Tahoe Locals launch restaurant app Kynbo

How many times have you found yourself at the end of a long day, your stomach growling, looking for a restaurant? You search Google, but your kids are whining, tugging on your hand and you can’t quite find a restaurant to satisfy everyone. The kids want burgers, you would rather have Italian and your husband wants whatever, so long as he can watch the game.

John Doolan and Thao Doan of Truckee are the architects of Kynbo, a new app that is a win-win for both restaurants and diners. Kynbo, which means “vicinity” in Japanese, helps diners find an area restaurant for their specific cravings of food and atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a restaurant that serves spicy tapas along with live music and happy hour specials or a casual cafe with vegan muffins and organic coffee, you only have to swipe a finger to feed your cravings. Restaurants post current menu items with photos, daily and weekly specials, reward programs and special events. The information is immediate and up-to-date in real time.

Whether you are looking for a restaurant that serves spicy tapas along with live music and happy hour specials or a casual cafe with vegan muffins and organic coffee, you only have to swipe a finger to feed your cravings.

Both Doan and Doolan hail from tech backgrounds and are passionate about food. They were frustrated with other restaurant applications that offered searches that didn’t fulfill their needs. Creating an app that helps diners find what they want to eat and where quickly and effectively came naturally for the couple. Additionally, Kynbo is a no-brainer for local restaurants because they can pull in potential diners with their specific menus, specials and ambiance — and learn what dishes their clientele prefers the most.

From left, Brogan Doolan, 11, Thao Doan, John Doolan and Parker Doolan, 14.

“Analytics for the restaurants show how many diners are using the app, are in the area, how many have favored/liked the restaurant, how many people have viewed the menu, what searches are trending and what specials enticed the diners. Restaurants can broadcast specials to clients who have liked them,” says Doolan. “And restaurants have direct control over what is posted on the app.”

Diners can send messages directly to the restaurant and sort the most-liked restaurants in the area.







“As a diner I couldn’t find what was available. It was a frustrating experience,” says Doan. “If John wants to find a restaurant that serves a Joel Gott Cabernet, he can do that with Kynbo. He can plug it in and find the local restaurant that serves it.”

There are no negative comments on the app — only likes. If you want to see the restaurants that have many likes, the option is available on the app, as well.

“We want to showcase the menus and work with restaurants,” says Doan. “Individual dishes can be liked, as well.”

Doan and Doolan are starting the app in Tahoe and a number of local restaurants are on board already. The couple’s goal is to have complete coverage in Tahoe before expanding into San Francisco, Reno and Hawaii, and eventually nationwide and worldwide.

The thousands of visitors to Tahoe and locals can use Kynbo to find their way through the sea of options Tahoe offers in any type of cuisine at whatever price point. The application goes live at the end of January and will be available for free on all platforms.

Participating restaurants to date include Cottonwood Restaurant, Tavern 6330′, Moody’s Bistro, Marg’s Taco Bistro, Truckee Tavern, Jake’s on the Lake, Graham’s at Squaw Valley, PlumpJack Cafe, Christy Hill, Jason’s Beachside Grille, Bar of America, Gar Woods Grill, Caliente, River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant, Spindleshanks American Bistro, Lanza’s Restaurant, Za’s, Auld Dubliner Irish Pub, Drunken Monkey Sushi, FiftyFifty Restaurant & Craft Brewery, Wolfdale’s Unique Cuisine and Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market. | kynbo.com

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Priya Hutner
Priya Hutner is a food writer, personal chef and owner of The Seasoned Sage, a local meal delivery and catering company. Cooking is a meditation for Priya, it is from that place she curates her menus and recipes to create delicious and nutritious meals for The Seasoned Sage, her company catering to client’s culinary preferences and dietary restrictions. Priya has been creating and preparing meals from an early age. She has worked in the restaurant industry in New York City, attended catering school, and was the head chef and executive director of a nonprofit spiritual community in Florida. She is also working on a series of cookbooks. Visit her website at TheSeasonedSage.com or contact her at priya@theseasonedsage.com. Send your comments, story ideas and food tidbits to priya@yourtahoeguide.com.