LazyWeb Request: Lunch or Dinner Specials Via RSS

Doc Searls wants restaurant menus in XML. That's not very exciting, since even restaurant menus posted online in HTML format would be a huge step forward, since they're fairly static (that is, unchanging from day to day). Plus there's something to be said about walking around a nice neighbourhood and reading the menus as posted on the front window. More exciting would be lunch or dinner specials via RSS, updated in the morning (or afternoon, depending on when the restaurant opens). It doesn't even have to be complicated, as a restaurateur or staff member could just write on the restaurant weblog saying "Today's lunch special is [insert special here]." If they're categorized/tagged as "lunch special", then if they're using blogging software that supports feeds per category (WordPress and Drupal/Bryght do this out of the box as do others, Movable Type/TypePad unfortunately—because many foodies use those tools—do not), then one could subscribe to their favourite restaurants' specials RSS feeds and make a decision from there. I don't claim to be a foodie at all, but if a restaurant suddenly offers as a special something I know I like (chicken parmesan, for example), I'll give that restaurant a try. As such a thing might already exist, maybe even in Vancouver, I invite the LazyWeb to tell me about them.

This idea, like many others I've thought about over the past year or so while working at Bryght, is not my own: I give credit for this one to Roland Tanglao, who runs the excellent Vancouver restaurant review weblog Vaneats.com.

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