The adage “necessity is the mother of invention” couldn’t have been truer in Booky Manila co-founder and CEO Ben Wintle’s case. While he and his team have been in the business of innovating apps for half a decade now, it was in early 2014 when Ben came up with the app that has now changed the way we Filipinos find and book restaurants—an idea primarily borne out of personal food-related problems he and girlfriend actress Iza Calzado encountered.
Ben and Iza on vacation in Bali, Indonesia.
Back then, the foodie couple would just always have a hard time finding places to eat here—more a challenge for Ben, actually, especially when Iza would have her cravings during “that time of the month.” And with speedy internet connection quite elusive in the country, googling dining places for such urgent cravings just won’t do. A situation many guys can relate to, for sure—because, really, who would want to upset his lady love?
With a listing of menus and contact information of over 15,000 restaurants in Metro Manila today which you can search from even if you’re offline, Booky has gone above and beyond saving Ben, and many other boyfriends’ lives, to becoming a digital holy grail of dining options that helps its users—they’ve got over 35,000 monthly users to date—make well-informed dining decisions fast, and sans the struggle with slow data connection. Fans of the app include actress Isabelle Daza and top fashion designer Rajo Laurel, and Skype co-founder Toivo Annus who has also become their investor.
Booky Manila's got a very user-friendly interface as well.
And for sure you’ve seen at least one, or even highly look forward to, the Top 10 Restaurant lists per city that their food blog The Booky Report comes out with every month, along with other exciting food content that can surely make any food-lover crazy happy (Did you see their list of the best ice cream sandwiches and crave-worthy milkshakes??? Heaven!). "We hope to continuously learn how we could improve the app to make everyone’s lives a little easier,” says Ben.
The Booky app is free to download on iOS and Android. The Booky Report is on ABS-CBN Lifestyle, too! Head over to lifestyle.abs-cbn.com/thebookyreport to check out their stories and for more information, visit phonebooky.com.
ALSO READ: The Booky Report: Top 10 Most Loved Restaurants in Metro Manila for April 2016
Photographs courtesy of Booky Manila and from Instagram.com/missizacalzado