You're frantically searching every corner of the fridge. Nope, there's no leftovers. You don't have anything in the house to cook dinner, not even your trusty Indo Mee packets. You could go out to eat, but you're all comfortable in your tracky pants and you have five episodes of House of Cards to watch on Netflix waiting for you. You have two choices, eat chocolate for dinner, or order takeaway. In the old days, you would go to look at all the takeaway menus magnetised to the fridge and make a decision on whether you wanted pizza or Chinese. That process has been modernised with the introduction of online food ordering. Eat Now is Australia's Number One Online Ordering site and allows you to decide between pizza or Chinese food when you want to eat a restaurant meal at home.
I trialled the Eat Now online ordering system one Friday night when I just wanted to go home and relax on my couch. I signed up for an account, which was really straight forward. The obligatory name, address, email and phone number got me an account immediately. That took about three minutes to do. From there, I got onto the main page, which is really simple and allows you to start your search by entering the location you want to search around.
A search for my suburb of Keysborough threw up a number of options. There was a variety of choices but obviously not as plentiful as in the city, where the Melbourne CBD food delivery options are huge. I decided on Thai and clicked into the restaurant to selection my meals.
There was so many choices and it took me a while to finally decide on what I wanted, adding things to the order and removing them a number of times. I finally chose a variety of options and then proceeded to decide on whether I wanted to pickup or get delivery. As the restaurant is on my way home from work, I decided to save myself the delivery fee and pick it up. I submitted my order and got a confirmation screen, email, and eventually an sms. With this particular restaurant, there was only one payment option of cash, but for other restaurants you can use card and Paypal as well.
I turned up at the restaurant at the time I selected and my order was waiting for me. I paid and took the food home. The whole process was really seamless. I transferred the food onto plates and bowls and made myself comfortable in front of the TV and enjoyed my meal.
The advantage of the Eat Now online ordering system is that it is a centralised location for all your food ordering. I also found it easier to take my time and tick whatever items I wanted and then process my order. Being able to see the costs in real time as I added each item is also one of the advantages I like as it's hard to get a running total over the phone talking to a restaurant. Placing orders over the phone can also result in some mistakes from time to time due to hearing the wrong thing.
An improvement that can be made to the system is to have photos of each item. This would give it an even bigger advantage over ordering on the phone as sometimes it's hard to visualise what a dish is like, or the amount of food, by just looking at the menu text if it's a new restaurant you have not tried. Otherwise, the system worked well and I didn't encounter any issues. The ability to leave a review about the restaurant and experience will also help to improve the system. I would recommend using Eat Now as it is the same cost as ordering directly but has made it easier as you can pre-order any time of the day, not have to wait on the phone, and you can oscillate in your selection when tempted by too many items and the phone operator won't get annoyed.