We live in a world with far too many choices. And these choices get even more difficult when we need to make them as a group. Everyone has had the frustrating experience of trying to figure out the perfect place to eat. Why is it so hard?
For my product innovation course, my team and I created Banquet, a mobile app that fights indecision and keeps friends friendly by making the decision on where to eat a lot easier through an interactive, simple, and fun user experience for everyone.
I conducted research, designed and prototyped the Banquet mobile app. I also created the experiential activation.
Alyssa Moreno - Art Director
Cameron Sharer - Copywriter
Alexis Caravas - Experience Designer, UX/UI
User Research, Figma, Illustrator, Photoshop, Prototyping
Choosing where and what to eat is difficult
We've all been there at some point or another. But why is it so hard?
Here's 3 reasons:
We want to maximize value
This could be getting the best bang for your buck, eating healthy, following dietary restrictions, celebrating with a night out.
Whatever it is, everyone's values differ depending on the meal.
We have saturation points
We all have cravings and certain reasons why we make decisions on where or what to eat. If it doesn't satisfy this, then the entire experience is destined for failure.
We also like accommodating to those around us.
We have limited resources
Because you only have a handful of resources to allocate time, money, stomach space) you are forced to make a choice.
75% of people suffer from choice overload when it comes to deciding on where to eat.
Richard Michael Hui, Mind Cafe, 2018
“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”
Barry Swartz, The Paradox of Choice
Expectations of the dining experience are ever-increasing and there is a lot of pressure on making the right decision on food, restaurant, atmosphere, etc.
Because of this friendships, relationships, families suffer from the overwhelming feeling of indecision and pressure to make the right choice.
What if there was an easy way everyone could get what they wanted? The perfect option without all of the stress.
Banquet, Keeping Friends Friendly
A mobile app that takes everyone’s opinions into consideration. You simply set a date, time, and occasion, send a quick survey to your friends, and our AI generates the best possible place for your group to dine.
Guests are able to answer a series of questions about regarding the dining experience. Based on responses, Banquet's AI processor is able to generate the best option for the group.
If the group is happy with Banquet's decision, the host is able to make a reservation at the participating restaurant directly from the app.
Reward system to encourage users to choose Banquet for every dining experience.
How It Works
Users start by downloading Banquet from the App Store.
Follow along from each user's unique experience strategically designed to be simple, comprehensive, and fun!
Step 1: Banquet for The Host
In every group, there's always that one person that takes control of the planning. For this brave person, the process is made easy through a 3-step survey setting the details for the event.
Once the details are set, the host is able to invite friends to Banquet by easily sharing the link via email or SMS.
The host can earn Banquet Bucks by sharing the link. *Scroll down for more details.
Step 2: Banquet for The Guests
Your guests can no longer fuss over not having a say in the planning! After receiving the shared link, guests are prompted to join the table and create a quick username.
They will then answer 4 simple questions regarding their dining preferences (cuisine, budget, local or chain restaurant, and dietary restrictions.)
Users can collect Banquet Bucks for choosing to support local participating restaurants.
Step 3: The Dining Decision
Once all survey results are in, Banquet will generate the best dining option for the group.
In this case, the best option based on the group's responses is Stellas, Richmond, VA (best greek restaurant in Richmond IMO).
If the group is happy with the decision made, the host is able to make a reservation at the suggested restaurant directly from the app.
Step 4: Earning Banquet Bucks
If the group is still unsatisfied with the Banquet dining decision, there's always the option to reshuffle!
Groups that stick with the Banquet decision will earn Banquet Bucks, redeemable at participating restaurants as specified by the Banquet team.
Banquet Users can also earn Banquet Bucks by
Choosing to support local participating restaurants
Making a reservation through the Banquet app
Using the same Banquet group more than once
How can people interact with Banquet outside of the mobile app?
Experiential Activation & Social Media Campaign
Banquet Pop-Up Event
Select Banquet users will receive an invitation to the Banquet pop-up event held in Central Park.
The Banquet team will set up three tents highlighting local restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.
This event will promote Banquet and bring people together by creating a branded Banquet experience people won't forget!
In The Press
By hosting an event, Banquet will receive press helping to boost brand recognition and lead to more app downloads.
Social Media Campaign
To further increase brand recognition and interaction, Banquet will run a series of social ads on Instagram and TikTok, using familiar/relatable anecdotes about the cost of indecision as told by historic events.
An app made by friends, for friends.
Banquet was born out of a shared frustration for the challenges that come with deciding on a place to eat.
As a team (and as friends), we were able to recall on our shared experiences and solve a simple, yet incredibly relevant problem.
Our hope is that Banquet can (one day) show up in a lot of people's lives and make the restaurant decision making experience a lot easier and more enjoyable.