When ICE President Rick Smilow and Anne E. McBride wrote Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food they discovered a plethora of food jobs they had never heard of before. Since the book’s release, they have been discovering even more interesting career paths in the food world. DICED shares some of them with you in a reoccurring feature, “Unique Culinary Careers.”
When going out for a meal, friends have always been great resource for finding new restaurants to try. As social media creates new opportunities for foodies to connect and discuss the culinary scene, it’s only natural that people would turn to their social networks to find and locate great places to eat. Jeremy Fisher is harnessing the power of friends’ advice to make a new kind of dining-centered social media. His website, Dinevore, allows users to see restaurants where other users have eaten, want to eat and lists they have created. For example, the James Beard Foundation has a list for the 2011 Best New Restaurant Semifinalists. We asked him about his unique culinary career at his own company, his inspiration and life at a start-up.
How would you describe Dinevore?
Dinevore is a restaurant-focused social network. We’re making it easy to discover, organize, and share great restaurant advice. Our users get recommendations by following users and lists they find compelling. One of the most interesting features we offer for culinary professionals is the ability to link your personal Dinevore accounts to the restaurant you work at. That way, fans of the restaurant can discover the places the people who work there like to go.
Where did you get the idea for Dinevore?
I got sick of standing on a street corner knowing that someone had told me about a great restaurant just around the corner, but being unable to remember the name or where it was. I wanted to be able to organize all the recommendations I was getting, access them when they were needed most and easily share them with friends.
What is a typical day like?
I divide my time between working on our product (sketching, ideating, surfing the web for inspiration), managing the development process, engaging with our community on social media and attending meetings and meet-ups.
What has it been like to start your own business?
There’s a lot to learn. The upside is that you learn a lot.
What is the most satisfying thing about your job?
I use Dinevore to find a restaurant at least once a day, if not more. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to create something that really addresses the problem it was designed to solve.
What is your advice for anyone looking for a similar career?
The single biggest mistake most new founders make is to try and keep their idea a secret. You have an awesome idea? Great, now tell everyone you know about it. Your idea isn’t worth anything. It’s all in the execution, and the chance of executing an idea well increase dramatically with feedback.
What’s next for Dinevore?
We’re going mobile.