Business

LifeStyleFeed brings the Seventh Art to restaurant selection

When planning a night out, choosing the right venue is paramount. A romantic aura can take a dinner from mediocre to magical, while an overly formal setting can quash the lightheartedness of a girls’ night out.

Gentlemen, you can stop worrying about picking a good date spot: LifeStyleFeed is here to make the selection process easier.

LifeStyleFeed is a database of video previews for restaurants, bars, and entertainment spots. The company works with venues to produce short videos that capture the atmosphere of the place. Consumers watching the content gain a stronger sense of their potential destinations, helping them make better informed decisions.

“As a concierge, host, and restaurant-industry veteran, I am personally involved in charting people’s experiences,” said CEO Leon Harvey. “This is an enormous responsibility, as it can make or break an experience. LifeStyleFeed lets you learn about each venue before you arrive, so there are no surprises. It literally lets you be your own concierge.”

Reviews and recommendations are useful, but require a certain amount of trust in the source. People have different tastes, needs, and opinions, and what is right for one person’s birthday party may not be right for others. I could rave about an intimate wine bar to a friend, who finds the space too cozy for comfort, and two groups can have divergent experiences of the same place.

 

These video clips enable consumers to make more informed, personal choices without prior knowledge of a venue. They’re organized into categories, including Fine Dining, Casual, and Night Clubs. Some restaurants focus on glamour shots of signature dishes, while a lounge may choose to show footage of a busy Friday night when the space is filled with a well-heeled crowd.

While LifeStyleFeed’s direct customers are businesses, the service is not valuable without a large and engaged user base.

“One of the criticism of sites like Yelp is that the consumer voice dominates,” said Mitch Latsky, a general partner at Benchmark Capital. “This product gives restaurants the opportunity to talk back and provide a broader advertising experience, but it looks like a service that would have to be sold as opposed to bought, and those tend to be expensive and hard to scale.”

Right now, the site has content for 53 venues split between Washington, D.C. and Chicago and will soon add California locales. Harvey says he is looking to work with OpenTable and GoogleMaps and strives to be present in every market around the U.S.

LifeStyleFeed is currently free for consumers, and there will soon be advertising opportunities available. The company is based in Washington, D.C. and has three employees.

LifeStyleFeed is one of 75 companies and 6 student “alpha” startups chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.


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