Food is generally a celebration in Thailand with a multitude of dishes on offer and plenty of time for dining. Germans love food as well. Yet, Malte Steiert soon became aware of distinctions in attitudes to food. After spending a term in Bangkok in 2013, the digital media management student at the Macromedia University for Media and Communication, found: “Germans treat food differently than Asians for whom a meal is often a daily highlight.”
Social network for food
On his return to Hamburg, Steiert noticed that restaurants did not offer decent food with that special added zest at decent prices. “There were no websites to help me find a very special restaurant.” Apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor were available, but did not offer detailed descriptions with beautiful photos and prices that Steiert wanted. This gave him the idea for Foodguide – a social network for food where users discover restaurants and dishes to share with each other. The smartphone app works like the Tinder dating app – each dish can be swiped.
The free app, Foodguide, was launched in May 2014 as a food blog on Instagram. Last year, Steiert and Nico Pliquett, 27, who had also studied at the Macromedia University for Media and Communication, and had experience with a start-up, joined forces. Steiert explained: “Nico is responsible for the technical part while I look after social media.” The formula is proving successful and Foodguide is growing swiftly. “Today, we are present in every European capital city and in all German cities with over 250,000 residents.”
Foodguide is financed through participating catering companies and has three payment methods: a monthly fee for additional functions, a one-off payment for peek campaigns and another for sponsored posts.
Backing from Accelerator Programme
Foodguide was one of the finalists in the Webfuture Awards by nextMedia.Hamburg, the regional initiative for the media and digital industries. In May, Steiert began a three-month stint at the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator in Berlin. On top of EUR 25,000, Foodguide benefits from the top-class network and contact to experts in the start-up scene. “There are many great coachings, workshops and talks with investors. That allowed us to examine our business plan and see just how solid it was. That was really important for us.”
The following articles in the series have already been published:
Part 1: Start-ups in Hamburg coming up with uses for virtual reality
Part 2: Startup Dock: Hamburg needs a pay it forward culture
Part 3: bentekk planning new version of measuring instrument
Part 4: Hamburg’s DailyDress start-up develops individualised fashion app
Part 5: Premiere in Germany: Fintech Week comes to Hamburg