Food, the Internet, & the Paradox of Choice

Food, the Internet, & the Paradox of Choice

 

As the Internet has evolved at a rapid rate over the last twenty years, we have truly become a connected, online world. Today there are an abundant number of content sites and various technological devices that help us receive the omnipresent information around us. We’ve never been more wired in for information, yet how can we decipher and sift through all that data in order to make a decision on something so simple as a place to eat?

 

We face a paradox of choice.  Having choice upon choice is a gift yet it’s also a curse. Many of us find ourselves looking for something as simple and rewarding as a place to eat.  But after wasted time sifting through the Interwebs, our well-intentioned action often risks abandonment. We say, “Ah, forget it.” That’s why we need to take control and reconsider the relationship we have with our frequent companion, the Web.

 

Would you rather spend Friday night perusing reviews or actually dining out on the town? If we can make technology work for us, we can find that hidden gem of a restaurant in a heartbeat.

 

Rewiring the Web is a win-win. New technologies are already connecting diners with restaurants and enabling the discovery of something new.

 

You can now tell your circle about your last meal, view a restaurant’s unique menu, and connect with your favorite chef online. Technology has even made it possible for us to make a reservation or order food delivered to our door with just a click of a button. There is a multitude of choice and convenience out there and it’s now being brought to you.

 

There are also many ways the Internet is benefiting restaurant owners and operators who work in an industry that runs on efficiency and volume. Restaurants can now electronically feed diners with everything from menus to exclusive specials to targeted surveys. There are even available technologies that monitor the wait time for a table and buzz the diner when a table is ready, capturing customers they might otherwise lose.

 

Turning paradox into personalization. As more connections are made between consumers and restaurants, we’ll be sifting through a tailored list of information that is most relevant to us. It will be easier for diners to find their restaurant match as computers grow able to learn what diners want and inherently narrow down their choices. No matter what we’re looking for, it will become easier for us to find a match without wasting any time.

 

As food and technology continue to escalate their romance, we will no longer be faced with the struggle of deciding, but rather the excitement of discovering.

Tom Copeman

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