“Having someone cook you exactly what you want and then bring it to exactly where you’re sitting is an experience that can’t be described in words.” While that’s a message from the marketing materials of online food delivery service Eat24, I really couldn’t have said it better myself.
The company, which describes itself as the world’s largest Web and mobile food delivery and takeout platform, released an iOS app today offering mobile access to the menus of 20,000 restaurants in more than 750 cities nationwide.
Eat24 understands the restaurant businesses and, therefore, the challenges of establishing both an online presence and a reliable delivery service. There’s a reason these things are not offered by the majority of non-chain restaurants.
Since its 2008 launch, Eat24 has been solving these issues for restaurants and giving consumers the convenience they demand.
In its new iOS app, Eat24 is offering 24/7 live chat support, which they believe is an industry first. For the picky eaters out there, and for the rest of us who have all placed phone orders only to pick up our food and find out that it was prepared incorrectly, this is a godsend.
In addition to live chat, the app offers interactive menus and push notifications. It also remembers preferences, such as favorite restaurants, payment information, and past orders.
The live chat feature has been available previously via the company’s website and has been most popular for users who want to check on their order status. With this in mind, the company previously released an Android app limited to just checking order status. Historically, 80 percent of Eat24’s users check their order status from a mobile device.
“It’s fully custom built by our team – no third parties,” says Sharon in regard to the live chat implementation. “It utilizes local notifications and our own rest API, so even if your phone is in sleep mode, or you are jumping from app to app on your phone, the chat will continue to run in the background with notifications for new messages.”
Within the app, as with the company’s website, users can search for local restaurants by cuisine, dish, or proximity to any address. With GPS enabled mobile devices, they can now search for “nearby restaurants” as well.
Among its 750 cities, Eat24 operates in all the biggies, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, and Austin.
Prior to releasing its iOS app, the company recently introduced some other novel features that set it apart from the crowd. Eat24′s Facebook “social ordering tool” became available to local restaurants in April. The tool embeds a menu and accepts orders directly through their Facebook page.
Also, Eat24 believes it is the only service of its kind to offer the convenience of “splitting the check,” when placing Web or mobile orders. How convenient is that for groups of friends, who if they are like me, rarely have cash? Rounding out the payment flexibility, they also recently integrated PayPal as an available payment option.
This is getting pretty close to frictionless. I may never leave my couch again.
They say it’s the little things that make the big difference. One way Eat24 shows they’re thinking about this is allowing customers to add free condiments to their orders.
They’ve also modeled their VIP loyalty program after those offered in most physical restaurants, providing a complimentary “thank you” dish every week along with additional discounts, cash coupons, and other benifits. All that’s required to become a VIP is to sign up.
Eat24 is a privately held company and is entirely self-financed to date. The service is entirely free to use for customers, although each restaurant has a minimum order size which typically ranges from $30 to $50.
“Our app is designed to put our top-notch customer service in your pants,” says Eat24 Co-Founder Nadav Sharon. “We’re excited that users can now place their food delivery order while commuting, so dinner is waiting when they get home, or use Current Location to order takeout nearby.”