Tastemakers’ Program Launch Party @ Bar Stories!

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Last Wednesday, the Burpple team had the great pleasure of hosting a party to mark the launch of the Burpple Tastemakers' Program at Bar Stories. The night was a helluva lot of fun, especially getting to meet Tastemakers who have been on Burpple since the very beginning, like Steve! It was a good time for all the Tastemakers to finally meet in person, after seeing each others’ recommendations online for so long now. 

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The highlight of the night? A Cocktail Masterclass hosted by Bar Stories! We were really excited to learn, especially since Bar Stories was one of the very first bespoke cocktail outfits in Singapore, and have trained some of the best bartenders since. 

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To start off, we were each given a welcome drink - Rosemary Coolers. This lovely cocktail was the perfect blend of gin, lemon, cucumber and torched rosemary. We learnt that torching the rosemary releases its oils, allowing it to infuse into our drink. Truly refreshing, this was easily one of the favourites of the night.


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Once everyone arrived, it was time to get down to business. Learning about cocktail-making was seriously interesting, with Kino, our lovely bartender, patiently explaining the equipment, techniques, liquors and recipes. Check out the awesome syllabus customized for us! 

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Kino mentioned that we are her most attentive group by far? We probed a little more to ensure she wasn’t lying, and she swore that we were superbly attentive, and even got Jonathan to confirm it - yay Burpple Tastemakers are best in class ;) See how closely they’re paying attention?

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Kino also explained the art of creating a bespoke drink, which aims to please each customer’s unique tastes. It’s pretty difficult especially when people always say “not too sour but not too sweet, not too strong but not too weak”! Haha, that’s Singaporeans for you right?

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Then, the excitement began when each and every Tastemaker had a chance to make their very own cocktail (except for Veronica, who insists she can’t cook and therefore can’t make a drink haha). There were 4 cocktails to choose from, and we split into 4 groups, each making one recipe. First, Kino would demonstrate, then the 4 would replicate the drink. 

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It was really fun seeing how we’d fared compared to Kino’s concoctions, although we were using the same proportions, we couldn’t quite get it to her standard! Probably one of the most interesting drinks of the night was Akira’s Caipiroska, as he chose to add Chili Padi to it! It certainly was Poh Peng's favourite drink ;)


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One of the funnest parts was definitely learning how to shake a cocktail. It involved some strength and skill, and we were all afraid we hadn’t sealed the cups properly and could potentially send the glass (and the contents of it) flying across the room. We’re told that’s why bartenders wear black, and why the glass cup is always held away from the customers. 



An epic selfie to end the night! Somehow, my arm really was long enough to capture everyone in that photo, #achievementunlocked. Looking forward to the next Tastemakers event already, what a great night it was! A big thanks to Sherene, Ashley and Kino from Bar Stories who were so kind, and made the party a really fun one ;) It really is a great place for a night out with friends, the bespoke cocktails make it an extremely fun and unique experience. To see more drinks we made that night, check out Geraldine’s list!

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Wanna be a Tastemaker, and join in all the fun? Here’s how

Till the next Tastemakers’ Meetup!

Lotsa love,

Jayne

Your forever-hungry Community Manager

Burpple Tastemakers’ Program

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Burpple Tastemakers are a group of hand-picked individuals who recommend the best places to eat, and essentially form the heart of the Burpple community. While there is no set criteria for what makes someone a Tastemaker, we generally look out for Burpplers who share genuine reviews, have an enormous passion for food, and enjoy interacting with the community. See all tastemakers ›


Why Be a Tastemaker?

1. Influence the Community
A chance for your lists to be featured on the Burpple homepage and under specific categories for others to discover easily. YOU can influence where others eat.

2. Receive a Tastemaker’s badge
Everyone will know you’re awesome, you’ll even get a shiny pink badge beside your name!

3. Attend exclusive Burpple meetups
Meet and eat with fellow Tastemakers and members of the forever-hungry Burpple team! Rub shoulders with the hungriest people in town, we make fantastic dinner company ;)


How YOU can become a Tastemaker

1. Be an active Burppler
To begin your road toward Tastemaker-hood, you need to be an active member of the Burpple community. From posting great photos and reviews, to commenting and interacting with others, you need to grab our attention!

2. Be hungry
Eat frequently! This means you’re someone who has tons of local knowledge of the best places to eat - which is exactly what we’re looking for. (maybe we should offer a Tastemakers’ gym membership…)

3. Have an opinion
Enjoyed your meal? Post that photo you took (yes, you’re the kinda person who takes photos of your meals), and describe in few short lines why people should order that dish or eat at that place. Don’t forget to tag it to a location! A simple, great post would look something like this.

4. Create organized lists
Categorize, title and describe your lists, so that you can organize your recommendations in a useful way. If you have knowledge in a particular area, here’s your chance to recommend places in a unique way that helps others decide where to eat and for what occasion.


Here’s an example of a kickass Tastemaker’s list.


How long can I be a Tastemaker for?

Every 6 months, Burpple Editors will review your contributions as a Tastemaker, and if you deserve to hold on to that shiny badge!


If you know someone who has not yet been noticed by us and you think they deserve to be a Tastemaker, nominate them! Yes, you can nominate yourself too ;) Our Editors will take a look and see if the nominee has what it takes.

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20 Cafes To Visit In Singapore

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UPDATE: Check out our 2014 Cafe Guide HERE

Get the free Burpple app, available on iPhone and Android.

1. For A Gorgeous, New Experience: Necessary Provisions

This new kid on the block is one surprising little hidden gem. Tucked away in the depths of Upper Bukit Timah, Necessary Provisions is everything you’d want from a cafe. Surreal lighting, dark walls, streaming sunlight, plants, gorgeous bakes, killer iced espresso and milk, and beer on tap. It’s worth the trek. 

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Photos by: Jayne Tan & Kenneth Loy

2. For A Happening Arts Scene: Artistry

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Artistry is known for being a happening hotspot for arts events. It’s where budding artists share their work, and aspiring artistes take the stage at night. This is probably the only cafe you could get service from a “cute angmoh” ;) Remember to give him a pat on the back for his passion to support the local arts scene, and of course, for serving gorgeous cups of coffee.

Photos by: Eleanor Tay & Alain Foodology

3. For All Things Coffee: Chye Seng Huat Hardware

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While quickly becoming a coffee institution, CSHH still manages to be a cosy space. The gorgeously modified industrial-chic interior of this old hardwarestore provides the perfect setting for enjoying a good cup of coffee. If you’refeeling adventurous, give their galvanized ale a try- literally coffee beer. It’s strangely good!

7 Ways to Eat Differently in 2014

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1. Explore a New Cuisine

Had one too many eggs ben and baskets of truffle fries in 2013? Maybe 2014 could be the year of trying something you never thought to try before. Singapore is chock-full of amazing cuisines, perhaps it’s time to try an Indian dish you’ve never had (instead of butter chicken and garlic naan again), or that dimly-lit Middle Eastern place along Haji lane you’ve walked past a million times. Don’t be afraid, life’s an adventure after all!

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Image credit: theguardian.com

2. Have More Food Parties

If you have that bunch of friends you’ve been promising to catch up with in 2013, it’s time to catch up by sharing a meal at one of your homes. Yes, dining out is awesome, but sometimes sitting around at home with a table full of food, and laughing with old friends is the best way to spend a night. Have a potluck every once in a while, you don’t have to wait for the festive season! Bring all your favourite foods and share the love. 

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Image credit: bonappetit.com

3. Eat Slower!

It’s so easy to shovel food in your mouth non-stop when it’s so damn good, and BAM your plate is clean in 3 minutes. But there probably have been moments of regret, and groans of “ermagad so fullll” after lunch. Don’t worry, no one is advocating letting your food get cold here. Simply set your fork and spoon down after you’ve stuffed a big spoonful of cai fan in your mouth, and chew. Then, swallow. Maybe add a line to the conversation your colleagues are having, THEN put the next mouthful in. Sounds doable, right? If you need some convincing, here’s 5 powerful reasons to eat slower.

4. Take a Walk to or From Your Meals

A slow walk on a Saturday morning is the perfect way to work up an appetite for your weekend brunch. If the weather permits in our crazy Singapore heat and rain, you can even get off one station or bus stop earlier than you usually would, and stroll to your brunch spot. Alternatively, take the stairs after lunch! 

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5. Work Through A List of Dishes and Places to Try

There are so many awesome places to eat. If you have a list of places you’ve been meaning to work through, make it a point to tick one off your list once a month. If you need some inspiration, here’s my box of “To Try” dishes. Can’t wait to get through them!

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6. Learn How to Make a Simple Meal for Yourself

Be it perfect half-boiled eggs for breakfast, spaghetti and meatballs for lunch, or a simple dish of fried rice for dinner, learning how to cook comfort food is definitely a level-up in life. If you’re a first-time cook, getting into the kitchen may take some time getting used to. Might as well dive right into making your favourite foods, right? Soon, you’ll be cooking dinner for your mom. Now doesn’t that sound nice.

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Image credit: bonappetit.com

7. Don’t Overdo It

It’s so hard to resist a menu with so many tempting items, but sometimes, you gotta remind yourself how little food it takes to actually fill you up. Also, cutting out excess means leaving some space in your heart, tummy, and soul - for desire. How many times have you eaten too much that it your stomach hurt from over-expansion, and you ended up being sick of that dish? Perhaps this could be a year of sharing more, eating in smaller portions, and always leaving something to be desired. And this doesn’t just apply to food, life is always better without excess.

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Image credit: trenchwars.wordpress.com

Happy 2014, friends! Here’s to a better year for everyone :)

- Jayne (your forever hungry Community Manager) & the Burpple team

GUEST POST: 30 Famous Local Foods To Eat In Singapore Before You Die

Remember the list of ‘30 Famous Local Foods To Eat In Singapore Before You Die' which got everyone talking? This awesome Burppler, Seth, was behind it. Let's get to know him a little better!

Hi Seth! Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi guys, I’m a food writer, entrepreneur and F&B marketing consultant. You can frequently find me munching away and taking photos at a restaurant, or making milkshakes at my outlet. I contribute to Singapore Business Review, soshiok.com, Business2community and many others as well as starting up my own blog this year in July 2013. 

You can follow Seth on Burpple here

If you could eat only 1 thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Tough call, its between good steak and fresh Sashimi. I’ll probably go with Sashimi because its tasty AND healthy. Salmon, swordfish or yellow tail is all good stuff.

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What is it about Burpple that you love? 

A very localized platform to share photos, and the cool community manager and owners! Had the pleasure of meeting everyone and I find it very personable. 


You run a milkshake shop (MakeShake), and you also do food reviews AND engage in marketing consultation. How do you cope? 

Compartmentalize and prioritize. I guess when food is involved, I don’t mind spending the time and effort. Eating is really a joy for me, and having my articles enjoyed and shared by others is very fulfilling. 


If you could do ANYTHING you want for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hmm, I would like to have the superpower of materializing any kind of food I’ve seen. Like, imagine it and it appears on my table. Oh the joy.


What advice would you give people who are thinking of entering the F&B industry?

Don’t. 

I’ve multiple articles on my site as well as Singapore Business Review about F&B entrepreneurship, and far too many people go into it for the wrong reasons and skillset. Check out my article 6 reasons you will suck as a food entrepreneur. Get a food consultant like myself to advice you, or even prevent you from sinking in tens of thousands of dollars on something you have no clue about.




Thanks for your time Seth! If you haven’t tried one of Seth’s milkshakes from Make Shake yet, go grab one today. You can follow Seth on Burpple here.

Here’s his fantastic list of ‘30 Famous Local Foods To Eat In Singapore Before You Die’, originally posted on sethlui.com. Read on! :) 

30 FAMOUS LOCAL FOODS TO EAT IN SINGAPORE BEFORE YOU DIE

Singapore is a hot pot of cuisines to eat, incorporating a rich heritage of food dishes consisting of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian influences. If you are a local Singaporean, you would have seen these dishes in the hawker centres below your void deck, in the food courts of shopping centres and in the quaint shop-houses decades old.

These are the real dishes you need to eat in Singapore before you die. I know there are still dozens of dishes in Singapore that are true to our heritage, but if I were to cover them all, this list would take you 2 years to finish reading.

As a Singaporean, there is no excuse to not trying these time-tested foods we all grew up with. As a tourist, this is a good check-list of authentic local cuisine in Singapore. These are the foods to eat in Singapore when you visit.

Many others have tried to cover Singapore’s food and although I appreciate Chef Anthony Bourdain for his wonderful exploration of Singapore food in his travel journals, I feel only a local can truly express the adequate love for our unique cuisine.

*note that most restaurants close on Mondays

1. Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶 lit. Meat bone tea)

Foods to eat in Singapore: Bak Kut Teh

One of the many stories of Bak Kut Teh’s invention was that during the olden days of Singapore, a poor, starving beggar came by a road side pork noodle store to beg for food. The stall owner was in poverty, but wanted to help him. He boiled some of his left over pork bones and added whatever cheap spices he had to flavour the soup, including star anise and pepper which created a soup resembling tea in colour. Thus pork bone tea was born. Another canon states that this was a tonic invented to ‘reinvigorate’ the Chinese coolies that worked in the Clark Quay area.

Bak Kut Teh has been in Singapore since we were still a developing country and deserves its recognition as a simple, humble dish. Most of the Bak Kut Teh here are the pepper variety with mild use of herbs like Star Anise. Choose pork ribs meat in your soup for a more tender bite. The other variant would be the Klang Bak Kut Teh, a dark and highly flavoured herbal soup originating from Malaysia.

Best Bak Kut Teh stalls: 

Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh: 7 Keppel Road, #01-05/07, PSA Tanjong Pagar Complex, Singapore 089053

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh: 11 New Bridge Road #01-01, Singapore 059383

Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup: 208 Rangoon Road, Hong Building Singapore 218453

Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh: 321 Beach Road, Singapore 199557

Tastemaker Spotlight: Mandy Lynn

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"I can stomach two bowls of pasta without batting an eyelid, but I can’t finish a 200g steak."

This week, Burpple has collaborated with Mandy Lynn of Gourmet Adventures to produce a guide on the Best Italian Restaurants in Singapore. Let’s get to know a bit more about Mandy first. 

Hi Mandy! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m secretly obese. I don’t believe in dieting and more often than not, I have two dinners (because one just isn’t enough).


How did you get into this line of freelance writing and eating? Did you always know you wanted to be a food writer?

I’ve always wanted to write. I started out in Nightlife, Health & Wellness, and Tech when I was at I-S Magazine, but I’ve always loved the culinary scene. I’ve always had this insatiable (no pun intended) interest in food—how it’s prepared, the cooking methods, how different ingredients blend and complement each other… It’s very much an adventure; each dish a new experience. Since then I’ve moved on to being the Dining & Nightlife Editor at Nookmag, and my culinary prowess have blessed me with regular freelance gigs with magazines like Appetite Asia and Catalog, and the launch of my website, Gourmet Adventures.


If you had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pasta and basta! (Italian for “pasta and that’s it!”)

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How in the world do you keep in shape with all this eating?

I don’t take carbonated and sugared drinks; I don’t eat junk food or fast food. My idea of a perfect (homemade) snack is a cold salad of romaine, mandarin orange chicken, quail eggs, corn, cherry tomatoes and Japanese/Italian vinaigrette. But of course a sashimi salad would be even better.


Could you share one of your favourite sayings / quotes with us?

"Don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to knock on your door. Get out there and make it happen."


Thanks Mandy for sharing, and constantly keeping us in the loop with the latest restaurants in town. Follow Mandy on Burpple and for more on-the-go food recommendations, keep up with her musings here!

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For this special collaboration, Gourmet Adventures will be giving away over $1,000 worth of vouchers from the Best Italian Restaurants! Simply follow the instructions below and you might just be a step closer to dining at one of these top restaurants! For a start, you can obtain more information here

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Get the free app at www.burpple.com/getapp today.

15 Cafes with Free Wi-Fi in Singapore And Great Coffee

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Get the free Burpple app, available on iPhone and Android.

In need of a place to study, hold a meeting, work on-the-go or simply to surf the net? You’ll find this guide to Cafes With Free Wi-Fi useful for such days.


The Book Cafeimage

For Comfy Couches

The Book Cafe is one of those hidden gems with the perfect ambience for work. Although it’s a tad inaccessible, you’ll be ensured a quiet and… Read more here


The Coffee Dailyimage

For Comforting Retro Ambience

The Coffee Daily boasts a unique ambience of modern/Chinese/vintage, with furniture restored lovingly to make you feel right at home in this…Read more here


Oriole Cafe & BarimageFor Award Winning Baristas

Oriole Cafe & Bar is the perfect place to catch up on some work or some friends in Orchard Road. With award-winning baristas, the coffee is…Read more here

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Get the free Burpple app, available on iPhone and Android!

Tastemaker Spotlight: Alain Foodology

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     “I don’t think there’s anything better than being high on food!”

With almost 3000 food moments on Burpple, Alain is no doubt a ‘hardcore’ foodie! Apart from being in the Travel business, Alain’s love for food is undeniable. Let’s see what this self-professed dessert enthusiast has to say! 

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Do you have any strange or unusual eating habits?

There are a few actually. I like to pick and choose what I like to eat first in a meal, and I would separate my favourite food. For example, a McDonald’s meal, I would finish up the fries first before eating the burger.

If I’m cutting up steak or a piece of meat, I would cut them up all into bite-sizes and devour them one by one. I can skip my meals sometimes, and eat desserts as my main course. 

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If you could choose a dessert to best represent yourself, what would it be?

I would choose the one dessert that I could eat for the rest of my life - Chocolate ganache cake.

And if you ask me why, my answer to you is that I want my life experiences to be “rich like chocolate ganache”. Simple as that!

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Lastly, you’ve been on Burpple for 8 months now. So far, what do you like most about Burpple?

The capabilities of the Burpple app, or what most people call the Social Food Guide, have proven to me that it’s one of the best, and my favourite social media platform which I use most frequently.

The posting experience and its features speak for itself, and it is the fastest way for me to share information to people without the needing to explain too much. Pictures and actions speak a thousand words. That’s my “like most” about Burpple!  


Thanks for sharing with us Alain, and for being such an awesome Burppler! Follow Alain’s amazing daily food adventures on Burpple @Alain Foodology ;)

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Click here for the full Dessert Guide. 


To see what other tastemakers are tasting, go here!

Get the free app at www.burpple.com/getapp today :)

5 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Doesn’t Need To Build A Mobile App

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Here’s a common conversation I have when talking to restaurateurs.

Restaurateur: “We’ve been thinking about building an iPhone app for the restaurant, but we’re just not sure how helpful it’ll be.”

Dixon: “When was the last time you downloaded a restaurant app?”

Restauranteur: “Actually, I never have. Hmm.”

If you are one of such restaurateurs, this article could be useful for you. As I lead the business aspects of Burpple, I’ve the wonderful opportunity to meet many merchants from the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry in Singapore. You’ve probably met about 7 mobile app developers - all of whom have pitched to you the extreme need for a mobile app, that apps are the future, and is the only way to engage the Instagram generation.

Specifically in Singapore, app developers will also tell you that app development is PIC-qualified, where you’re required to pay only 40% of the entire cost. I’ve heard that some pitches even say that building an app actually ‘earns’ you money when wrapped around tax incentives. Quotes range from the lowest of $5,000 to a high of $35,000, depending on the the perceived size and depth of your pockets. You can read more about the PIC program here.


Here Are 5 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Doesn’t Need To Build A Mobile App

1. Not a natural mode of discovery

After a year of building Burpple, we have collected millions of data points on customer behavior. The most typical ways people would discover your restaurant online are through the following modes:

A. Searching or browsing food specific networks such as Burpple, Yelp or Foursquare

- Decision is made based on results and relevance
- This customer already had a sense of where they want to go

B. Using a good search engine such as Google

- Will search with nothing specific in mind “great places to dine in Singapore”
- This customer has no sense of where they are going

C. Going to your website to for information

- This customer already knows you and plans to visit

There is almost zero opportunity for people to download your restaurant app. You can give discounts, a free soup for every download, or use Google AdWords, but essentially, you’re paying to advertise something that you’ve spent time and money to build that was supposed to increase your productivity and reduce cost in the first place. It just doesn’t add up.


2. Only regulars will know about your app

People who download your app are people who already know about you. Which means a mobile app is a really bad marketing tool- if your goal is to capture new users. Building a community on your app is never your metric, while it is the sole focus of social networks like Facebook or Burpple. Instead, you should utilize and engage the communities that these social networks have already built.


3. No restaurant app is ever in the top 10

There are exceptions like Starbucks or Pizza Hut. To once again prove that there is little or low likelihood for people to download restaurant apps, take a look at iTunes. On the day this article is published, there are no restaurant apps (other than those 2) sitting in the Top 10 of the Food & Drinks category.


4. Save your money

Developing mobile apps is not cheap. As mentioned, it can cost you anywhere between $5,000 - $35,000 to create an iPhone app, and don’t forget, you need apps for Android or Windows platforms too. Besides, many developers charge a retainer fee to maintain and update your apps. This can turn out to be really pricey.


5. Save your time

You will need to spend time laying down the product specifications, and working closely with developers to build the app. Feature customization will also be limited, as developers are working off templates (modules). It is better to work off current platforms such as Facebook or Burpple, as they offer greater flexibility for your content, and allow you to engage existing communities.


What else should I consider?

a. The goals of building a mobile app

b. Utilizing current platforms

c. A solution that is cheap, fast, and already has a good customer reach


So, what should I do?

At Burpple, we offer tools that help businesses promote their restaurant online, and instantly gain access to an existing community of food lovers through mobile and web platforms. It’s like owning your app, but cheaper, faster and better. You should check it out here.

The Ultimate Brunch Guide

Get the free Burpple app, available on iPhone and Android.

This week, Burpple collaborates with GNineThree.com to produce the ultimate guide to Brunch! From the early pioneers of eggs ben in Singapore, to a brick-walled hipster favourite, and not-so-common meals, you’ll find yourself wishing it was the weekend right now. Start building your Wishlist!

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GNineThree is a blog featuring a foodie’s travels to great food destinations in various parts of the world. The blog also includes some easy to follow baking recipes concocted by the foodie herself.

Get the free Burpple app, available on iPhone and Android.