and modern design.

Food trucks have attracted a key demographic in their marketing techniques, gaining mostly young followers who flock to the trucks for their cheap food and trending designs. By working with new technology food trucks can become more flexible in how they interact with their customers, getting on their level to provide fully functional service.

Square is an application that food trucks throughout the country have begun to use to accept payments on a mobile device. Until the advent of Square, most food trucks only accepted cash from customers, but Square opens up a new realm of possibilities for how customers can pay. The app was created out of frustration with current credit card processing systems, so the founders decided that Square could be used to accept payments on the go, with a small credit card reader than can attach to any smart phone for use. Food trucks no longer have to worry about customers having enough cash to order food, and with no monthly fees or obligations and such an easy to sue interface, Square is quickly catching on in the mobile food industry.

With new gourmet food trucks changing the perception of street food to something for everyone from the previous ‘street meat’ label, incorporating technology is the logical next step. At Foodtoeat.com we have provided food trucks with GPRS printers to wirelessly receive online orders in seconds. Incorporating technology into the way food trucks operate ensures that they are progressing in the way they operate, becoming a permanent fixture in the way we eat.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Food Apps for a True Foodie

Some of the most popular phone apps around today are those that revolve around the world of food. Several apps in particular have proved to be extremely useful in helping modern foodies interact with the delicious world around them.

One of the earliest food apps released was Urbanspoon, a free restaurant-finding application with an innovative user interface that classifies restaurants based on neighborhood, cuisine type, and price. The three factors are arranged in a slot machine format which begins to spin when you shake your iPhone. Urbanspoon will then search for restaurants meeting these requirements and create a results page with complete information about the restaurant. The best part about the shake feature is that results are randomized, so there’s a great chance at finding a new restaurant you’ve never been to before.

VegOut is another food app that holds a place of real importance for many food enthusiasts, particularly vegetarians and vegans. It accesses a database of restaurants that are vegan, vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly, and the user can search by current location or input another one for a later date. The VegOut app is international, making it very useful for those with dietary restrictions in an unfamiliar city. Results can be sorted in a myriad of different ways, and can even be viewed on a map.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

An important part of the food world revolves around cooking rather than eating out for meals, and Epicurious is an excellent utility in accomplishing this. This free application gives users access to thousands of recipes, divided into categories for easy browsing. For each recipe the app will tell you what ingredients or tools you will need, making it a great companion for when you shop for groceries. The app even features an interactive shopping list where you can check off items that you already have.

These apps can be instrumental in helping you eat the best food around. Whether you’re eating out or cooking from scratch, these apps can be constant companions in your search for food.

New App Tracks Food Trucks in Real Time

A new app was developed that can help make lunchtime just a little easier for New Yorkers. The free iPhone app is called Tweat.it, and it can help you track down any food truck in New York City. The app provides a map of Manhattan and syncs this with each food truck’s Twitter account, so customers can see truck locations as well as any special deals or promotions the vendors are offering.

Though maps like this exist on several websites already, Tweat.it is making large strides in producing this information as a simple, easy-to use app for iPhone users. Founder Dave Cascino was formerly working on an appointment booking tool called LetsConfirm, but is now devoting all of his time to Tweat.it. The app works in real time, so as soon as food trucks tweet, their information is immediately available.

You can learn more about the app here.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

New Calorie Counting App Takes Information from Food Pictures

Mealsnap is a new iPhone app that takes knowledge from pictures of food and translates this into caloric content for its users. Mealsnap was developed by a fitness social network called DailyBurn, which has already created several iPhone applications relating to dieting and fitness. The app takes effect after its user takes a picture of their food, then the picture is inetrally matched across a database of 500,000 items, and responds to the user with a range of calories for the photographed item.

Beyond that, the app can give a range of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins of the photographed food. The app has a sharing option as well where users can tell their friends about what they’ve eaten through any of the well-known social media platforms.

The long-term implications of this app aim to help users become more health conscious and keep track of what they eat. The app can be used a food journal, allowing users to keep track of their daily intake through a photo log with full nutritional facts attached. Sharing what they’ve eaten may also help users take more accountability in their dieting, and help them stick to a healthy eating pattern.

MealSnap is available for 99 cents at the iTunes store.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

‘Ratio’ Food App Simplifies Life in the Kitchen

A food app that came out recently called Ratio, redefines the way we look at recipes from strict measurements to a simple ratio of ingredients metric. The app was designed by Michael Ruhlman, an esteemed journalist and cookbook author. Ruhlman specializes in bringing elaborate culinary art to the home kitchen, and continues this trend with Ratio. The app quantifies cooking through ratios of ingredients rather than specific measurements; for example rather than directing someone to use two eggs and a cup of flower, Ratio would direct the user to cook with three parts flour, two parts eggs. This formula works for a wide variety of recipes, and is especially useful in making batters. In this way the user can utilize a ratio of ingredients to make whatever quantity of a recipe they require, as long as they stick with these basic ratios.

The app itself is very user-friendly, allowing you to save recipes and searches, and even share your updates with others. The app also offers a handy calculator to help you while cooking, with metric conversions available. Ratio app is available for Apple and Android for $4.99.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Food Genius: The Netflix for Food?

Food Genius is a new application available for Android, iPhone and other platforms that acts as a customized food recommendation engine to help those who just cannot decide what to eat. It works in a similar way to Netflix in that users rate food they have tasted and enter in their preferences to receive customized suggestions based upon distinct flavors and ingredients.
                The app is based out of Chicago, and works with users and restaurants to help choose the perfect restaurant dish based upon a user’s taste profile. It’s no easy feat for technology to customize food based upon ingredients, and requires a great deal of understanding of each ingredient, cooking process and other variables that go into food preparation. The application links these variables together to classify how a dish would relate to each user’s taste profile. Reviews from across the internet are cross-referenced with the user’s preference to make impressively accurate recommendations.
                Food Genius’ founder, Justin Massa, says that what makes Food Genius unique is that it understands what makes a certain dish taste good, whether it be a crunch, smoothness or warmth. In this way Food Genius collects information from each dish and files them under its complex taxonomy system. Massa also notes that many user’s were not aware of what ingredients were in the food they eat out, and would sometimes rate an ingredient low without knowing that it’s in some of their favorite dishes. Because Food Genius is highly ingredient based, a working knowledge of what’s in the food we eat certainly helps the process along.
                Though based in Chicago now, Food Genius has over 150,000 dishes and is rapidly expanding. Expect to see this app in your area soon, and be ready to surrender your taste buds to this Netflix of food. To download this app, click here.
DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com