Australia is home to a bounty of public barbecues – meaning we don’t need a colossal backyard to enjoy a bit of steak and sausage in the sun. But locating these parks can be a nuisance. Serial startup founder, Andrew Dyster, decided to develop a solution – a web application that locates your nearest public barbecue.
Meat in a Park was initially built for the Mashup Australia competition a few years ago. Dyster has since been building his database of free public barbecues.
How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Users type in a suburb, and the app will display three of the closest barbecue locations within a 20km radius. They can then create a Facebook “BBQ in the Park” event, invite their friends and have a grand ol’ time with meat sizzling under the sun.
Dyster says this app isn’t necessarily a business – more a labour of love. Though he is using AdSense to generate some revenue, and plans on an affiliate storefront with barbecue products and accessories – similar to what he’s done with his other startup Facetache.
His proudest moment, he says, was being interviewed on ABC Radio about Meat in a Park: “I was on after an important minister for the climate. That was kind of cool!”
Much like other sites, the biggest challenge has been driving traffic: “It’s more like ‘build it and they won’t come!”
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a trick or two up his sleeve. He’s got other ideas where he’ll utilise this same codebase and business model. In fact, behind the scenes, he’s working on an affiliate storefront builder, ShopFronty.com.
“I’m using these sites to craft it and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Then I can offer it to other niche website owners, and that’s what I will build the business around,” says Dyster.
Who says a startup needs to be rocket science? Sometimes, the simplest things are the most useful.
Take a tour of the site via www.meatinapark.com.au.