For the love of food
Manhattanite and passionate foodie Laura Cao creates a start-up that makes the hunt for great food a lot more palatable. Her venture, Photomenus™, aims to solve the dilemma of searching, ordering and making reservations by consolidating all these tasks into one easily searchable and beautifully-designed online website. Launched in Manhattan’s downtown foodie mecca, Photomenus plans to quickly expand to all parts of New York and other top epicurean destinations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and beyond.
Here is what drives Laura’s ambition to redefine dining and food delivery experiences.
1. Describe the Photomenus site in one sentence.
LC:The Photomenus site is the “Instagram/Google for food” and the only online site that allows users to search for specific food dish photos and connect with other passionate foodies.
2. What was the AHA moment that prompted you to create the Photomenus site?
LC: I was simply frustrated with what was out there. As a busy Manhattanite, I dine out and order in at least five days a week. I use every single review and ordering service out there. Unfortunately, there is no one place that allows you to see reviews and photos of food at once. You have to search for restaurants, then reference multiple review sites, then go to the restaurant’s website, and then if you are lucky, find a photo of the dish you are craving. That’s the best-case scenario. Who has time to do all of that? I designed the Photomenus site to make finding food we love and ordering very easy.
3. Why is the Photomenus site a big deal?
LC:The Photomenus site is designed for foodies by foodies. One of our biggest features is the ability to order food from several different restaurants in one order. We have a patent for it and it’s a real game changer. With the Photomenus site, you will never again have to compromise if your partner wants pizza and you are in the mood for sushi. You can have both! Our main goal is to make everyone at the dinner table happy about his or her choices. And, our soon-to-be-launched iOS mobile app will make finding the food we love even easier! We take out the unpleasant surprise of dining out or ordering in and not knowing what to expect.
4. What about the community aspect of the Photomenus site?
LC: Sharing dining experiences is one of the most popular activities both online and offline. As you know, online reviews can be tricky because of how personal food is. The Photomenus site's social feature allows users to connect with likeminded foodies, view their preferences, favorite places to go and favorite things to eat. Users are able to review individual dishes and connect to restaurants. There is also a fun gaming component where the platform rewards our most engaged users.
5. How do restaurants benefit from partnership with Photomenus.
LC:The Photomenus site is designed to promote restaurants and good food. For the most part, our platform is free for restaurants unless you would like to partake in accepting online food orders. Our fees are a much lower compared to other food delivery service providers. We want restaurants to be successful in every way. We allow our partner restaurants many options to curate their menus, advertise and respond to reviews on their own. Additionally, we provide our restaurant partners with free sustainable food delivery bags, which is unprecedented. At Photomenus, we care deeply about the environment and our partners. One of my main goals is to build a sustainable, transparent and responsible business.