Caroline Potter is the Chief Dining Officer for OpenTable, Inc. She’s a dining trend-spotter and an OpenTable VIP, who dines out more than she eats in and has accrued more than 10,000 Dining Rewards points.
Caroline started working in restaurants as a teen and she’s since tackled every front-of-the-house job, from bartender and hostess to runner and server. She trained as a chef at Manhattan’s prestigious French Culinary Institute, cooking at L’Ecole.
In addition to her role at OpenTable, she has written about food from farm to table for New York City’s famed Greenmarket and Edible Brooklyn and Edible East End magazines. Caroline is also a Certified Master Gardener and plays the guitar in a band called Hot Doughnuts with her husband Curt and some friends. She lives outside of Manhattan with her husband and her four dogs.
What smartphone do you have?
An iPhone 5. Since joining OpenTable in 2009, I have used the iPhone to utilize the OpenTable app, which now is available for all platforms, but in 2008 we just had it for the iPhone.
What are your preferred apps at the moment?
Of course, I use the OpenTable app to find where we’re going to eat. I love OpenTable for when you’re in a situation you’re unfamiliar with, so you can find a place within walking distance or read reviews. It gives you a little more confidence in finding a good place to eat.
One of my favorite apps in the world is the Hootsuite app. It really helps me do my job anywhere, anytime and listen to what my diners are saying. It helps me connect someone with a great restaurant, troubleshoot if someone is having any trouble finding a restaurant or any issues at all. I use that every waking hour of every day (laughs).
Another app is the Seafood Watch app, which I think was created in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I enjoy that because I don’t eat a ton of meat unless it’s sustainable and humane. I tend to eat a lot of seafood, and the app helps me make really informed choices when dining out and at the fish market. It tells you things to stay away from and things you can feel better about what you’re eating, and it’s free.
I love Calltrunk for when I’m interviewing chefs or restaurant managers. It records your interviews and has a transcription service. It helps me not have to talk and type at the same time and lets me always have those interviews stored. It’s a paid service, but it’s really fantastic.
Another one I really like, which is a paid app, is called Sleep Cycle. It functions as an alarm, but if you tuck it between your sheet and your mattress cover, it shows you when you fall asleep, how deeply you’re sleeping and it senses when you’re stirring awake. Typically I would wake up before my alarm goes off. You can track what you ate with it to see how it positively or negatively affects your sleeping, to see if coffee, dessert or red wine are keeping you up at night. There are all the ways to customize it to see how well you’re sleeping. I love to sleep but I hate the alarm, so this is a really nice, gentle way to wake up.
My husband works for the Blue Pointe Brewing Company in New York, so he’s on the app called Untappd, which is a social network for beer drinkers. It helps you find a craft beer bar and has an impressive selection of craft beer suggestions. You can rate the beer, take pictures or view others’ pictures and tie it to other social networks. It’s really interesting to see what your friends are drinking, and this is an app I can enjoy with my husband (laughs). We have a second beer refrigerator and a kegerator.
My husband, some friends and I have a hard rock/80s band called Hot Doughnut. I’m a guitar player – not a very good one – so I’m always looking up chords on Guitar Chord. If I hear a guitar chord and I’m wondering how does that go, it plays it for you so you know how it’s supposed to sound and shows you the sheet music for that chord.
I would give an honorable mention to the sports tournament apps – the U.S. Open app and the NCAA March Madness app – they do a really good job of letting you track what’s happening at a big sports tournament. It’s a great way to politely stay in touch when, say, you’re out to dinner with someone, to help with your dinner conversation.
What’s on your screensaver?
A picture of my dog Bernie (lab-pit bull mix) wearing a Christmas bow. I have a few dogs and she’s my favorite.
What’s your ringtone?
It changes for certain people, but for most people it’s a doorbell. My husband is the old-school phone ring tone. My brother, who’s a physician, is the emergency alarm.
What’s On Your Phone? is an occasional blog series that asks business leaders, celebrities and plain ol’ folks to tell us about their smartphones and apps.