29 May, 2013
Bring Me That Restaurant Delivery ServiceComments : 18 Posted in : Dining in Durham, NC, Food, Product Reviews, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
Bring Me That, a Web-based service for ordering food, is a startup with the Triangle Startup Factory in Durham. This is of particular interest to you, the readers of my blog, because you tend to like food from local restaurants and Bring Me That is making it easier for their food to end up in your mouths. After launching in Ohio, Bring Me That has opened up shop for North Carolinian restaurants, and they asked me to check out the service for them.
Bring Me That aims to make ordering delivery less painful by providing an online system to make it no harder than point-and-click for customers. I have definitely had the phone call or twenty that ended with me unsure I’d ordered what I wanted, so I’m behind anything that makes it easier. Bring Me That partners with restaurants that offer delivery, sets up their menu within the system, and confirms the order with the restaurant after you place it. You’ll get a confirmation email with a time estimate after that. Pretty nice!
To order, go to their website (linked here), enter your zip code, and voila!
It gives you a list of nearby restaurants offering delivery to your area. The website is easily navigable, and if you have any difficulties, a chat window pops up after a few minutes to assist you. Now you might notice two things about that screen: (1) There are a lot of chain restaurants listed, many of which already have online ordering systems; and (2) Catering only and large minimum purchase amounts abound. I asked Michael LaMarca, one of Bring Me That’s founders, about that. His response:
We understand that we have a lot of restaurants that cater or have high minimums. We are working on providing a filter option that will either place all these options toward the end or have the customer filter them accordingly.
Sounds like a good plan to make sifting through the options easier, but supporting local restaurants are the reason Bring Me That’s founders wanted to make ordering delivery easier. Michael explained how they are encouraging more to sign up for the service:
We’d love to add even more Mom and Pop stores, especially since a lot of customers use our site to discover Mom and Pops. We crowdsource this and encourage anyone who knows of restaurants that aren’t on our list to let us know. Also if any new restaurants come around, we personally reach out to them and try to get them up on our site immediately.
In southern Durham, there were roughly five local restaurants for me to choose from. Ordering is simple.
If there is no price listed on the order screen, the menu item likely has different prices based on the portion size, so you’ll see that choice as soon as you select the item.
You can also add in special instructions at that point. Just confirm the order in the cart when you’re done, give Bring Me That your billing info, and wait for that confirmation email.
Because I’m addicted to trying new-to-me places, I chose Ping Pong Cafe, a Chinese restaurant near South Miami. I placed my order in a jiffy. Then I discovered a snafu—keep in mind that Bring Me That is a startup, so those come with the territory. It turns out I am outside of Ping Pong Cafe’s delivery area. Now, it would be better if Ping Pong had not appeared as an option for me, but I was impressed with the customer service I received to clear it up. Within a few minutes of placing the order, a Bring Me That representative called to explain the problem, and he was prepared with recommendations for another Chinese restaurant. He even offered to take a new order over the phone for me and place it. It’s nice to know someone’s there to handle just that sort of problem.
I placed my order for Asian Kitchen instead, and the food was at my house in half the estimated time on the confirmation email.
That spread includes their scallion pancakes, Thai spring rolls, and the Thai Double Delight with tender beef in a pepper sauce and shrimp in a white sauce. Now this isn’t a restaurant review, but that won’t stop me from posting gratuitous food photography.
It was all delicious, especially those golden-red scallion pancakes. That food was digesting in my belly within 30 minutes of clicking on the Bring Me That site. I was quite happy with the service despite a few kinks that will be worked out in time and the modest selection of local restaurants in my area. Hopefully, as word spreads and users recommend new restaurants, that selection will increase.
So what distinguishes Bring Me That from Takeout Taxi or Tarheel Takeout, other than the obvious being that neither provides service to Durham? Michael answered,
Tarheel Takeout and Takeout Taxi do the delivery themselves so that limits them to the amount of drivers they have, geography, et cetera. They are a great option for restaurants that do not offer delivery. We focus on the restaurants that offer delivery and make it simple for the user to see which restaurants deliver to them and then order through us online. Down the road we hope to partner with other third party services like Tarheel Takeout, which will offer the customer even more options for delivery or takeout.
An obvious obstacle to expansion would be the lack of a delivery person at some local restaurants, so I asked Michael if they’d had any success convincing stores to add one on so they could provide this service.
We have had a lot of success increasing sales and signing up restaurants that do not have an online delivery presence. As we expand our options we will of course be able to sign up restaurants that haven’t offered delivery in the past.
Finally, with such a predominant selection of catering options, I wondered if those orders have gone well, imagining that a business, as well as the average diner like me, might find placing a catering order online a lot more convenient than over the phone. Michael shared,
They have gone well. The majority [of orders] have been through individuals, and we are working on adding better functionality to the customer whether it is for a business or for a large party [to] make it more friendly to order larger items.
So if you’re looking for an easier way to get delivery from a favorite local restaurant in NC, give Bring Me That a whirl. If they don’t have it yet, suggest the restaurant to them, and hopefully it’ll pop up soon.
Obligatory disclosure: I was compensated for this post and my dinner was courtesy of Bring Me That. Service used on 17 May 13.