“When I’m hungry, I don’t like to think. Starting today, I guess I won’t have to.” So says Hamad Aljudai, founder of the new social dining-out website Yallawain. Launched on Sept 11, 2010, yallawain.com gives diners in Kuwait the inside track on ‘where to go’ – and what to eat when you get there.
“Who’s the site for? Well me, mainly,” laughs Aljudai. “I love dining out with friends, but we were always ordering the same dishes in the same places. Or we took a chance and were disappointed. Sometimes we’d hear about a great new place, but didn’t know about the star dishes. Yallawain changes all that.”
The site works by tapping into a huge database of knowledge and opinion – diners themselves. Yallawain invites them to post tips and reviews and vote for or against the dishes they’ve tried. And whilst dining review sites are nothing new, two features make yallawain.com stand out. The first is the level of detail, allowing you to search not just for places and restaurants, but for specific dishes. The second is the social network aspect, because members can personalize the suggestions they see by picking other diners to follow. “Opinions matter, but they matter most when they come from someone we trust,” says Aljudai.
On launch day, yallawain.com already featured more than 450 dishes and 70 of the finest restaurants in Kuwait. Each restaurant has its own page showing the most recent opinions, and an interactive menu of dishes selected by its fans. The benefits for diners are obvious, but yallawain should be good for restaurants too. People will be more likely to try out new places, and the best new dishes will quickly attract a loyal following.
The primary launch is the beta version, with membership remaining invitation-only for the time being. But all members get five extra invitations to give to friends, and anyone who doesn’t receive one can simply make a request on the website.
Yallawain has been six months in the making, and launched after an intensive process of design, development, and testing. Aljudai and his team are keen to receive user feedback as they roll out new features and improvements over the coming months. So why not head over to yallawain.com right now, and pick somewhere new to dine tonight?
– Images Courtesy of Yallawain.com