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Mobile and Web food ordering service GetQuik has launched a corporate catering service today for companies in Silicon Valley. The service is free to companies and they note that it, "simplifies the process for planning and coordinating corporate catering orders."
Once an account is setup, employees can select from the 200 restaurants and caterers that GetQuik partners with. Administrators can setup pre-defined meals making future orders easier. GetQuik also offers help with selecting the right meal for the right business function. GetQuik notes that AMD is their first large customer of this new corporate catering service.
I could see this working well for medium-sized startups. Setup an account with GetQuik and the staff can order using the account making it easy for everyone to get the food that they like plus it would help with keeping accurate records (instead of a box of receipts) for tax time.
Check out our mobile food ordering review with GetQuik, SeamlessWeb, CampusFood and NY-based GoMobo.
Will mobile food ordering become the newest way that we use our mobile devices? If mobile food ordering works, it could be a huge time saver. Instead of waiting in line to order and hoping that the clerk gets your order right, you just zap it over to the establishment using your mobile and then pick up your order when you arrive. For those on lunch breaks that are timed, this could be a way to get back precious minutes. We’ve also seen national pizza chains Pizza Hut and Papa John’s enter the mobile order space in the last month.
Here in NYC, I’ve been using SeamlessWeb a good bit and back in Atlanta I found myself using CampusFood regularly though neither one offers a mobile option. I spoke with two companies in the mobile food space who have different approaches: GetQuik and GoMobo. Here are my notes from both conversations:
I spoke with CEO Ken Ryu about GetQuik to learn more about how they are solving the mobile food ordering problem. The service took three months to build and launched in August 2007. They are currently driving $1 million in annual revenue. The service is currently available in the San Francisco area and they are looking to expand outside the bay area soon. The team is 4 people in the U.S. and 4 more in China for development; the company has some angel funding and is looking at raising a round this year.
GetQuik works for take-out and delivery and has 150 restaurants in the system currently. Their differentiator is in the architecture which allows for very high rapid transactions.
The customer can pay with a credit card or PayPal and the merchant pays a small percentage to GetQuik. Ryu says that the industry is still using fax machines to handle inbound orders and that’s how GetQuik works but there is a slow movement to XML directly into point-of-sale systems (POS) and that will revolutionize the industry.
Ryu believes that their interface is better than a "sms favorites" system as it offers more options and flexibility and that most people don’t want to have to remember special codes just to place an order.
I first came across NY-based GoMobo when they presented at the NY Tech Meetup earlier this month (check out their demo). GoMobo has actually been live since mid-2005, has 10 employees, raised $2 million in funding and currently has 200 locations in their system. GoMobo is going after the large chains along with the smaller establishments.
GoMobo CEO Noah Glass told me that some believe that remote ordering could total 25% in the next ten years. GoMobo has been featured on shows including Good Morning America and listed in the Wall Street Journal. They are currently operating in NYC but have plans to expand to the major cities on the east coast this year.
Their technology is what makes them different – it works on a "Go Time" method – when you place your order they can tell where you are and when to send the order to the location so that it’s hot and ready for you when you arrive. They are also working on some new technologies which Glass asked me not to write about yet.
I am very excited about what GoMobo is offering – it seems a bit ahead of its time but could be the big winner in this space if they can continue to gain distribution.
Will mobile food ordering work in the U.S.? Sure, if two criteria are met: time saving and getting the order right. If customers have to bitch and moan at pickup because the order isn’t right, then it will fail miserably.
Something to think about: Imagine being on a McDonalds drive thru with 10 cars ahead of you, a sign says text your order to xxx and then you can bypass the line – how much time would that save? I always find waiting in drive thru lines to be even more frustrating than waiting inside.