How the Tech Industry is Shaping the Future of Dining
Dec. 20, 2017 | 4
Major technology companies are entering the online food order and reservations sector.
The technocrats are moving into the dining industry. We will see voice-activated technology advance further, non-food-related tech companies partner with online dining platforms and the acquisition of small companies.
Major companies see a profitable future with online food delivery or online reservations systems, and the beginning of a fierce contest for the strongest site is taking shape. The competition is good for consumers, as every company is working to develop the fastest and most efficient dining service possible.
See below for details on how tech companies are shaping the future of dining.
Order Take Out with Just a Holler
Google, Amazon, and Apple created butlers for their customers—ones that can place food orders with a simple voice command. With Siri, Home, or Alexa, you can request for Chinese food or pizza from any room.
Despite their ease of use, these gadgets are restricted to placing repeat orders only. If customers want something different, they have to do it manually online. Judging by the hyper speeds which technology moves, we are sure to see that deterrent change in the near future.
Other major companies tapping into voice-activated technology are Starbucks, Dominos and Panera.
Food Delivery Systems Get “Rolled Up”
Similar to how small cable television companies were bought up by large networks, major dining-related tech companies are acquiring small online, third-party reservations and delivery systems. GrubHub is the most notable example. The company is one of the most popular sites for online food ordering, yet is the final product of a “stitched-together series of acquisitions.”
There is a new contender entering the playing field: Bite Squad, an online food delivery service that recently bought 17 smaller platforms across the country. The company now services 30 metro areas in the United States.
TripAdvisor Offers Reservations with Dining Suggestions
Speaking of GrubHub, the food service has made a fruitful partnership with travel site TripAdvisor. As the go-to resource for tourists of all ages and backgrounds, TripAdvisor is the perfect site for reaching out to new consumer audiences. At its core, TripAdvisor is a review site for restaurants and other sites, but with its recent alliance with GrubHub, it becomes an immersive restaurant experience.
Although we’re not sure people will continue using TripAdvisor after placing their first order, it is set to become a convenient one-stop shop for anyone searching for new restaurants.
Eat Where Your Snapchat Community Does
With Snapchat’s new Context Cards, you no longer have to salivate over someone else’s food post. Instead, the social media app lets you pull up the restaurant, see reviews, and make a reservation via OpenTable or Resy. The online experience doesn’t end there. Then, the user can request Uber or Lyft for transportation to the restaurant.
Snapchat now offers a seamless blend of technology for customers dining out.
Order Online Via Facebook
Not one to be outdone, Facebook has decided to join the online-food-delivery craze. Restaurants will be able to add a “Buy” feature on their Facebook pages. Through their new partnerships with GrubHub, Doordash, and EatStreet, the social media company can facilitate delivery orders through its own platform.
Facebook will start experimenting with a similar feature for Instagram.
And Via Airbnb….
Just like Facebook and TripAdvisor, Airbnb—a non-food-related company—is attempting to enter the online dining fray. The tourism-home-rental site now allows users to make online reservations at restaurants directly on its app and website via Resy. So far it is available in just 16 US cities, but Airbnb is marketing itself as the ultimate online reservation service by guaranteeing seats during fully-booked time slots (for an extra fee).
Online Restaurant Services Are a Tough Business
Although this new dining sector can be lucrative, it’s not an easy business to make a profit in. The leading review site Yelp recently sold its Eat24 food-delivery platform to GrubHub. The sale hints at the difficulties of running such an operation.
Big tech players are stimulating growth and spurring on technological advancements with their mergers. The involvement of major tech companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Facebook, and Google indicates a future with more mergers and acquisitions—of both large and small companies. Online food ordering and online reservations systems are only going to get better.
Dec. 20, 2017 | BY Emma Alois