If you live in Toronto, it’s practically impossible not to be a major foodie. There are countless restaurants crowding the city to try, and a ton of food delivery services — like UberEats, SkiptheDishes, Just Eat and Foodora — so you can eat whatever you want whenever you want. Which is why you probably thought that it’d be impossible for another app to change the way we experience food in Toronto. Well, it looks like we all thought wrong.
Kouzina is a new app that allows anyone in Toronto to order a home-cooked meal and then rate it, similar to the way Airbnb works. Foodies can either post their own dishes to the site for sale, or browse the hub of locally-made dishes on Kouzina, order it, pick it up (there’s no option for delivery as of yet), and then leave reviews of their experience for other people.
Both the cook and the customer get to review one another.
“It’s not all about the food. It’s also about the service,” explained Nick Amaral, the app’s founder. “You can get great food, but if they’re not on time or there’s just an awkward interaction, that might not be something you want to return to.”
At the moment, these cookie-brownie hybrids are the best-selling dish on the app, and they certainly look like they’re worth a try.
It is, however, worth noting that you’re taking a chance by trying food cooked by a stranger — you have no way of telling if the food was cooked in a clean kitchen or how they’re treating their ingredients. In restaurants, owners and chefs need to meet certain hygienic standards unless they want to get shut down. In a stranger’s home, there’s no real health regulations that can be enforced.
Amaral believes that meeting high standards will be enforced through reviews: “I think it’s been proven in the market in recent years, especially in other peer to peer services, that the community essentially governs itself through reviews and feedback. After one or two bad reviews or instances of public feedback, people will be less encouraged to order from that person.”
If you think about it, you take the same kind of risk when you book a place to stay through Airbnb: you come to trust a host based on previous reviews. So it isn’t an unrealistic system. But is there truly anyone adventurous enough to try ordering a new dish that hasn’t been reviewed? Well, if Airbnb and Uber took off so quickly thanks to adventurous individuals, it wouldn’t be that surprising if anyone decides to try their luck on a new dish regularly.
There’s already a whole slew of dishes just waiting to be sampled on Kouzina, and I can only imagine that people will start eating it up in no time at all.