This past year, I've received over 200 pitches from companies in the food space. Not surprising when we look at the growth of companies like Door Dash, Sprig, and Postmates. With that said, it became quite difficult to pick my favorite food app pitch of the year.
From GrubHub to Sprig to Eat24 to Yelp--the journey to finding the quickest and easiest way to grab lunch has become convoluted by a sudden surge in the market. Ordering food isn't what it used to be. Now, grabbing a bite to eat during our lunch break entails sifting through a plethora of options while we struggle to make a quick decision. The new technological innovation has been, for the most part, a good thing. However, with too many companies fighting for too small of a space, figuring out which app or website to use is no longer intuitive.
Recently the struggle I had been facing was that I could never actually sit down at a restaurant for lunch. I'm the kind of person who wants to get in and out of lunch during the workweek in less than 60 minutes, which is a constant struggle when you work in San Francisco. Last week my colleague Daniel asked me to get lunch with him. "I can't," I told him, "I only have an hour." Going to a restaurant, sitting down, ordering from the menu, waiting for you food, and eating and leaving is simply not something I can fit into my day. Looking through my emails, I found a company who pitched about solving my problem. It was called Allset.
In a nutshell, Allset allows users to order food off a menu on their phone, and have lunch served on your time at your favorite restaurant. Out of the other food apps I tested, it's user interface is pretty slick and seamless--we order the food online before we get to the restaurant, and by the time we get there it is prepared for us. The table is ready, meal is ready, even the payment is ready. All we have to do is sit and eat.
Here are a few reasons why the Allset has won the award for my favorite food app of 2015.
1. I don't have to order takeout every time I want to eat something fast.
If you're like me and want a way to grab lunch or dinner without taking too much time but not sacrificing quality, this app will be a life saver. If you're a restaurant owner, this app is a definite way to drive up business and get more customers. Two months after the launch the app received thousands of orders per month, with over 5,000 downloads on both iOS and Android apps. Restaurants have been quick to see the benefits--for many of partner restaurants one third of their orders started to come from the app. I'm not surprised that the company signed over 30 partner restaurants in San Francisco area.
While many pitches I received had a cool product, not many could back it up too much with proven traction.
2. I can now go to a restaurant during my lunch break.
By booking, ordering, and paying in advance, busy people can have their lunch served on their time at a restaurant nearby (and can return to work without waiting for the check). By having a scheduled lunch, people can save time and enjoy even better restaurant experience at the same time.
For restaurants, they can bring new customers by letting people order in advance and come to a restaurant for a scheduled lunch. They can reach busy diners by offering the shortest way to your sit-down meals. They can increase table turnover by skipping the delays of food preparation and checkout, and use one-touch acceptance of orders, bookings and payments.
3. I have more options when it comes to eating.
With Allset, my dining options have multiplied ten fold. I am no longer limited to take-out pizza and Chinese food. Allset focuses on 2 types of people. The first is busy lunchtime eaters from big companies located in central business districts, who usually have their desk lunches or corporate canteen lunches at the same building. Allset offers them to leave the office, make a real break, and enjoy a sit-down lunch at a restaurant with colleagues or friends, without the stress of watching the clock. The second type are tech-savvy lunchtime goers who already go out to eat at local lunch spots. Allset helps them save time and bring them even better restaurant experience at the same time. Employees of well-known IT companies like Airbnb, Lyft and others use frequently Allset to grab their lunch with co-workers.
Part of the reason for the app's early success is the timing. Everyone is busy today, and everyone is looking for ways to save time. So Allset offers busy people the shortest, frictionless way to a sit-down meal at a restaurant.
The pricing is pretty straitforward as well. Allset earns $2 from each order. When a reservation and order is made using Allset, $1 is charged to the diner and $1 is charged to the restaurant. The product stands out. It is simple to use app, no direct competitors, easy and quick setup for restaurants, easy scalability, simple pricing, and compatibility with other restaurant reservation services.
I believe Allset became groundbreaker for the food tech market in 2015 and will look forward to see its launch nationwide.