Summary

We are a group of passionate and ambitious young professionals who want to help people satisfy their cravings and explore the neighborhoods around them, as well as further develop our technical skills. We developed an app called FindFood to help users find a specific food or dish in the restaurants surrounding them. This streamlines the food search process and gives individuals a richer experience in eating out.

Inspiration

Food is not only essential for life, but brings people together and bridges cultures. We wanted to build an app that helped people satisfy their cravings and explore the neighborhoods and cities around them. Apart from a passion for food, we were also inspired by what seemed like a common, yet unaddressed issue.

What it does

The user can enter a specific food or dish they are craving at the moment and FindFood offers two different restaurants near the user’s current location that have that specific food or dish on their menu.

How we built it

After experimenting with many different platforms, we chose Flutter because it offered native development of both Android and iOS applications and had a ‘hot reload’ feature, where we could continue editing the app while running it on a test device or virtual machine. Flutter utilizes the Dart programming language, which is a free and open source language developed by Google, and we developed the application with Visual Studio Code.

Challenges we ran into

We found that Flutter was not easy to jump into at all. After playing around with it for several hours, we found our footing. The syntax was unfamiliar to all of us because it was similar to React and Javascript, something none of us had experience with. We also struggled with combining the front end search bar with the back end that used the EatStreet API.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We’re proud of the location capabilities of our app. During testing, we set one of the virtual machines to be located at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California and our app suggested restaurants in that area. We were also excited that we were able to integrate the EatStreet API and were able to identify restaurants nearby with the food we were searching for.

What we learned

We learned how to use a new and useful programming language and how difficult it can be to develop even a “simple” app. We also learned about user experience, debugging, integrating APIs and using the command prompt/terminal.

What's next for FindFood

We intend to look into more advanced functionalities to enhance FindFood, such as a user submitted rating system, a picture-taking component, food suggestions based on recent searches, and an “explore” feature. In the future, we could also potentially monetize FindFood by offering local restaurants and small businesses the ability to promote their dishes or menus, as well as reach a larger audience in their neighborhood.

Thank you so much for reading!

-Mayisha Khan, Carly Baracco, Elena Margolin, and Padmini Jainauth

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