(2011-05-26) Flash Food

Phil Jones pondered Disruptive Innovation in the Restaurant Industry.

I Brain Fart-ed the idea of eaters calling (data, not voice) for a Food Truck to come. This would be good for clusters of eaters not anticipated by Food Truck-s in their normal place-picking practice. Some examples:

A key piece of this is having a place to eat.

  • The Side Walk works for some people, but not others. Likewise Public Space like a City Park (that has benches).
  • If you take Food Truck food into StarBucks and buy a coffee (esp a $4 iced drink), would they complain that you sat down to eat?
  • Back in college days, there were on-campus movie theaters, and people would bring in wings, Hot Truck food, etc. to eat during the movie.
  • Phil thinks that having a way to identify places where it's ok to eat (bring-in-friendly) is important (kinda like a free-WiFi or Public-RestRoom directory). I'm more inclined to leave that up to the Common Sense of the requesters, esp. as it could be time-specific (OK to bring food in for a Church-board meeting, not ok during a service).

So, the concept is

For extra credit, have a Food Truck be able to say "I'm coming!" (to a specific location) so that other trucks can decide whether to bother.

  • Ideally, such a signal would
    • only consider latest signal from a given truck (so they couldn't snag multiple clusters)
    • be GPS-validated (to avoid trucks lying about how soon they'll arrive)
      • your Real Time map could show current location of the trucks who have said their headed to all locations near you (maybe around the corner is OK, in certain dense areas).
    • have food-type info (because if I run a Dessert Truck, I won't be scared off by a Pizza Truck being close to arriving at a location, but would be pre-empted by another Dessert Truck).

For extra-extra-credit, tie it to your near-future schedule ("I'm going to be at Ny Tech Meetup tonight, and want to be able to eat when I get there"). Use Ditto integration - 2011-03-05-EngestromDittoPlannedLocation.



  • just out of curiosity, tried hitting Twitter Search API via C Url with a geocode param - got filtered list of tweets, but none seemed to have tweet-specific location.
  • Found Tweat It, which shows current locations of NYC Food Truck-s that have public feeds. Seems to rely on trucks tweeting their location rather than having Meta Data - is that because nobody has that feature turned on, or has this feature disappeared?

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