I had the pleasure of asking Louisville blogger Michelle Jones a few questions about her new smart phone app, Menu and Hours. Michelle Jones runs the well-known food blog Consuming Louisville.
1. What made you decide to create an iPhone app?
Late last summer I was frustrated by a couple local restaurant websites that made it really hard to get the info I was looking for when I was using my iPhone. Basically I just wanted to know when they were open and what they had to eat but their sites were either built in Flash which wouldn't work on my phone or made me download PDFs or click around multiple times to get to the menu. I thought there had to be a better way so I started looking for one.
2. How did you come up with the concept for Menu and Hours?
I didn't find a better way though. Sure there were existing food apps that gave me lots of information but not the information I was looking for. I wasn't looking for user reviews or photos, I just wanted to know when they were open and what they had to eat. After thinking about this frustration for a while I started doing some research among my friends and followers on Twitter. From that research I found out that there were lots of folks just like me that wanted a way to get the basic info about restaurants on their phone quickly and easily. This set me upon the long path to app development.
3. When can we expect the app to launch?
I hope to submit the app to the App Store in early August. I don't know how long it will take Apple to approve the app but hopefully no more than a few weeks. So, best case scenario, the app should be available mid or late August.
4. Do you have plans to expand the app outside of Louisville?
Through the course of development I've had inquiries from people in cities all across the country wondering if I'll bring the concept to their city. I am not opposed to going to other cities but Louisville is my primary concern. So I'll launch the iPhone version and then build the Android version for here in Louisville. If they do well then yes I'll more seriously look into taking Menu and Hours to a second city.
Be on the lookout next month for Menu and Hours! Michelle Jones has kindly shared some screenshots of the app for you to view.