CREATIVITY and innovation have joined hands with culinary advances to bring an exciting new development to the Saint Lucian dining, hospitality and perhaps tourism stage – leading food lovers and appetites to restaurateurs and their exciting creations.
With an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle and reliance on digital technology, Saint Lucia and the rest of the world, are seeing greater demand for simple and easy services that can provide consumers with what they need in an instant.
That is the foundation of the new mobile application – MEALOOP, which brings food to consumers across the island. The Apple and Android mobile app is poised to literally change the way islanders eat and how restaurants are run, standing as a direct bridge between supply and demand.
The app, which was launched yesterday – February 1, 2017, is free for download on all platforms.
Conceptualized and developed by young Caribbean minds, MEALOOP brings together restaurants large and small from across the island using the GPS Mapping Technology on the users’ handsets, making available instantly a complete menu of delicacies for delivery, pickup or in-house dining.
“Whether it is fine-dining, something off the grill or even cocktails, we are making restaurants a mere thought and app access away,” says Marketing Executive Anya Charles.
She notes that the app provides an equal platform for all food producers and goes as far as to introduce those who possess the culinary talent but lack the means of opening an official restaurant, to the food producing arena.
“For the multitude of young people in the local industry looking to own restaurants or get started with their culinary careers, MEALOOP now lifts that barrier to market entry and allows for growth and market penetration,” Charles said.
On the technical side, MEALOOP is available on three fronts – MEALOOP, for consumers; MEALOOP OT, for restaurateurs; and MEALOOP DRIVER, connecting restaurants and consumer on the delivery end. Each app functions independently, yet can connect seamlessly at an instant. It runs on google satellite platform that maps in real time customer and restaurant, and then customer and driver. The latter takes away from the usually cumbersome task of giving delivery directions. Push notifications services are available to all restaurants to announce specials, menu updates, and more. It goes further to alert individual customers of their order status from order accepted to ready for pickup or delivery.
“What we have sought to do is soften the link between food and cravings. Often we crave a specific thing but can’t quite recall where we last had it or, even better, where has the best composition. So MEALOOP now allows customers to refine their search not only by restaurant closest to them, but also by what is on each restaurant menu. The menu search is what we believe will have a considerable impact,” said the MEALOOP Marketing Executive.
Both restaurateurs and customers are invited to download the MEALOOP app on their respective devices to experience the power of food access at their fingertips. Restaurants already registered for orders and deliveries will be announced later this week through push notification to app users, local press and social media platforms.
As it stands, MEALOOP will be begin offering listings to restaurants in the north of the island in phase one of its introductory period. It will then make its way to the south of the island, connecting communities east and west, in the coming weeks.
MEALOOP is also poised to create a more balanced playing field for food-loving visitors to the island – offering a more comprehensive listing of restaurant and dining options – allowing them to better plan their experiences even before arriving on the island.