Why FourSquare is Made for New York

This article is about FourSquare, and no, it is not an article from 2012 republished. I am just that late to the game. According to the 5 customer segments of technology adoption, the 5 stages in which we classify consumers adoption of technology are: Innovators (2.5%), Early Adopters (13.5%), Early Majority (34%), Late Majority (34%), and Laggards (16%). Given FourSquare launched in 2009, I may even be behind the Laggards on this one given how quickly society adopts technology in the 21st century!

My reasons for being late to the game are valid, though. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, an app like FourSquare is unnecessary. Franklin Street is where the restaurants are, and I certainly don’t need an app to remember what to try or how to get there. When you go to college somewhere for four years and there is one central street, it’s likely you’ll get around to trying different places and be able to find them on your own. Even though there are a few great restaurants in Chapel Hill that are located outside of Carolina’s campus, we had weekends with our parents to try those.

Tune back in to 2017, 8 years after FourSquare’s launch, and my new obsession with this app. New York is one of the greatest culinary cities in the world. Your average restaurant in New York likely serves better food than the 5-star restaurants throughout the rest of America. What is even better than the food in these restaurants is the collection of different ambiances there are. Whether you want a romantic candle-lit dinner, a clubby vibe, or a trip back to the 1920s for your dinner- you can be sure to find what you are looking for if you know where to look.

The catch is, knowing where to look. A frustrating part of living in New York is that I feel as if I walk by unbelievable restaurant after unbelievable restaurant whenever I am not looking for one. The moment that I have to make a reservation, I can’t find “the right one” on Open Table. Open Table is great, but it is hard to get a sense of the ambiance unless you have an hour to sit and comb through photo gallery after photo gallery to find what you are looking for.

I made a few different attempts at “cataloging” the restaurants I walked by and wanted to try. I would take down the name of the restaurant in my notes section on my phone. I would text my boyfriend telling him we should try the restaurant… but when it came down to crunch time I could never locate the restaurant I was looking for but could so clearly picture it in my head. Once I found FourSquare, it made me question how people live in New York without it.

FourSquare allows me to catalog past places I’ve tried and loved, new places I would like to go to, and it helps me explore restaurants I did not know about. Foursquare is a visual platform, so when I click on a restaurant, I am able to see what the ambience is, what the food looks like, and where the restaurant is located all on the home screen for that restaurant. FourSquare allows you to create different lists, so I am able to categorize “new places to try” “past places I’ve liked” “favorites” and “brunch spots,” which for me are the four main categories of restaurants I find myself focusing on. While FourSquare may not be news for many of you, for those of us from smaller towns and cities- this app is news!

Downloading FourSquare has taken me from feeling like I was drowning in a sea of great restaurants without the right resources to figure out where I would like to go to feeling as if I know where all the best places are and how to get to them. Better late than never is the only way to describe my FourSquare usage, and I recommend you join in the late train as well. This is a shameless plug for my new favorite app, and it is one that is definitely worth it!

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