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Feeding the Future

The Next Generation of Food Ordering Apps

Photo: Courtesy of Rami Al-zayat

Food ordering apps have already changed the food industry by offering delivery and more dining options to more customers than ever before. Now, forward-thinking services are taking this technology model to the next level by strengthening their restaurant partnerships and making the customer experience more unique and personalized.

Hands-on partnership

Delivery has previously fallen short for restaurants with a lack of control in customer experience when food is handed off to a third-party delivery service.

“There’s a lot of thought, soul and patience that goes into barbecue,” says Ryan Farr, who started Oakland’s 4505 Meats, Burgers & BBQ, and was looking for a service that matched his level of care. “It’s often their first impression of us,” he explains. This is where new apps are making a difference.

“Every restaurant is a full partner,” explains Laura Englander, national sales lead for Caviar, Square’s robust food ordering platform. In addition to making sure the food arrives in ideal condition, Caviar has local teams that relay feedback, data and insights to restaurants so they can improve their offerings.

Collaborating with restaurants

The latest food ordering technology doesn’t just expand restaurants’ reach to more customers; it also provides the tools to develop their business.

“We get weekly reports, we can check the status of orders, mistakes, success rate, feedback … that’s been critical in tweaking how we provide service to our guests,” says Jonathan Gilbert, partner and general manager of San Francisco’s RT Rotisserie. “They’re helping us brand and market what we do.”

Caviar offers useful analytics such as “heat maps,” showing restaurants their highest-density delivery neighborhoods, so they have a better idea of where to expand. Customers are also offered special deals and secret menu items through exclusive partnerships with restaurants. Expect to see this trend of personalization take over as brands and consumers alike see the benefits.

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