We can’t go to restaurants at the moment – but we still have to eat. With the Dutch population home-based at mealtimes, first supermarkets and now takeaway restaurants are seeing a boom in orders.
But what to do when you’ve had your favourite Indonesian meal six times in the past fortnight? Fortunately, Dutch meal delivery company Takeaway.com has the answer: it has created a Foodwiki to give hungry customers inspiration and information about 194 dishes from 10 international cuisines.
The online food dictionary, complete with appetising pictures, takes you from the speciality dim sum of Chinese cuisine to what you might guzzle in Italy if you don’t eat pizza – regional favourites and dishes such as the melting, veal shank stew, ossobuco.
Born in the spring of 2018 for the Dutch market and four others, today, the food dictionary exists in seven different languages for eight different countries where Takeaway.com links take away firms with consumers.
‘The aim of the foodwiki is to provide food lovers with a reliable source of information and inspiration about dishes and cuisines from all around the world,’ explains a spokesperson from Takeaway.com (known in the Netherlands as Thuisbezorgd).
‘It’s a knowledge platform created for all those looking for answers about a certain dish –what it looks like, how it’s eaten, or what the cultural background of the meal is. The foodwiki is also there to inspire food lovers to embark on a culinary journey around the world by learning about the vast variety of delicious dishes.’
Although the FoodService Instituut Nederland has predicted that restaurants, bars and cafés will be hardest hit by the coronavirus this year because physical outlets will have been closed for three months, some have already made the switch to take-away or pick up services.
At RIJKS in Amsterdam, for instance, chef Joris Bijdendijk says they are breaking even with a three-course service for customers to pick up and assemble at home – and the restaurant is taking the concept on tour to places like Utrecht and Bussum. Plenty of other top restaurants across the world from Italy to the UK have been doing the same.
Even before the take-away offering got more diverse, says Takeaway.com, it was flooded with queries about different meal options when people were ordering. ‘Millions of people around the globe look for information about different dishes every day,’ says the spokesperson.
‘Whether they want to verify what an item on the menu is before ordering it, or they want to prepare for their next holiday to an exotic location by understanding a specific cuisine and its cultural background, the foodwiki provides a factual story for every dish.’
With the coronavirus and its consequences in the air around us, a safe but exciting eating space at home has become even more important, the company believes.
‘Despite all the uncertainties of the current times, food is still central to our daily lives. It remains a way to share special moments as a family, allows separated friends to have virtual dinner parties, and lets us travel in times of travel restrictions through the taste of different cuisines,’ said the spokesperson. ‘Many people also want to support their local restaurants and have questions about dishes they haven’t tried before.’
Restaurants will be reopening, of course, but now that you have a flavour of what’s out there, you can also look forward to more guidance from Takeaway.com: later this year it is launching an editorial platform with all kinds of articles on the latest trends, tastes and flavours from across the globe. So get clicking, and bon appetit!
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