- Feride Yalav Heckeroth
Turkey’s startups are just beginning to change the lives of users with online tools on their smartphones, tablets, and computers that make daily life just a bit easier. With successful apps like BiTaksi, which allows users to call a cab from wherever they may be, Turkish entrepreneurs have now taken on the world of food. From programs that allow you to order gourmet food items or even a last minute meal, here are some of the tastiest confluences of food and technology in Turkey.
The healthy meal delivery service Meal Box aims to replace fast food with traditional and healthy Turkish cooking for a generation of young people and families that have grown accustomed to eating out. Unlike Yemek Sepeti, one of Turkey’s most popular fast food delivery websites, Meal Box controls the entire process from cooking to delivery so that deliveries are of the highest quality but at affordable prices. All meal boxes are prepared and assembled in one kitchen after which trucks transport them to 20 franchised delivery centers very early in the morning. Since Istanbul is a huge city, these franchise centers are able to deliver hot meals within 30 minutes of every order.
Translating to ‘what’s available,’ Eldekilerle is a website dedicated to sharing recipes according to the ingredients you happen to have in your kitchen. Once you sign up, the website allows you to enter the ingredients you have available for recipes that adhere to your personal tastes and are easy to make. By liking recipes, the website also gets to know your preferences, suggesting better solutions every time according to your personal palatal whims. Eldekilerle also allows users to share their own recipes, follow friends’ selections and likes, and view calories for every proposed meal.
Founded in 2012, Nefis Gurme allows users to scan one of Turkey’s largest portfolios of gourmet food items online and have them delivered to their homes. A great place for home chefs that require specific ingredients for their meals, Nefis Gurme has a vast array of available products. The menu includes international foodstuffs, including Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Spanish, and Greek; seafood and charcuterie items; oils and sauces; breakfast food items; pasta and baked goods; healthy eating options; dessert and patisserie; gourmet fruit and vegetables; and drinks. Some of the standouts include French mushrooms, black truffle oil, and Bottarga (to name just a few).
Not just a food service, Getir is an app that will bring almost anything straight to your door. Established by Nazım Salur, the founder of BiTaksi, Getir is the delivery service that you will quickly recognize on the streets of Istanbul from the many scooters with the dark purple logo. Available for free for smartphone users, the app can determine your location and deliver to wherever you are. From food and drink to personal items, home goods, and baby products, Getir has more than 200 items to choose from so that you don’t have to leave the house. The app also allows users to see the identity and route of the courier, virtually eliminating all confusion and waiting in vain.