May 29, 2002 11:29 PM   Subscribe restaurants. Reminds me of Google Catalogs. Is this a win-win for all parties, or is Amazon just angling to try and grab yet another slice of the pie? (Via Yahoo! News.)
posted by Fofer (11 comments total)
I like. The layout and typography on the menus will keep me engrossed for quite a while. Menu design has always been a fascination of mine.
posted by iconomy at 11:34 PM on May 29, 2002

Well, as an amazonian, I can't really speak to the motives/effects of this, but I'd like to point out that Restaurants is not the only category being treated in this manner - there are several more listed in the "all stores" directory - anything with a "(beta)" listed after it. Things like Arts & Hobbies, Car Parts & Accessories, Medical Supplies, etc. And no, I did not work on this feature.
posted by kokogiak at 11:35 PM on May 29, 2002

You can already see menus on iDine, plus you get a silent discount via credit card. (Not all restaurants have their menus up, but on the other hand, iDine has participating restaurants spread throughout metro areas and even scattered throughout the country.)

And don't some of the citysearch sites do this?
posted by dhartung at 5:52 AM on May 30, 2002

The menu for the restaurant at which I work is months out of date. Unless the restaurants are directly involved with this, it will never work. Mine is not. It seems they merely pilfered one of our menus and scanned it. Which is fine. But as far as the customer is concerned, it's unnecessarily misleading.
posted by crasspastor at 6:04 AM on May 30, 2002

Oooh, I like the GUI widget they are using to turn the menu pages.

I agree with crasspastor's comments, too. So much for doing one thing, and doing it well. Amazon could do a decent job with this, but I get the feeling they are becoming the Wal-Mart of the web.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:51 AM on May 30, 2002

...I get the feeling they are becoming the Wal-Mart of the web.

I'm sure Jeff Bezos would be overjoyed to hear you say that, considering they hired a bunch of early management from Wal-Mart. At least they don't have Wal-Mart's obnoxious "family" moralism which results in censored music.
posted by malphigian at 7:17 AM on May 30, 2002

I think it's neat. Now go do this for delivery restaurants and I'll use it!
posted by majick at 8:03 AM on May 30, 2002

like zagat's, only with more data and a lot less information.

Scanned images of a restaurant menu has a lot of information points. But it's reviews that I want. Amazon is trying to compete with as a recommendation service. Too bad I didn't fine one restaurant that had a review to go along with the pretty pictures.
posted by zpousman at 8:32 AM on May 30, 2002

Well, it's beta, but it is out of date. Alas, Buzzy's Roast Beef is no more. A nice web essay on the legendary late-night Boston landmark and its final days is here.
posted by yhbc at 8:54 AM on May 30, 2002

A nice web essay ...

Well, it would be there if the site had enough bandwidth. Here's the Google cache of the site.
posted by yhbc at 8:57 AM on May 30, 2002

As a recommendation service, Amazon's customer-to-customer recommendations (X "in addition to" or "instead of" Y) seem to be particularly susceptible to spam. At least, that's the conclusion I came to. {self link}
posted by dhartung at 2:11 PM on May 30, 2002

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