A couple of months ago the Basque chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mugaritz restaurant owner, sponsored the presentation of a gastronomic social network called . This blog is based on the users collaboration, who recommend and share information on food specialties, not restaurants. For further information about this brilliant initiative we’ve interviewed Patricia Martinena, Onfan’s Communication Manager. Let’s meet her!
What is Onfan?
Onfan is a new gastronomic guide that works as a ‘social network’, feeding on users contributions. It’s like a mixture between tripadvisor and Instagram, because it is a guide based on pictures, very visual and intuitive.
How did the idea of this gastronomic guide came up and what makes it different from other websites?
We are a very passionate about food and, as gastronauts and foodies, we use all kinds of tools to find a good place to eat. But we thought about filling a gap that was still empty regarding gastronomic guides: for sure, you have gone to a restaurant recommended by someone, and after that you have made the promise to don’t trust that “someone” never again, right? Onfan has been developed bearing this situation in mind. We have improved the concept of a gastronomic guide in order to avoid reading thousands of reviews from people that have nothing to do with you, to be sure that you always make the right choice. Onfan is an atypical gastronomic guide, a improved tripadvisor: is not based in restaurants, but in specialties. In addition to this, in Onfan there aren’t some food critics dictating what to eat. YOU are the food critic here.
How exactly Onfan works? What do I have to do to be part of this “social network”?
It’s easy. Just log on and sign up at through Facebook, Twitter, or with an email address and start uploading content! Take a picture of a dish, and upload it to Onfan explaning why you liked it. From there, others will begin to follow you and you’ll become their personal food critic. Also, you’ll become a fan of prescribers in whom you trust. Everything to be sure that you don’t go to the wrong place: Onfan makes it easy saving your time and, at the same time, offers reviews from users like you.
Onfan has been sponsored by the chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, how did this collaboration come up?
The truth is that everything came up quite unexpectedly. Some Onfan team members went to San Sebastián Gastronomika to do some networking and know more about gastronomy news to include them in our blog. We had requested an interview with Andoni. For us was a luxury to meet him, I never thought I could spend half an hour “questioning” someone I consider a true genius. We introduced him to the project and he thought it was a good idea. In fact, he came up with the idea to work together. And the rest is history. Today, Andoni’s collaboration and support is crucial. He and his team give us a completely different point of view about things and this is totally enriching, besides the media attention he brings to us, of course.
Onfan website has been recently put online for the users to create their profiles, how was this process and the audience reception?
The beginning was hard but very gratifying. We have worked hard for everything to go perfectly, and we are happy. In just three weeks we have almost 2000 users, which is not bad.
Can you give us some clues about Onfan’s future? (Partnerships, awards, projects around the blog, etc.)
We never stop! Now we are engaged in promoting a campaign called “You open Mugaritz doors”. Everyone who has a profile at Onfan, can win a lunch or a dinner at Mugaritz Restaurant. It’s something of inestimable value because they are giving away the first season menu, served only for a few. The more specialties you upload, or the more followers you have, the more chances you have to win the prize. I encourage everyone to participate and to sign up, is a very good opportunity, and the promotion will only last until March the 22nd! Other than that, we are launching our cell phone application, and we hope it comes out soon. And finally, these are fresh news: I can’t tell much yet, but Onfan is developing new ideas to create synergies between gastronauts… I will just give a name: Gastronomy Monday. That has to do with professional meetings, gastronomic marketing, photography and cooking techniques… and that’s all I can tell!
Thanks a lot Patricia!