By Nick Nelson
Have you ever ordered an item at a restaurant because the image and description on the menu were irresistibly appetizing, only to learn upon being served that what you’ve ordered looks nothing like it did in the picture?
You got duped…and it happens to all of us.
But it shouldn’t, believes Farhan Muhammad, owner of the Minneapolis-based firm Fusion Room. Their new “innovation lab” team has launched a mobile app called I Got Duped that empowers customers to fight back against misleading advertisements in the restaurant industry.
“Beautiful photography is used to sell you things, and as a consumer we should expect the product to look like the picture. That’s not an unreasonable expectation,” says Muhammad.
“Just about every person we spoke with expected food not to look like the picture, and I think that’s a symptom of being in this environment for way too long, where people have just given up on expecting the product to look the way it was promised.”
The fittingly titled app enables users to snap one photo of a dish’s portrayal on the menu and one of its actual appearance for comparison. The customer can then add a comment and post the images side-by-side on social networks, holding the offending business accountable for their misleading ads.
The software is currently available for iOS and is soon to be available for Android and Windows phones. It was developed by the crew at Fusion Room over a span of about a year, as a side project on top of their client work. They don’t currently view it as a revenue-generating venture.
“We don’t anticipate making money,” Muhammad says. “We’re doing it for the cause.”
If that cause is truly embraced, as the 100+ downloads and 6,000+ likes on Facebook within one week suggest it will, Muhammad sees the concept expanding past its current scope (which is specific to restaurants). He calls out hotels and packaged products as potential targets down the line.
Considering the ambitious and altruistic nature of this project, the label hardly seems misleading.