According to Wikipedia “hunting and gathering was humanity’s first and most successful adaptation, occupying 90% of human history.” But man, did we throw a wrench in those spokes. Early farming began in 9000 BC, and canned food hit the shelves in the 19th century. Since then, humankind has been dedicated to making the acquisition of food embarrassingly easy through mobile ordering and countless other innovations.
The Beginning of Pizza Delivery
The first known instance of food delivery came from Naples, Italy, in 1889 when King Umberto and Queen Margherita had dinner delivered by the most famous pizza chef in the city. Pizza delivery took root in the U.S. after World War II, and no one’s looked back since. But, in 2017, food delivery isn’t limited to pizza and Chinese. In fact, it’s really not limited at all.
Smarter Phones, Smarter Food
Mobile ordering services like GrubHub, Postmates, UberEats and Favor have expanded our delivery options dramatically by outsourcing restaurant delivery to just about anyone with a car. Companies like Starbucks, McDonalds and TacoBell have made picking up orders a breeze by providing mobile ordering through their proprietary apps. And, it doesn’t stop there.
Will mobile ordering be obsolete soon?
In May of 2016, Amazon Prime Now introduced Amazon Restaurants. This service was originally designed to compete with the aforementioned mobile ordering apps, but Amazon has taken convenience to a whole new level. Now, Amazon Prime members can ask Alexa (Amazon Echo) to place their orders for them without ever picking up their phone or credit card. Orders usually arrive within an hour, at the same rate that the restaurants charge, with no hidden delivery fees. The service is currently available in 20 cities, including Dallas, Los Angeles, Manhattan and San Francisco, with plans for expansion.
Some restaurants even have direct partnerships with Amazon, which makes the ordering process even better. Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and, most recently, WingStop, are some of the early-adopters.
But Wait, There’s More!
In addition to all the mobile convenience, you may be seeing more kiosk ordering in the very near future. This is an expected innovation that’s finally coming to life in McDonald’s this year. With their new kiosk ordering system, customers can place their order, grab a digital locator and be served at their table. These kiosks reduce the need for cashiers, while still providing a more up-scale experience with table side service. Seems like a win-win for the company that’s been watching sales decline for almost two years.
On the Horizon
We can expect to see even more advances in the food industry over the next few years thanks to customer demands for more quick, convenient and ethical products—ranging from better voice ordering to purely tech-driven food stands.
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Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!
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