In 2015, I lived in Richmond with my girlfriend and one Thursday evening we were looking for a place to eat where we hadn’t been to before.
As we sat in the Shaftesbury (a great for proper pub food, check out the meat platter if they still do it), we setup a little game.
Who can find a new place to eat for dinner tonight?
2 x iPhones
My girlfriend set about scanning TripAdvisor as I went for the curated platforms, google searches and maps.
In a flash, 20 minutes had passed and we gave up.
We didn’t even find a contender.
- Italian themed chain restaurants e.g. Carluccio’s or Pizza Express
- Brewer pubs e.g. Fuller’s or Young’s
- The local Sharwarma bar (this got my vote)
As a result of investing time searching for a restaurant yielding everything from the local babby to Gaucho, we gave up and opted for the easiest option in Carluccio’s.
We missed Time for Thai, which as we became ‘locals’ of Richmond we learnt was run by a little Thai family – daughter behind the counter, no website, no social media, only 12 seats vibe – and was pretty much better than any of the previous restaurants we’d eaten in. Not to mention it was BYO and better value for money and as a result you put money into a Thai family’s pockets, not for example the Chinese Venture Capital group, Hony Capital, who own Pizza Express.
By the way, Time for Thai is rated as a 1 star on Yelp and a 5 star on TripAdvisor.
Anyhow, this annoyed me so much that I thought current restaurant discovery platforms are horrendously skewed towards the corporate money makers and as a result, the family outlets suffer.
Tealight was born. Well, not quite, it was ‘BillDi’ as in Bill Discount.
The original concept was; I recommend you a place and we both get a discount in that restaurant. The original concept has changed and so has our name.
But the goal hasn’t changed and we’re damn sure it never will: Tealight provides personalised restaurant recommendations, not reviews.
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