January 1, 2016
As time marches on, we seem to be getting closer to becoming the humans in WALL-E. Technology, though incredible and awe-inspiring, is being used in numerous ways to facilitate laziness or productivity (depending on how you view your glasses of water).
Apps centered on ordering food have exploded onto this front of “I didn’t know I needed this” technology. Here are the heavy hitters changing the way you eat and all but eliminating the need to speak to another person IRL.
1. Starbucks Order
With Starbucks Order, you can choose items from your local 'Bucks drink and food menu, customize your order in ways you didn’t know were possible, and simply walk to the pick-up counter to retrieve your pick-me-up. A printed receipt hugs your cup, boasting a perfectly legible, correctly spelled name. You only have to say your name to a barista, and you’re on your way.
The lines at Starbucks can make the most patient individuals fume, but reducing your barista interactions to your name and a smile seems downright cold. After all, they’re the only line of defense between us and our beloved coffee. These are strangers who are nice to us pre-caffeinated. And we’re just going to throw that relationship away?
Several apps are available that allow you to reserve a table at a restaurant and order your food in advance, but Allset isn’t encouraging you to do it all the time. Geared toward your precious lunch hour, the app allows you to make reservations, order food and pay before you even set foot in the restaurant.
You can also include an adjustable tip, so the service quality from the waiter you’ll barely talk to isn’t a complete dice roll.
3. Grab / AirGrub
Similar to the app above, Grab and AirGrub allow travelers to order food ahead of time from airport restaurants. You might not be able to avoid your Chatty Cathy neighbor on the plane, but you can, at least, order a burger in peace. Well, as much peace as you can get sprinting towards your gate. This app may be the sole entry we truly appreciate.
The year began with Eat24 battling it out with GrubHub for the title of largest food delivery app. Before we could enjoy our Valentine’s Day chocolates, however, Yelp acquired Eat24, letting GrubHub slink off into the corner.
Having a trustworthy rating system blend with a smooth food delivery app, especially when their color schemes already match, seems like a cocktail for success. So far, so good, but everyone I know panics when a restaurant employee calls about an issue with their order.
More than just a food delivery app, Postmates will have their couriers deliver anything from alcohol to laundry detergent to your front door.
An emergency Uber of sorts, Postmates compartmentalizes the awkwardness of buying a pack of condoms, a bag of Cheetos, and Pepto Bismol from the local pharmacy into a 10-20 second interaction with a college student. So that’s better?