ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - If you're curious how The Exchange Hotel executive chef Andrew Silas prepares his dishes for customers in St. Petersburg, you don't have to step into his kitchen. Just pull up Wise Up on your phone.
Silas uploads videos of his process on the app, so diners can see just what goes into what they eat.
"I like it because it shows how we're making the food, so the consumer can see that it's us preparing the food and it's not just bags of frozen stuff that we just heat up in an oven or a microwave," said Silas.
Food transparency isn't the only thing Wise Up is good for.
"Lots of consumers don't know how to cook a product or how to prepare it or what recipes to use with it," said Bill O'Neill, the president of Wise Up Food. "The whole idea of Wise Up is to connect consumers with information about their food."
O'Neill and Wise Up Food vice president and co-founder Sarah Martello are building a clientele of restaurants and grocery stores. O'Neill said it's something he's been thinking about after working in the meat industry.
"Consultants would always tell us consumers want to know more about their fresh food, about their meat, about their seafood, about their produce. They want to know where it came from, when it was produced, ‘How do I use it?’" said O'Neill.
"We want to make it simple for the consumer to get everything they want to know about that one particular product that they're looking at, either to order at a restaurant or to buy at the grocery store," said Martello.
During the pandemic, many restaurants switched menus via QR codes. Wise Up uses a similar technology at participating restaurants and retailers.
"There was a QR code to use instead of menus, so people just naturally became accustomed to it and know exactly what to do when they see a QR code, they know what to do with it," said O'Neill.
"They want to see where it comes from. Is it organic? So they scan the Wise Up QR code and it will take them to a product information page that has all that information about that product that they're holding in their hand in the grocery store," said Martello.
And if you want to dig deeper into your food knowledge, ask Wise Up for pairing suggestions.
"You get a clear idea of what we think is best with what food maybe a certain beer with a certain burger," said Silas.
The app also has downloadable recipes and meal ideas, plus coupons and social media sharing.
They want to make Wise Up a one-stop-shop for food transparency.
"It's just an excellent companion for your experience at any restaurant," said Silas
"We want to give consumers access to information that they otherwise wouldn't have," said Martello
The Wise Up App is free. For more information, visit https://wiseupfood.com/
It's currently available to use at The Exchange Hotel, Hitchcock's Green Market in St. Petersburg, and 82 Degrees Restaurant in St. Pete Beach.