Is 4Food the best idea for a hamburger joint or the worst idea? My gut instinct is that the concept is just too freaking complicated for the average, aka your “non-social-media-medicated”, person to understand. And all the social media gimmicks could just as easily backfire if the food and service (your traditional restaurant informational inupts) aren’t up to snuff.
The menu at 4Food has an interesting concept – how does it relate to the social media aspect of the restaurant? So, there’s a personalization element, which is you’ll be able to customize your burger, or food item, but particularly the burgers. You’ll choose from a handful of buns, six different patties, including egg and beef, lamb, fish, and so forth. And the kicker is that there’s a hole in the middle of it, and inside of that hole you’ll have the option to put a “scoop” in. At launch there will be 25, eventually we have an idea of about 100 of them, of items to put inside the burger. And that’s the real customization layer.
Are there more toppings you can add on top of the burger? Yes, condiments, stuff like that. The kind of crowd sourcing social-networking idea is that after you make your burger you have the option to name it, and then after you name it, it becomes yours, and whatever options you choose, you can choose to market it, and if other people buy it after you put it on Twitter or Facebook or whatever, then you get a quarter every time someone purchases it.
But. And this is a huge BUT, 4Food promises to be an interesting experimentation for the restuarant business.
There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground here, either. On one hand: everything falls into place and it’s a wild success, with a lot of buzz from places like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and from traditional places like blogs and newspapers, or the food isn’t that great, the concept is too complicated to figure out (again for people who don’t give a fuck about Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare) and the bad buzz eventually forces the restaurant to close.