When Miami New Times profiled the Naughty Fork's Samantha Schnur in February 2018, the Instagram influencer fantasized about growing her social media presence into a full-fledged media company with an app and a more sophisticated website.
Now Schnur has launched the HoneySpot, a user-generated food app that's part search engine, part social media profile where participants can create, share, and discover restaurants based on the opinions of friends and family.
"HoneySpot is really unique in that we monitor and minimize negative reviews through prompted questions," Schnur says. "You're only seeing the best of the best from people you follow."
The questions Schnur refers to range from a short restaurant description to favorite dishes and insider tips, giving users just enough information to gauge a new spot, she explains.
The app also includes curated lists and maps, and ways to engage with friends. Noticeably absent will be advertisements and random reviews from unknown users, which means participants will only see restaurant input from people in their immediate social circles.
Once an account is created, users can add their favorite restaurants around the world, along with the dishes they like to eat there. The app will also give reservation information and directions.
"HoneySpot has been in development for well over two years," Schnur says. "My partner, Gino Gomez, actually came up with the idea a few years ago when undergoing treatment for lymphoma in New York. Gino would search tirelessly on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other local search engines, and was frustrated that he would have to sift through negative reviews and information from people he didn't know and opinions he couldn't necessarily trust.
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"People always ask me for recommendations, whether it's friends, family, or followers," she continues. "Instead of creating endless lists of my favorite spots, I wanted a way to be able to organize, share, discover, and connect with people around me in a way that felt more organic."
From there, Schnur says, HoneySpot was born.
"I've known Gino for years," she says. "We both grew up here in Miami, and I met Adam Saad, our third partner, through working with Gino. With Gino’s entrepreneurial background, Adam’s tech experience, where he most recently worked at Amazon, and my passion for social media marketing, it makes the ultimate trifecta."
Schnur is looking forward to growing the app and making it a community platform for people who love food. "We hope that HoneySpot really resonates with people as a go-to place to explore the food scene around them," she says. "And a way to make finding and suggesting their favorite spots that much easier."