When Eater launched in 2005, the stated mission was to cover the ins and outs of the restaurant industry: openings, closings, chefs on the move, industry gossip, food trends, restaurant world minutia. Since then, the mission has expanded, both in scale and in scope. Eater editors are now obsessing over all the aspects of the industry in 24 cities across North America, and the Eater network now features professional restaurant reviews, food photography, investigative reporting, broad features, cookbook coverage, videos, essential maps, and more. We desperately needed a new way to highlight and display deeply reported and labor-intensive content while also obsessively tracking the news of the day.
This new site — powered by Vox Media's proprietary platform Chorus — makes that happen. We know change on the internet is scary, even overwhelming. It's a bit crazy for us, too. So let's take a moment to talk about what's new, and why, and then how you can help us make the new Eater even better.
The Layout: The bold and dynamic Eater homepage places a much larger emphasis on reports, features, reviews, and high touch pieces, while also showing off the latest important restaurant news, maps, forums, and videos. The local sites around North America look familiar but now have the added capability to promote marquee features. All the sites are now capable of featuring big, beautiful photos, like this one:
Big beautiful restaurant reviews: Now Bill Addison, Ryan Sutton, and Robert Sietsema's reviews are easier to read and enjoy. And check out those stars and scratchpads.
Showstopping features: Now that Features Editor Helen Rosner is on board and she has new tools at her disposal, expect a lot of big, blown out features, starting with the launch feature 72 Ways Food Can Change the World. (The old features don't look too bad either.)
Map Stacks: Anyone familiar with sister site Vox.com's card stacks will notice a family resemblance here. Eater maps are now configured as map stacks, meaning they're easy to swipe through (on all devices), each map point is chock full of useful information, and cards from maps can be embedded in articles and shared separately from the full map. It's a meta-layer of location information unprecedented in the industry.
Like the rest of the site, the maps are completely responsive, especially useful for readers trying to figure out where to eat or watch football on the go.
Discussion forums: Eater forums have the potential to be the most interesting and dynamic addition to the new site. Here, readers can discuss recent meals, trade tips, share photos, debate hot topics, and chat about the news and gossip of the day.
Videos: Building upon previous Eater series like 60 Second Tasting Menu and Soundbites, we're launching two new series this week. One, called Savvy, is pretty much the sexiest how-to series in the restaurant world, hosted by some of the industry's biggest names. Meanwhile, in Consumed, Eater's Kat Odell tries the weirdest and wackiest (and often most delicious) foodstuffs in and around New York. And more series are on the way.
What's the same:
Eater still aims to be the first place for obsessive coverage of restaurant and food world news and gossip. We will continue to support reporters investigating deeper pieces and critics filing formal and informal reviews, and will continue to track the silly and ridiculous ephemera of the food world.
Where you come in:
Readers' tips, comments, and feedback have always been the lifeblood of Eater, and now more than ever we need to hear from the Eater community to find out what's working, what isn't, and what needs to be tweaked. Send any bug intel to firstname.lastname@example.org and post general comments about the relaunch in this discussion forum.
Welcome to the new Eater. Click around and stay awhile.