The 8it App was created to solve the problem of food ordering overload.
8it app co-founder Steve Raggiani is a guest on the Digital Hospitality Podcast where the entrepreneur talked about simplifying the search for the best food, online food reviews, digital marketing, and much more.
Three Takeaways from Interview:
1. Simplicity is Accessibility – In the world of apps and the new web, less is more. By creating an interface that’s simple, easy to access and direct, you create the ability to better serve a wider audience and gain traction in a competitive space. [00:11:21]
2. Drop Culture is More than Clothing and Concert Tickets – For years, teenagers and young adults have lined up and camped out for rare sneakers and limited streetwear. In recent times, drop culture has expanded to a wider range of demographics and also the world of food. When selling story, scarcity and hype, does drop culture work to add energy to your business model? [00:18:29]
3. Your Market is Bigger than Your Echo Chamber – The best way to understand your core consumer is to be them, but it’s often a big mistake to think that your entire audience is that siloed. In a world where we all live in online echo chambers and our own friend groups, do deep dive research to really find out who could be interested in your business, why they would be interested and where they might find out about it. [00:09:41]
Steve Raggiani and 8it:
Steve Raggiani isn’t afraid to get hangry. But don’t worry, he won’t take it out on you.
A problem solver, not a problem starter, Steve put his hunger pains in perspective by co-founding the 8it App.
“8it is the simplest way to find the best food,” beams Steve Raggiani when talking about his 8it app on the Digital Hospitality podcast.
“It’s trusted food recommendations from people in the industry who know what the hell they’re talking about.”
After moving to the Big Apple for work years ago, Steve was taken aback by the food scene but bombarded with the overabundance of information on where to eat.
Let’s be honest, if you’re seriously craving a burrito, who has the time or discipline to read five articles, phone three friends and watch a YouTube review?
This was Steve when he first touched down in NYC.
“I got to New York City completely overwhelmed by all the options to eat in that city,” recalls Steve. “There’s so many amazing restaurants you don’t even know where to start — and this was like 2016.
“If I go on Google and I’m in the mood for a burger, I search ‘Best Burger in New York’ and I get an Eater article, an Infatuation article, a piece from The New York Times and a Guy Fieri video. I’m getting lost in the content. You can spend up to 45 minutes doing research to figure out what you want to eat.”
The bulk of information and the time it took to sift through was enough to make Steve even hangrier.
Thankfully, Steve doesn’t want to be hangry anymore and his team at 8it App want the best for you, too.
“We pride ourselves on solving problems,” begins Steve. “I’ve worked in advertising and marketing my whole career. We solve the biggest brands in the world’s problems. At 8it we said, ‘Let’s solve a problem for ourselves.’ We gave ourselves a challenge: how do you go from hungry to eating something certified delicious in three thumb taps?”
So, how does the 8it App work if it’s 7:49 PM and you’re hankering for a burrito?
The first part is an accessible interface.
“Design is the first thing people notice,” points out Steve. “If it’s not clean and it’s not simple, you’re going to turn people away. When you open the app, you see how clean it is. When we made it, we were like, ‘I want a 14 year old to pick this thing up and use it like they’d use every other app and I want an 80 year old lady to pick it up and feel the same way I do.’”
The second part?
Intuitively using clean design of the sleek and simple 8it App.
“You click ‘burrito’ and it pulls up every top recommended burrito from trusted media sources and chefs,” Steve says. “So, you’ve got Eater, Infatuation, New York Times and maybe chef Troy Johnson from San Diego, stuff like that, and it’s distilled down into eight-word reviews. We pulled the most important eight words about that dish. If you want to go deeper and read the whole article, we can link you to it. We’re just aggregating all the services that are out there because there’s too much content and there’s too many services and aid. It basically sits in the middle of food, tech and food media and makes the process simpler for the eater to find the best food and for the restaurant or the pop-up owner to get discovered.”
Over the course of 2020 and 2021, the 8it App has done its part to not only help consumers avoid being hangry, but also helping small businesses get discovered.
With the pandemic hitting the hospitality space the hardest, 8it’s ability to spotlight restaurants and pop-ups across the country provided direct energy to the most delicious places to eat.
In addition, the slowdown surrounding the year that was 2020 allowed 8it the ability to redraft their app for other operating systems.
“We used that time in a smart way to build the Android version of the app so we can access more people,” says Steve Raggiani on Digital Hospitality. “We were a little bit naive when we started. We wanted to be on iPhone only so we can reach a more premium audience and it wasn’t really backed by data. One of my friends and colleagues pulled me aside after we had been live for about a year and said, ‘Dude, why is there not an Android app?’ There’s actually like 80 percent more people on Android than iPhone, you just don’t realize it.”
Expanding beyond their own bias or echo chamber has allowed 8it to exist on more smartphones than ever imagined based on their original business model.
Conversely, by leaning into convergence culture and trends in drop launches, 8it is on the cutting edge of adding energy and access to the line ups and limited nature that surround food pop-ups.
“The people in line for a Supreme T-shirt right now are in line for sandwiches,” notes Steve. “A drop is a limited quantity thing, so they only make 100 of the T-shirts or they only make 200 of the sandwiches. You’ve got to be in the know to get that sandwich. And when you have it, it’s like a flex.”
Expanding Food Culture:
The buzz around limited product, experiences and online flexing has Steve excited about food culture’s expansion into the next world of web: NFTs.
“It’s a no-brainer that we’ll end up there in the NFT space,” shares Steve Raggiani. “Limited edition food items are now translated into a digital badge that allows you to flex and have that clout. We’re working on gamifying that experience.”
Before long, the 8it App will be the place to gain clout as the Sandwich King of New York or the Barbecue Mayor of San Diego as the most dedicated foodies will chase taste experiences and show off their clout on the app through NFTs.
In the meantime, Steve is leaning into the emotion that started 8it by creating a feature on the app that hits us all right in the gut.
“It’s called I’m Hangry,” smiles Steve. “When you push the hangry button, it pulls up every top recommended dish near you.”
Not only will hitting the I’m Hangry button give you instant recommendations for food right in your radius, it will allow you the ability to upload content surrounding your pains before and your pleasure after.
Thanks to Steve Raggiani, being hangry has never been so fun.
-Feature article by Ian Stonebrook (@ianstonebrook.) Get in touch with the writer online at firstname.lastname@example.org
8it Pledges Commitment to —
Putting bullshit aside and helping get to the best food in the simplest way.
Getting more eyeballs on content in a world where people have the attention span of a fly.
Empowering more eaters to discover delicious food and also connect with them.
Driving more new curious food-lovers through the door and not charging a dime for it.
•POP-UPS + INNOVATORS:
Developing innovative technology to streamline operations from discovery to transaction.
Giving a platform to connect with fans by sharing recommendations with them,
making content actionable, while supporting small businesses.
LEARN MORE: https://www.8it.nyc/about-8it
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