Boston’s Mini Food Cluster: Area Startups Using Tech to Help Users Cook, Eat, Order, and Diet Better

12/23/10Follow @xconomy

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links to recipe sites for suggestions on what you can cook based on the ingredients in your home, and offers coupons and suggestions based on your buying habits, says team member Jeffrey Morin. We’ll have to keep our eyes on where this product goes.

—OK, there’s a company out there for you if you’re not as fancy as Plummelo users and don’t have the time or means to cook at home. Exit41 of Andover, MA, makes systems that enable online food orders from restaurants. Restaurants powered by the software can even let would-be diners browse favorite menu items on Facebook and kick off the ordering process from their profile page.

—For those of you who prefer to actually eat at a restaurant, Textaurant is aiming to take the hassle out of waiting for a table. The mobile service allows diners to remotely view the lines at their favorite restaurants and get on the wait list before even walking in the door. Textaurant texts them when their tables are ready and even serves up special deals. Meanwhile, restaurants attract more customers and glean more information about patrons’ habits during busiest times—or at least that is Textaurant’s plan. Just this week the Boston startup received $10,000 from one of the micro funds in angel investor Dave McClure’s 500 Startups firm.

—After all this eating, look to Boston’s Lose It! to shave off some extra pounds. The Web service—which also comes in mobile form for iPhone—allows customers to input their food intake and exercise regimens and then counts these factors against daily “budgets” for net caloric intake. Users can even share their progress with friends, and slice and dice their weight loss with detailed reports and graphics. Special thanks to FitnessKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs for the heads up on this one. Hmmm, maybe we have a bit of Boston fitness cluster happening, too?

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