As a chef and restaurant owner, Nikos Mantis is always looking for ways to connect with diners. Now he's turning to technology.

A smartphone app has just been released for his mobile eatery the Local Motion food truck.

Mantis said having information at the fingertips of customers is something new and innovative for the city.

"It wasn't happening in Thunder Bay or anywhere in northwestern Ontario," said Mantis. "We got a technology grant to do something innovative for the business."

Nikos Mantis

Thunder Bay's Nikos Mantis. (Nikos Mantis)

Partnering with a local firm allowed them to get the application up and running. By using the app, diners can find the location where the food truck will be parked each week. Google maps provides walking, biking and driving directions to the eatery.

The menu is posted as well.

"Because of our concept of local food, the menu changes on a daily basis," Mantis said, "So people will know what's being served."

The move to technology has been important to his food business, he said.

"A big part of marketing is getting the word out. It's word of mouth. We want to get information into everyone's pockets."

Mantis is now celebrating the first year of his food truck business. The response has been good, with many repeat customers, he said.

"With the evolving menu, with so many local producers and products, we're creating a taste of place."

With the mobile app now available to customers, Mantis said he hopes other food truck vendors in the city will get on board and join the program.