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Facebook Diving into Food Delivery


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We use it to announce the best and worst news of our lives, to stalk exes and find new love, to read the news of the world and complain about current events—so why shouldn’t Facebook just feed us already? Fear not, socialites, as California-based Facebook has announced plans to add meal delivery to its all-encompassing function set.

While Facebook is playing it cool and hasn’t made a big announcement about its new service, clicking on the hamburger icon or “Order Food” from within the its menu brings users to a page that lets them choose from nearby restaurants linked up with the social media giant. According to Engadget, users can visit the restaurant’s Facebook page or click “Start Order” to get a food order rolling.

When trying the new feature out at Franchise Times headquarters a few miles north of Minneapolis, we didn’t have any nearby restaurants using the service. Changing our location to downtown proper, the page was populated with three independent restaurant pages—only one of which had the “Start Order” function as an option.

Plugging in larger cities like Chicago and San Francisco produced more restaurant providers, but still far fewer than larger, more established delivery providers in each market.

Using Slice and Delivery.com as its delivery providers, the Facebook ordering page was fairly straightforward, but lacked any of the visual pizzazz that fires up the taste buds and adds some theater to the process, which so many new-age delivery providers have mastered.

Facebook didn’t respond to our request for additional information about its intentions in the delivery world, but industry observers can safely assume that the company is the latest of several to see the massive potential of online delivery and ordering, which is currently done through several individual proprietary sites. Aggregating delivery into social dashboards makes perfect sense, and follows the trend of popular online properties consolidating as many daily-use functions as possible under their umbrella.

Assuming Facebook’s trial of delivery goes well and continues, we can look forward to a world where we’re not just getting after-the-fact meal updates from our friends, but also live updates of those first hunger pangs, what they’re hungry for, what they’ve ordered, when it’s arriving and, presumably, how said meal makes them feel in each day’s unique moodscape. Allow me to suggest a “breaking meal” alert to stay up to date.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 
Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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