The Japanese economy appears to be getting better recently. In the startup scene in particular, we’ve seen more than a few acquisitions and fundings. This improved economic situation may have precipitated an interesting new mobile app too. Japanese entrepreneur Takafumi Horie (a.k.a. Horiemon) recently unveiled Teriyaki, an app that provides users with recommendations of the best restaurants in Japan.
The app is available for free on both iOS and Android, but users have to pay a monthly subscription of 400 yen (about $4) via an in-app purchase.
The app provides recommendations of restaurants and dishes based on curation by celebrity foodies called “Teriyakists”. They include high-profile restaurant guide editors, food-focused TV producers, and even Horiemon himself.
At the recent launch party at a restaurant in Shibuya, Horie explained how his team plans to evolve our dining experiences:
Even while I was in jail, I was thinking to develop this kind of app. There is still little information available in the app at the moment, but its volume will eventually be ten times larger than now. We’ll be launching an English and Chinese version in the upcoming few months using crowdsourced translation services, and also a version featuring restaurants in east coast US cities. With hopes of global expansion potential, we decided to name the app ‘Teriyaki’ — something familiar to non-Japanese people too.
By the end of this month, the app will cover 700 restaurants profiles across the country. Through a partnership with Pocket Concierge, it will give you opportunities to dine at restaurants introduced on the app, where it is likely difficult to book a reservation.
By next spring, the app is expected to add e-commerce functions, with the ability to order local specialties from any part of the country online, in an effort to monetize the app.