How Software Has Changed Dining Out

Not too long ago, the primary form of communication with a restaurant was to call them. That’s how we would place orders for takeout, or book a reservation. To pay the bill, we used cash, or maybe even a check. However, since then, the entire dining experience has completely changed. Every type of service has some sort of application now, from ordering online to leaving a review. As convenient as is it now, can you imagine having all of those features in one application? That’s the focus of our upcoming dine-in assistant, ChowDown. But more of that later. Just how much has dining out changed over the years?

            We can order and reserve online. No more waiting on hold for a reservation. No need to order over the phone. Most major chain restaurants have their own applications and websites now to order takeout and reserve seats online, and if they don’t, there are applications out there that service multiple restaurants, like GrubHub and OpenTable. With the press of just a few buttons and a couple of swipes, we can read entire menus, reserve a table, order food for pickup or delivery, all from the phone in our pocket.

            We can easily share our meals with the world. It would have been odd to pull out a big, clunky film camera to take a photo of your food. Now, it isn’t strange to see almost everybody using their phones to take filtered snapshots of their aesthetically pleasing entrees. It’s practically free advertisement for a restaurant; you see something delicious, you want to try it yourself, right? There’s no doubt that popular photo sharing applications like Instagram and Snapchat have taken off in a huge way in just the food industry alone. Food-based accounts are among the most popular for these services, and going out to eat has become more than just a social interaction while eating good food. It’s about the visual, as well, to share with the world.

            Payment applications make splitting the bill even easier. Before, it was always a hassle to split the bill between people in a large party. You might be at a restaurant some extra fifteen–to–twenty minutes, just figuring out who owes what, how much to put on each card, and so on. Cash exchange apps like Venmo and Cashapp have changed the game, and made it so much easier to split the bill. Now it’s as easy as putting the entire bill on one person’s credit card, and everybody simply sending that person their portion of the bill, so it all gets sorted out later on. Not only are people able to get back to their homes to relax faster, but restaurants are able to quickly turn tables and get more people seated.

            Everybody gets to be a critic. Before, the only reviews we would read about restaurants were done by professionals in the newspaper, and by word of mouth from friends and family. Now, there are services like Yelp! that allow every single person to leave a review, right from their phone, about their experience. It’s entirely enhanced the customer experience by allowing everybody to speak their mind. Satisfaction levels have to be met, and expectations have never been higher with open-ended reviewing services.

            There are so many different apps available now to help with the restaurant experience, and I only listed a few of them. As convenient as it is to have all of these apps, imagine being able to do all of this in one place!

            The restaurant experience is about to change, because at MakesSense, we’re making a new service called ChowDown. Ordering and reserving online? Sharing our meals with our friends? Paying your tab online? Leaving a review? These are all features that are a part of a larger world with ChowDown, your personal dine-in assistant. It’s designed to walk you through your night out from start to finish, all from one application.

            The experience has already been revolutionized by all of these different applications available to everybody, but nothing in this world is stagnant; we’re always growing. ChowDown is that next step in the restaurant experience. Get excited!

            What are some of your favorite apps that you use now when you go out to eat? Let us know in the comments!