On any given night, one out of every eight of us orders restaurant take-out. In the never-ending quest for convenience, we may have found the handiest way to order yet: text messaging. That means no more phoning in your order, only to have it lost in translation and no more FAXing your order, only to wonder if it ever got through. Now, according to USA Today, you can just press a few buttons on your cell phone, and relax knowing that hot food is on the way.
So far, pizza chains have been the first to embrace text technology. Papa John’s launched their text service back in November. Domino’s reported their first million text customers this January and Pizza Hut rolled out their own text service during the recent football playoffs. Other chains like McDonalds and Starbucks have done limited text testing overseas. Sandwich take-out giants Quiznos and Subway have begun exploring text order services of their own. Analysts believe all this texting could be great for business – since North Americans now send over 30 BILLION text messages PER MONTH.
If it catches on, experts believe text ordering could account for 25% of all take-out sales within a decade. Of course there’s always a catch to new technology like this. The Dominos and Papa John’s services require you to register through a website first – so you must have internet access to use it. Then there’s the privacy issue, since all text services require your cell phone number. That means as soon as you send in your first order, the restaurant has your number on file, permanently! Why is this a concern? Because your phone number can then be used for marketing purposes. Domino’s admits they send out at least one promotional text message per month to all the phone numbers in their database. Other companies could send out more or – worse – call you directly. You thought spam in your e-mail box was bad! Just something to keep in mind before you jump on the hot, new, text-ordering bandwagon.