It was a couple of months ago that BiteHunter.com beta-launched itself as an aggregator for dining deals. Easily described as a “Kayak for restaurants,” BiteHunter is designed to help users locate dining deals, a problem which has been been addressed quite well for verticals such as travel, but quite poorly for dining, at least on an aggregated basis.
Today BiteHunter is announcing a new iPhone app (iTunes Link) that expands its dining deal search across the US, from the initial markets of New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
The uniqueness of BiteHunter is the real-timeliness of the deal data it exposes. By this I mean, that BiteHunter scours real-time sources such as a restaurant’s Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook accounts, as well as Groupon, LivingSocial and newsletters, to bring users the freshest deal info. Compare this against, say Yelp, which restaurants seem to use more as a business card rather than a customer engagement medium.
BiteHunter’s new iPhone app has nicely designed search and discoverability features built-in. Deals can be searched for, or discovered on a map. Filtering can be applied to cuisine, price, distance, and type of deal. Alongside the deal info, BiteHunter also provides restaurant information, related deals, reviews, photos and menus. Users can even reserve tables with the app.
A feature I really like is that the app alternates tabs depending on the time of day. So the Lunch tab will become Happy Hours, and Dinner as the day progresses.
There’s no question that BiteHunter brings value to users, however, the big challenge, as always for these types of services, is customer acquisition.