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Author Topic: NANY 2010 Release: Open Menu  (Read 22831 times)
Veign
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« on: December 28, 2009, 05:49:27 PM »

NANY 2010 Entry Information

Name Open Menu
Version v1.0
Short Description Providing a single format for restaurant menus so they can be easily shared, searched and used.
Web Page http://www.OpenMenu.com
System Requirementsn/a
Version History
  • initial release
Author Veign


Description
By providing a single, controlled specification for restaurant menus Open Menu Format will ensure that restaurant menus can be easily shared and used by others. From Restaurant Locators based on a menu item to tools for finding restaurants based on what you're looking to spend, Open Menu provides the foundation for such tools.

Features
  • A single, consistent specification to fully and wholly describe a restaurant and its menu items.
  • Website for information on the specification, access to add your menu to the database and sample projects using the database.

Planned Features
  • Firm up the specification based on feedback to strive for a 99% coverage of restaurant menus
  • Release tools using the Open Menu Database called the Open Menu Search.  This will allow people to Locate a restaurant by searching for a menu items you're interested in.  For example, locate a restaurant within 30 miles of your location which is serving chocolate cake for desert.



Please don't be shy about posting your comments on this.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 03:54:30 PM by Veign » Logged

JavaJones
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 06:04:20 PM »

Wow, this is a super cool idea! My girlfriend actually works at a restaurant and I've worked with her on their menu design, OpenTable registration, take-out ordering system, and other things, so this subject is somewhat familiar (and of interest) to me. I love the idea of standardizing it all.

My main question is what exactly this NANY entry is. Is it the format specification, the website, an app to edit the menus and save in an open format, or all 3?

I'm also curious how are you going to encourage participation in this by restaurants? This could be a great success if there is sufficient incentive, but without that buy-in it's really going nowhere.

I see right off that it's another way to promote their restaurant, in theory (assuming the site gets popular), but I think if you offer some additional services (which you may already have planned), it could probably be a lot more attractive, e.g. allow restaurants to embed their open menu listings on their website really easily, with easy management through the open menu site, keeping their site menu and the open menu site listing in sync.

For the future a way to actually create templates that can turn into printable menus would be fantastic and probably a very desirable future. A lot of restaurants have trouble keeping their web menu, take-out/to-go menu, and print menu in sync. If you could provide a single, easy to use system for managing restaurant menus in full, with functions to embed on websites, search, and print in high quality with some decent formatting, that would be outstanding. I realize of course that a formatting system would be complex to implement, but I've worked with one that seemed fairly adequate that I think could mostly be translated to the web very easily.

Anyway the other nice thing about this of course is that the format is open, so even if you don't do all the above, someone else should be able to. Just keep your DB standard open, create an API as soon as you can, and let people run with it.

More feedback as I think of it. I'm really looking forward to seeing this evolve!

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 06:06:13 PM by JavaJones » Logged

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Veign
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 06:14:07 PM »

The Nany project is the specification/website - mouser suggested I enter it.

The goal for me is to create and maintain the specification for which all menus are stored on a website.  Then have a database of all the OMF files.  The database would be freely available so anyone could generate a website/tool from the database, given that the menus will be standardized.  I think the tools will come since projects could easily generate traffic, and thus money, for people willing to build the tools.

I am going to get it going by entering menus from around my city and create the first tool to show off what an OMF database powered website/tool can do.

I really don't want to 'hold onto' anything but the specification.  This is why the database will be freely available.

The adoption process is going to be extremely difficult since I don't have the funds to market or hire people to really push this.  I figure if I build the tools to work with OMF files and projects to show off what can be done then restaurants will start adopting the file on their website.

I'm shocked nobody ever tried to standardize the storage and structure of restaurant menus.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 06:18:30 PM by Veign » Logged

Veign
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 06:16:26 PM »

Also, JavaJones,
Your excitement is why I did this. I thought once you had a database with say 10000 menus there are so many cool tools and projects that could be created.  I have many in my head but no time to create them.  Create the spec, make it so anyone can access the database, create a base others can earn money from and the tools will come - that's my thought at least.
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2009, 06:19:06 PM »

I think the NANY concept is suitable for new web sites like this.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2009, 06:27:37 PM »

That's beautiful - create the standard and the site, and let people get creative with how to use the data. Awesome. Well I'll gladly do my part both in local promotion (I live in SF and have some restaurant connections here, plus I work at a culinary school), and in feedback and ideas. I suggest you setup a Redmine account ASAP. cheesy

- Oshyan
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Veign
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2009, 06:32:09 PM »

The only downfall now is there is no UI tool for creating a menu using the specification.  That's something I will be working on next.  I'm hoping I can get this up and running in a week - going to try for Jan 1st but not sure I can make it.
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2009, 09:11:03 PM »

I'm hoping I can get this up and running in a week - going to try for Jan 1st but not sure I can make it.

 Thmbsup Of course you can!!!  smiley
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2009, 01:23:25 AM »

2Veign
Very neat idea but I see few things missing:
  • From customer's point of view it would be really nice to see min/max waiting time for meals to be served. Sometimes I have limited time (lunch break) and I would rather be planning in advance my time spent.
  • It may also raise the need for ORF (Open Recipe Format) but it would also be good to see some basic meal info, like calories (I might be on diet) or ingredients (allergic to peanuts or just hate carrots) it is made off.
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Veign
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2009, 08:58:00 AM »

2Veign
Very neat idea but I see few things missing:
  • From customer's point of view it would be really nice to see min/max waiting time for meals to be served. Sometimes I have limited time (lunch break) and I would rather be planning in advance my time spent.
  • It may also raise the need for ORF (Open Recipe Format) but it would also be good to see some basic meal info, like calories (I might be on diet) or ingredients (allergic to peanuts or just hate carrots) it is made off.

The calories is a great idea.  I don't think ingredients makes sense in the spec but some sort of allergy information / vegetarian flag would be.

Modified the specification to include three new fields:
- vegetarian
- calories
- allergy information

These three fields are attached to a menu item.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 10:14:21 AM by Veign » Logged

JavaJones
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 02:25:36 PM »

Waiting times will be *highly* variable. I think simple flags like "sit down" vs. "counter" or whatever would be a better indicator of speed. But this starts to get out of the realm of info about the *menu* and get into info about the *restaurant*, which may be more the realm of something like Yelp. At the very least it would be a part of a different descriptor format for restaurants, of which the menu format might be a part, but that starts to get pretty ambitious.

The vegetarian, allergen, etc. info is good. You'll never, ever get restaurants to agree to ingredient lists, at least not most of them, but basic nutrition info is nice to have. Likely you will only ever see big chains having that info anyway.

Incidentally I wonder how this interacts with something like http://www.menupages.com/

- Oshyan
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Veign
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2009, 02:32:16 PM »

I think menupages.com would love the spec since it means they could easily adapt their website to any city with ease.  The whole rub for this is adoption.  I have to build enough tools to show restaurants why they need to adopt this idea.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 02:38:41 PM »

Yeah, that's my sense as well. MenuPages, Yelp, GrubHub and many others would probably appreciate this, if/when it got going. That's the beauty of it is it's fundamentally enabling, not (necessarily) competitive with anyone.

Lack of good tools is often a problem with good standards. There are enough tools that potentially need to be developed that it's probably important to prioritize. Figure out what would drive adoption best and focus on enabling that with the core tools needed.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2010, 08:53:50 AM »

Modified the specification to include three new fields:
- vegetarian
- calories
- allergy information

You might want to add kosher and halal to that. Some major religions have dietary laws and this info is something their adherents would want to know about various menu items.

And while something may be vegetarian (no dead animals), it may not be vegan (no animals or animal products like eggs or dairy), so you might want to add that, as well.
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app103
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2010, 09:23:16 AM »

Your database page is a little confusing. It mentions PAD files and applications. It doesn't seem as if it was meant for submitting OMF menus.
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Veign
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2010, 12:12:52 PM »

Oops.  Copied the text from my other website and forgot to change it.  All fixed now.

Also, the first OMF Creator is about to launch - close to being completed.
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Veign
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2010, 12:13:29 PM »

Modified the specification to include three new fields:
- vegetarian
- calories
- allergy information

You might want to add kosher and halal to that. Some major religions have dietary laws and this info is something their adherents would want to know about various menu items.

And while something may be vegetarian (no dead animals), it may not be vegan (no animals or animal products like eggs or dairy), so you might want to add that, as well.

More good points.  Thanx.  Will add these to the list of updates.
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Veign
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2010, 09:53:44 AM »

The first version of an online Open Menu Format Creator is now up:
http://www.openmenuformat.com/creator.php

Its still in development and one useful thing:
- Need to add the Load Menu from File / URL function (makes it easier to edit an existing menu).

Working on both but wanted to get something online so anyone interested can start building menus.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 04:05:10 PM by Veign » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2010, 02:27:26 PM »

Very cool idea!  Thmbsup It would be really useful if many restaurants starting using a standardized format.
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Veign
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 02:36:23 PM »

A new specification is coming out which will be the base for marketing the idea.  I have lots of people lined up to push the idea in their area and, with some help, hoping to get exposure around the globe.

From this forum Renegade has joined in on the project and is offering some very valuable assistance.
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Veign
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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2010, 02:54:34 PM »

Looking for help.  I need 25 fans on the Open Menu Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/p...ormat/261056825849?ref=ts

Once I get to 25 I get make additional changes to the page that I can't right now.  I just 20.  Please become a fan if you believe in the idea.

Thanx.
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« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2010, 03:35:29 PM »

Open Menu Format is now Open Menu and is now back online.  I was able to purchase the OpenMenu.com domain which will become the main focal point of the brand.

Soon Open Menu Search will be online - within a couple of days.

Open Menu: http://OpenMenu.com
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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2010, 03:38:18 PM »

congratulations -- website looks fantastic Thmbsup
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Veign
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« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2010, 03:51:25 PM »

Wait till you see Open Menu Search with the accompanying Open Menu Search Mobile (iPhone, Droid and Blackberry ready).

Teaser Images (2 from the iPhone and 1 from the website):



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Veign
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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2010, 03:53:30 PM »

@mouser
Can you do me a favor and change the title on this page:
http://www.donationcoder.com/nany2010/

From:
OMF - Open Menu Format

To:
Open Menu

Want to keep the branding consistent.

Thanx
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