Urbanspoon: Restaurant Reviews Coming To A City Near You

Urbanspoon is a small Seattle startup that wants to help you find the perfect restaurant. Their goal: compete head on with Yelp and other user review sites, specifically around restaurants.

But they are approaching the market in a different way than Yelp and others. Instead of talking users into coming to their site and writing reviews, they’re taking a decentralized approach and aggregating available reviews from trusted sources around the web – local newspapers, citysearch, etc. The approach is very similar to what Rotten Tomatoes has done successfully with movies.

Users can vote on each restaurant in the system and can also leave comments – effectively their own reviews. And anyone that wants a review they’ve written on a blog or elsewhere to be included can do so by adding a bit of code to the post.

So far, so good. They’re claiming 1.5 million monthly page views on 500,000 unique visitors. The company covers fourteen U.S. cities currently, with fifteen more on the way. And they’ve done all of this with a three man team and no funding. All three founders, Ethan Lowry, Adam Doppelt and Patrick O’Donnell, are ex-Jobster employees.