In Search of the Optimal … Cheeseburger

My ignite talk from last year’s data-centric Ignite spectacular is finally up! This was about a fun, personal project, where I was playing with NYC menu data.


  • http://www.valueofsimple.com/ Joel Zaslofsky

    I agree. Everyone loves cheeseburgers.

    By the way, this was a groovy talk, Hilary! If only I could get the cheeseburger fanatics to spend a fraction of their time on data analysis of paleo-friendly meals at non-paleo focused restaurants. If I could have questions like “What’s the default oil you cook your food in?” or “Will you cook my food in coconut oil or grass-fed butter?” answered ahead of time, that would be *awesome*.

  • http://aqfl.net Ant

    I can has cheezburger? –cat

  • http://www.getfoodgenius.com/ Benjamin Stanley

    It’s great to see someone that shares an interest in food data! It was questions like these that led me and my co-founders to start Food Genius (getfoodgenius.com). I don’t think many people realize the amount of data that can be analyzed from something as simple as food.

    I wonder what sort of impact fast food or chains would have had on your algorithm. Of all the restaurant data we track, theres 1,092,697 burgers in the country and only 183,187 are from independent restaurants. It’s a pretty big elephant in the room, but I wonder if the social input would have negated chains as a result, or enhanced it.

    Interesting talk! If you’re in Chicago come visit and talk food data with us.

    • http://www.hilarymason.com Hilary Mason

      Thanks! I’ll definitely look you up next time I’m in Chicago.

      The process I used for crawling menus did not include any fast food restaurants, which was fine for me since New York is not a fast food burger culture (and that wasn’t the story I was trying to tell). Just to be clear, though, this talk was more of an art project than anything else!

  • http://shelftalk.net/ Scott Sanders

    But I am still waiting for the obvious question to be answered: Which cheeseburger wins?

    • http://www.hilarymason.com Hilary Mason

      That’s the point … the best cheeseburger is the good one in your hand! :)

      • http://shelftalk.net/ Scott Sanders

        Boy, I need to pay better attention. :) Thanks Hilary – really interesting stuff.

  • Time-Out Photos

    Thanks for speaking at USAA today, your talk was very interesting. Did anyone mention to you about going to Chris Madrid’s to tryout their “Cheddar Cheezy”? Wish i could have talk to you for a few mins as i work in BI and Analytics, but had other responsibilities to attend to.