The power lunch, a fast bite at a local eatery perhaps with business acquaintances has become a staple of business culture. But now, it seems that even power lunches may not be convenient enough and a new solution is being cooked up to get a convenient lunch without interrupting work and important business.
Startups have now come up with a twist by having customers text their food orders for office delivery. Texting food orders is a seemingly simple concept, and one that isn’t entirely new. But a few added wrinkles has made it even more efficient for customers.
Texting Food Orders: How Do They Do It?
For example, a New York startup called “Arcade” has made the ordering process simpler by forgoing menu selection completely. Arcade hand-curates dishes from some of the best restaurants in New York City, a place already well-known for its diversity in cuisine. The company then offers an SMS service wherein registered users receive a notice every day at 10 a.m. what the lunch of the day is. They can then reply “YES” to that message before 11 a.m., and their lunch is delivered to them by 1 p.m.
New York City is such a busy place so it’s believable that people there don’t even have time to think about what they want to eat during work hours, much less get it themselves. So this simplified food delivery service offers the convenience of having a quality meal already selected and the simplicity of hitting a button to have that meal delivered on time.
What Your Startup Could Do
By registering with Arcade’s text service (if you’re in New York City), all you have to do is text “YES” whenever you want lunch. It’s basically a simplified food catering service of sorts.
For other startups that may want to do something like this in their own areas, you could add something to this process by adding some features like letting each user select his or her preferred order in advance and just having lunch delivered to the customer automatically each day. The service could be offered on a subscription basis, letting customers pay in advance for lunch deliveries to their workplaces.
Benefits for both Customer and Business
Texting food orders is yet another business concept that doesn’t just sell you a product or service, but also time.
First, of course, the meal is delivered saving you the time needed to go out on your lunch hour and grab a bite.
But a startup like Arcade goes one step further. It enables you to forgo the need to decide on what restaurant and/or food you want on that day since the service makes the selection for you.
For busy business consumers, this represents a major convenience.
For a startup like Arcade, requirements are minimal. There’s no need for to launch a fancy restaurant with the associated costs of rent, repair and decor. The company simply creates a daily menu from selections already being offered by numerous existing eateries. Then it texts that menu out to its subscribers and waits for the orders to come rolling in.
I think texting is so much easier than calling. I would like it to be implemented here as well. Calling can take some time and it requires people to answer the call and take the order. But if it is done with texting, it can easily be queued.
Indeed! This kind of thing could really make a lot of things easier.
The success I see here is due to the simplicity. No thinking about what you want, but just a simple yes/no on the special they text out. People are very good at making these A/B decisions and it requires little mental effort to do so.