Deciding where to eat can feel like a mission, especially with a large group. Restaurant review apps like Yelp can help you narrow down your list of restaurants, but when it comes to making a quick, choice you’re faced with way too much information. This is where Fota, a new food app developed by Princeton students, comes in.

Cathleen Kong

The Basics

Fota's interface is simple and clears out the clutter of other restaurant review apps. On the home screen, you scroll through photos like Instagram, and each photo is rated with up-votes and down-votes. Tapping a photo leads you to an easy-to-navigate restaurant page, where you can find prices, distance, hours, ratings, and more photos with ease. 

Cathleen Kong

Instead of swimming in millions of reviews and ratings, Fota offers a simple solution for deciding where to eat: mouth-watering food photos. With the rising popularity of #foodporn on social media platforms, it’s easy to see how the app’s visual attraction will make deciding where to eat more fun and less of a hassle.

We all know the familiar struggle: You order from a menu, but when your food comes, it’s completely different from what you expected. With Fota, you can avoid this scenario altogether. You’ll be able to gauge portion size, texture, ingredient distribution, and a restaurant’s aesthetics from a few photos. 

Cathleen Kong

The Team

The creative minds behind Fota are four current Princeton juniors: CEO Kevin Zhang, CTO Albert Zuo, COO Jay Lee, and Head of Engineering Bryan Zhu. High school senior Albert Zhang, Kevin Zhang’s brother, is their Chief Design Officer.

Cathleen Kong
From left to right: Albert Zhang, Jay Lee, Kevin Zhang, Albert Zuo, and Bryan Zhu. 

The Launch

The Fota team developed the app last spring based on their own experiences. This fall, they joined Princeton’s entrepreneurship incubator program. The app has been in a beta-testing phase since September, and it launched in Princeton on Friday, Nov. 10.

Fota's launch will be limited to the Princeton area, but the team hopes to spread the app nationwide; New York City will be the next big project for the dedicated team. On Nov. 17, they will fly to Silicon Valley to interview with Y Combinator, a well-known startup accelerator.

For those Princeton users, you get a sweet deal. If you download the app and contribute a certain amount of up votes, reviews, and photos, you will receive a discount at Fruity Yogurt and be entered for a chance to win free bubble tea.

It's available for download here on the Google Play Store, and here on the Apple app store. Get ready to decrease your stress when deciding where to eat, and indulge in #foodporn at the same time.

Cathleen Kong

All Fota photos courtesy of Kevin Zhang, Fota CEO.