Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Faster Food...GoMobo

What is it

Based out of New York, GoMobo is a free application for consumers that allows them to order their food from their mobile device via text messaging. Restaurants register for the service and receive orders online through a downloaded software or via fax. Consumers are given an order confirmation number and an "order ready" time.

Merchants are charged on a transactional basis and are sent a cheque each month from GoMobo.

  • Consumers order ahead of time so that they can avoid line-ups and go straight to picking up their order.
  • Payments are automatically charged to the credit card used at registration.
  • According to GoMobo, merchants see a lift in sales volume as well as average order value. GoMobo claims that restaurants have seen up to a 15% increase in sales.
  • Adds another sales channel for the restaurant.
General Thoughts

I think the best part about this model is the credit card payment option as it can sometimes be a hassle to have cash on hand these days. There are some challenges though.

I'm not sure if this product would have a large demand outside of the New York area. New York is a busy metropolis, Louisville, Kentucky, not so much and Winnipeg, Manitoba even less so. It doesn't hurt the merchants to register for the service but they need to be prepared to change their operation to accommodate faster food seekers. In essence, you're not only adding another line to your restaurant, but you're adding a demanding consumer line. It's like adding business class to your service. In the early days, your non early adopter customers who are very loyal and enjoy the interaction with your staff, may be put off by the stream of silent order picker uppers that are apparently neither ordering or paying for their meals.

Just like the microwave doesn't seem to be fast enough for us anymore these days, will this service also lose its appeal if it's adopted and saturated? Are we just moving the line one step to the left?

Local business is built on customer relationships, it's important to consider how this will affect your interactivity. What message are you sending your customers?

I'm curious to see how this unfolds and will keep an eye out.

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