So, you do prefer to eat a Big Mac or is a Whopper more your kind of thing? Maybe you’d rather have burritos at Chipotle Mexican Grill rather than a giant plate of pasta at The Cheesecake Factory? What if someone turned this questions into a game that you can play online?
That’s precisely the idea behind Tasty Duel, which we’ll be taking a look at through today’s review. This is quite unlike most of the other sites and products that I’ve reviewed on John’s blog in the past. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
The Facemash of Restaurant Choices
Did you watch The Social Network movie last year? In it, we got a pretty good look at the early days of Facebook and how Mark Zuckerberg got his start. And it all started with something called Facemash. This was fundamentally the precursor of Hot or Not.
The difference with Tasty Duel is that they’ve replaced the pretty faces of girls on a college campus with the logos of various restaurants and eateries. These include actual sit-down restaurants, as well as fast food joints.
The “game” part of the site consists of pitting two random restaurants against one another at any given time, and then you select which one you prefer. Then you do it again with another two restaurants. And again with another, and so on and so forth.
Connecting to Your Facebook
There’s no need to create a new account on Tasty Duel to participate on the site. In fact, you don’t even have the option to do that. Instead, the site relies solely on connecting to your Facebook account. It uses the standard authorization process, just like all the apps on Facebook.
After doing that, you get started with playing the game. Here’s the first choice that I got when I gave Tasty Duel a try: Blimpie or Cheesecake Factory. These are two very different places to eat with very different menus. As you make your way through the match-ups, the site will start to figure out what kind of food you like and what you don’t.
Unlocking More Features and Options
I can see how this kind of mechanism might be fun for the first little while, but you can quickly lose interest in choosing between two random restaurants. That’s why they’ve implemented some incentives for keeping up the action.
After you’ve compared twenty pairs of restaurants, you unlock a list of your favorite restaurants. This comes using the algorithm that I briefly described earlier. If it sees that you consistently rank restaurant A over every other one it gets compared to, there’s a good chance that you really love it.
With each of the pairs, you also have the choice of saying that you’ve never eaten there. This will bring up an alternate eatery and then you can make your choice.
But you might still get bored. The list of “never tried restaurants” might not be quite as useful to you, but the “tasty deals” could be more useful. It’ll likely take some time for Tasty Duel to build up its audience and leverage that against advertisers for these deals, but that could help to save you some lunch money down the road.
What Do You Like to Eat?
Playing Tasty Duel is free and you could unlock some “exclusive Tasty Deals” to keep a few extra dollars in your pocket. You might even think that it’s fun to rank your favorite restaurants using an advanced algorithm like this, rather than just taking your personal guesses. It’s not the most fascinating thing in the world, but it is an amusing diversion.