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By Jackie Prange
Today, it seems everyone wants a piece of the restaurant industry pie – even Facebook. The social media giant has entered the world of food delivery in a big way. Not only can users find concert tickets, purchase movie tickets, and shop the latest fashions, all within the confines of Facebook, now, they can order food. If you have a restaurant and a Facebook page this is great news for you!
Facebook’s latest food ordering feature is targeting the stomachs of its users, going head to head with popular food ordering apps like GrubHub, Just Eat, and Foodora.
Here’s what you need to know.
After joining forces with Delivery.com (a prominent food delivery service in 40+ US cities), restaurants are able to feature their menus on their business page. For restaurants signed up with Delivery.com, delivery ordering information will automatically appear on the restaurant’s page for users to see. All a Facebook user has to do to satisfy a hunger pain is click “Start Order”, and they’re good to go. Customers aren’t even required to have a Delivery.com – users can simply pay via credit card.
Surprisingly, Facebook won’t be taking a cut from restaurants or Delivery.com for offering this service to their roughly 160 million users. Instead, the social media giant claims these new feature releases are being done solely to make Facebook business pages more useful.
The second restaurant-related feature Facebook has released is based around restaurant recommendations. Instead of a user messaging a friend to ask if they enjoyed the new taco place down the street, this update will allow Facebook to gather restaurant recommendations from users’ roster of Facebook friends.
To find out if a user is on the prowl for a restaurant recommendation, Facebook uses a combination of AI and keyword detection. If the site notices you’re asking for feedback, Facebook will prompt the user to turn on the Recommendations feature. Once activated, the user will receive a response to their post with a restaurant and it’s location – along with a link to the restaurant’s Facebook page, their user rating, location, and hours.
The more suggestions, the more pin points are added to the map, making for a convenient list of places users can add to over time. This convenience and personal connection may be a cause for concern for sites like Yelp and FourSquare, as some users may care more to receive restaurant suggestions from friends, rather than those of strangers.
As far as marketing tools go, word of mouth is still champion. Knowing this, Facebook has made it easier than ever for users to gather their friends recommendations, which they’re much more likely to follow. Facebook’s intentions are clear – the social media giant aims to be the leader in information and entertainment, and these two new features have brought them one step closer.
Jackie was a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro before moving into business development role. She covered the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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