Finding a restaurant in your area might not be a big deal today, thanks to several online restaurant search services which pop up scores of results on the specified location within seconds.
However, what could trouble many is choosing that one place to go to, among the plethora of options.
This is the area that TastySpots, a start-up by a group of entrepreneurs from Kerala, wants to tap into.
Launched in October, TastySpots is a social media platform "exclusively for foodies" that provides a curated list of restaurants and eateries, along with photographs, detailed reviews and recommendations to its users.
The founders of TastySpots: Top: Abdul Manaf (L), Amarnath Sankar (C), Real Prad (R); Bottom: KM Mehboob (L), Shamlal Chandran (C), and Chachu Jacob (R).
"If you were to go to Bengaluru Central and look up a restaurant, you'd get a long list of places. However, we are not a restaurant directory. TastySpots focuses on minimal listings and so you'd get only 3-4 places in the area through us," explains Abdul Manaf, CEO and Co-founder of TastySpots.
Currently available only in Kerala, the founders plan to expand it to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the next few months.
Meeshamadhavan from Dhe Puttu
Be it Puttu and mutton chaps in Trivandrum or Killikoodu in Ernakulam, the best place to gorge on a plate of biryani or dig into a sumptuous bowl of Mutta Mala, the online space looks like a treasure trove for food lovers.
TastySpots follows a basic criteria while judging restaurants- it includes the popularity of the restaurant/eatery, how unique they are or how authentic the food they serve is.
A team personally visits all the restaurants- there is a writer who reviews the food and the restaurant and a photographer who shoots for the website.
Abdul says they have listed 300 hotels in Kerala so far. "We have travelled 17,000 km from Trivandrum to Kasargod till now to curate our list," he says.
Special Meal from Paragon Restaurant
The team wishes to promote local cuisine more than the fine-dining restaurants.
The interactive platform also allows users to create personal accounts and blog or review food and restaurants.
Konchu Fry from Mubarak Hotel
The founders, who are also the board members, are all entrepreneurs and run other businesses as well. What has helped them, Abdul says, is the varied professional background they come from. At present, the group is working on upgrading their website and developing a mobile app which is expected to be launched in the coming months.
Bread Pola from Ifthar
"The response has been more than what we expected," says Amarnath Sankar, Strategic Alliances, TastySpots. "We have nearly 10,000 registered users and a lakh visitors on the site," he adds.
All photographs source: TastySpots