The crossover of food and emojis is expanding rapidly. You can text Cronuts, Champagne sabering and Mario Batali on a Vespa with Food & Wine's new keyboard. And then, of course, there are more complicated food emoji projects—like using the tiny pictures to actually order a meal. A couple weeks ago, Domino’s shocked the world (or at least the Twittersphere) when they announced customers could order a pizza simply by tweeting a pizza emoji to the brand’s Twitter account. But while many of us were left perplexed by this ridiculous stunt, someone out there was thinking, “All right, sure, but what about the dozens of other food emojis we aren’t using to order food?"
Well, a new company called Fooji has you covered. Set to launch in June, Fooji promises to deliver users all sorts of meals based on all of the major food emojis. You set up an account, tweet them an emoji and food ends up at your door.
Fooji cofounder Gregg Morton outlined the Fooji process for us. “Since there is no description included in the tweet, we pick a meal from a top-rated local restaurant to represent each emoji once a week. We like to boast that we’re an adventurous foodie’s dream. Also, an emoji-lover’s dream.”
Morton and cofounder Erik Zamudio began work on Fooji after Domino’s launch, believing they could improve on that brand’s limited scope. “In our humble opinions, there was a lot wrong with the launch and implementation of that product,” Morton says. “We differentiate ourselves with our technology that we use on the back end, and the fact that we allow for the use of nearly the entire food emoji library. This is something that no other company is currently offering.”
Of course, using literally every food emoji—including the fish cake with swirl—would be tricky. In actuality, Fooji limits users to those emojis with “obvious connection to full entrees, sides, drinks and desserts.” That still gives users 16 entrée options (at $15 a pop) and eight desserts, drinks and sides (which go for $8). Plus, extra adventurous users can tweet the fork-and-knife emoji as a wild card, which gives users Fooji’s favorite meal of the week.
What’s left to be seen is whether ordering via emoji can survive as more than just a gimmick. Beyond the initial emoji hook, it sounds like Morton and Zamudio are hoping to find a niche with their curated menus and partnerships with local restaurants.
Initially, Fooji will only be available in Lower Manhattan, but they plan to expand to the rest of Manhattan on a weekly basis before eventually moving on to other parts of the city and country. Here’s wishing them a “thumbs up” “party popper” and “clinking beer mugs.”