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Queue no more

HelpFast food just got even faster.Mobo, which stands for “mobile order”, is a new American venture that has hit the streets of New York. Using mobile technology, Mobo aims to save time for the city folk who are always hustling and bustling.

The idea is to avoid queueing and to streamline your visit to the local coffee shop or take-out spot. The Mobo team is also developing platforms for other services where people have to queue, as in say, the transportation and entertainment sectors. If there is a queue, then Mobo is going to be there to try and help.

HelpIn short, Mobo allows you to order and pay for food with an SMS – yup, via a text message. This means that while you are travelling, for example, to your local Starbucks, you can order your coffee and your sandwich and when you get there it is ready for you and you don’t have to stand in line to pay. You skip the queue and the food is fresh.

The way the service works is that you have an application that runs on your cellphone that pops up a food menu of what’s on offer at the restaurant offering the service. You select what you want and you press send.

GoMoboYou’ll then get a confirmation message back with the exact minute your order will be ready. And what’s amazing is that you don’t pay any extra for the service (besides the cost of sending the SMS message that is generated and sent by the application that runs on your cellphone).

It is built into the price of the food that’s being sold – the restaurant absorbs this nominal technical overhead in an effort to provide a better customer service and in turn, allowing the business to move more product. Each Mobo-affiliated restaurant has a special Mobo express counter so that you can quickly collect your order while it is fresh.

GoMoboWhat’s cool about having an application run on your cellphone is that you can customise the software to save, and order, your favourite things. In other words, there may be a certain lunch meal (for example, a Greek salad, a coke and a brownie) that you love having and you can save this as a “Fave” on the application which means one touch ordering – fast and effective.

Payment on Mobo is simple. When you sign up with the service you enter your credit card details and the rest is as you would expect. You can even tip the staff of a restaurant by adding a tip option when you customise your order.

In the olden days, well just a short while back, we could use our phone to call up a restaurant and order. But that always meant having to wait for someone to answer the phone, and then having to be put on hold, and then hoping that they got your order right, and a whole bunch of other stuff. You know what I mean.

This new approach always you in effect to pre purchase your food and it cuts out delays and human error.

Mobo users can also log on to Mobo web site and order online via the Internet.

  • Ronnie AptekerRonnie Apteker is one of the founders of Internet Solutions, the country’s largest corporate Internet service provider. He is also a movie producer, an author of two books and sometimes a stand up comedian.

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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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