Technology has had a huge impact on the food industry. Even before we relied on takeaways to get us through the evening, restaurant tech has helped us all to discover different food cultures and dishes that might otherwise have flown under the radar.
Created to provide a central hub for Black-owned food businesses in America, EatOkra is the perfect example of how innovation can bring us closer together. Originally launched in 2016, the app provides up to date and detailed listings for restaurants in The United States, making it a great starting point for anyone wanting to support Black businesspeople in the food industry.
The New York City-based service has seen a sudden rise in popularity, recently rising to number 20 in the food and drink category in the App Store. The app currently has an average rating of 4.5 out of five on Android, based on 327 reviews, with a similar score on Apple.
As one happy reviewer declared earlier this year:
“This app is AMAZING! I stumbled across the app and told my teenage son about it, and he was just as excited as I was. Now we can find great food spots and support black-owned restaurants at the same time. My foodie game has gone up another level thanks to this app. Where is my heart emoji?”
Another, writing on the Apple App Store, added:
“EatOkra is a sleek, beautifully designed app that shows you a curated list of authentic black owned restaurants for your black culinary curiosities. It helps black business that are customarily underserved by the large Silicon Valley apps.
“Download it. Use it. It good food. And don’t be racist.”
Discussing their mission and motivation in a recent Instagram post, app founders Janique and Anthony Edwards explained how, for them, food is emblematic of community. As they explained:
“Yes, we considered the economic advantages of supporting black restaurants and black business owners, which is definitely a plus; however, more than anything, our mission is to provide a food-themed directory that encourages fellowship through one specific avenue, black food.”
According to the app description, the locations it covers are listed include:
“NYC, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, St. Louis, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, DC, Atlanta, Houston & Dallas, Portland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Jacksonville, Newark, Austin, Memphis, Seattle, and much more!”
Even if you have a specific meal in mind, technology can sometimes make the food industry feel overwhelming. Thankfully, apps like EatOkra make showing your support that much more easy to do.