Order ahead or skip the line at your favorite spots

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My friend and fellow Xoogler built an app so that you can order ahead — and skip the line — at any local merchant. As she puts it, Customers can ... have the Starbucks experience at any shop, and [merchants avoid] astronomical upfront costs. The app is really well designed — and more technical Product Hunt readers will appreciate the deep technology insights they've shared about how they built Chop!
My first startup experience was actually working for a company that tried to tackle this same problem...Problem was the experience of the app was awful. It was aimed at bars and coffee shops. I was the only salesman. I made a grand total of ZERO sales haha. I was fired (I was already looking at other jobs because it wasn't great at all!) The response I got was that the staff want to interact with customers, people who are already at the bar will get annoyed if people waltz in and get their goods seemingly ahead of them. Similar things like that. Since then, starbucks have rolled out their order ahead system and I think in general more people are receptive to this kind of interaction in our busy world. I believe there is a need for this for sure (hence why i joined the initial startup) - just think execution is key. Chop looks pretty well executed I must say!! @viviancromwell & co - have you experienced any similar feedback to what I did? Would love to know more about the story, the struggles and triumphs :)
@bentossell Ben, we haven’t receive similar feedback - our users love the real time order estimate and use it to order as they walk towards to the places. Starbucks obviously is the frontrunner in the mobile commerce space which helps to drive the innovation and consumer behavior changes. And I think the on-demand delivery economy also raises consumer expectations. However, most local businesses can’t afford the resources to deploy a mobile commerce similar to Chick-Fil-A which took a team of 30, three years to build. Chop has a very strong focus on usual orders and improving the user’s day-to-day routine to save those few extra minutes. This can be seen throughout our design. For example, if you have ordered from a store before, when you visit it again, we make your experience personalized based on previous orders. You can also access all of your usual orders with a simple tap. For me, going to a bar is a very social and relaxing experience, I don’t consider it a strong use case for Chop at the moment. Lastly, I agree with you that execution is key. As this is the first product that I have built since leaving Google, I am learning a lot along the way, from design and to learning React Native (what we use for iOS) to sales and marketing. And I have never worked with the food and restaurant industry, so the struggle is definitely there, and I can certainly sympathize with the issues you raised in your comment. My hope is to provide a modern and affordable mobile commerce solution with a great user experience.
@bentossell @viviancromwell Yes ordering and knowing the bartender or the server could be crucial in the relationship between the customer and the overall experience. I have spoken with many of my bar owners, managers and bartender friends, they all claimed the same thing and that's why they are not implementing such system although ordering could be a hassle. I know first hand how you might get that free cup of coffee or drink just because you know the bartender. This would defy that whole system.
@cemedericarak @bentossell Hi Cem, thanks for the feedback. As I mentioned, we don't have plan to target bar. We focus on the usual order at usual places, our users are busy professionals who are always on the go. That is not what we go to bar for :). When we design and develop Chop, we looked at the mobile commerce experience at Starbucks, Chick Fil-a, Eatsa and so on, wondered if we can do this fast, great experience, at an affordable price for more local businesses. Thanks!
@viviancromwell @bentossell Just as an idea, a great integration can be possibly geolocation in the sense that people can put orders in but you could track the distance from the restaurant of those people. That way, for example, if I ordered a coffee at starbucks but I got pulled in a quick meeting at work so I am running late to pick up. Starbucks can time it better based on my distance so the coffee is freshly made and still hot as I get there. Depending on the item being prepared, they can have some metrics that allow them to make the food when it is appropriate depending on the time it would take the customer to get there... Possibly a backlog item to perhaps consider. Good luck though on everything!
I've been wanting something like this for the tender greens across the street for weeks. I think this going to be awesome.
@danielsing3r we will reach out to them!
Chop looks pretty great. Every time I use a food-related app, I feel like I'd have to be loyal customer already to order/pre-order at a local favorite. However, my favorite restaurants, who used to say hi and notice me, started doing it less frequently. I sometimes go in there physically to get food just so I can maintain a good relationship with the owners. It would be great if Chop can also create a great experience for local restaurant owners to keep up the relationship with me. It is a two-way street after all. Congrats! @viviancromwell @sauldevitt
@davidsfeng @sauldevitt yes. Actually store owners can see who is making the order via Chop. The data is made available to them, we are keeping it pretty open ended at the moment how store owners want to engage with their regular customers. Your feedback is appreciated. Our early data does indicate Chop is for regular customers.
@vivianCromwell Love it , very clean UI, do we have to pay the extra to skip the line ? if yes who fix the price ? and what's your business model for the moment B2B or B2C ?
@otymix expediting service does require additional work on the merchant side, so there is a fee. We discussed with merchants and came up with a simple fee to try. Chop is B2C business model, but we have been getting inquiries from brands and stores. It is early days, our ultimate goal is to provide a modern and affordable mobile commerce solution to local businesses. (a side note: we choose React Native framework because it makes possible to share a lot of code while achieving great UI and animation on mobile, also easy to customize for brands. so it is a business decision as well what tech stack to use)