Want to avoid the sad desk lunch? There’s an app for that.
A new app, Allset, is attempting to bring a bit of Uber into the restaurant reservation routine. The San Francisco-based company is enabling its customers to book, order, eat, and pay at area restaurants during lunchtime in just a half-hour. It has been operating for the past year and a half on the West Coast and in New York, and launched in 30 restaurants in Boston last month.
The goal for the service is to insert camaraderie back into the midday meal, says the company’s chief executive, Stas Matviyenko. It also hopes to enable restaurants to compete in an increasingly frantic battle for lunch dollars. The boom of fast-casual chains, many of which now offer pre-ordering apps, has been cutting the margins of sit-down restaurants that long relied on the lunch rush, he said.
Users download the app and can find restaurants nearby that have signed up for the platform (Fuji at Ink Block, Dosa Factory, Shanti Restaurant, and Viva Burrito are all early adopters). From there, they can book a reservation and pick from a few of the restaurant’s most popular menu items. Alert your friends that you’ve got a booking, and they can use the app to join and order as well. Since your credit card information is saved, the food should hit the table shortly after you’re seated, and when you’re done you can leave without having to wait for the check.
“You can have the same great restaurant experience at the table from a real plate, while having great service in under 30 minutes,” Matviyenko promises. And he says he’s also courting companies, encouraging them to offer the service as a perk to their employees.
“If you go out for lunch and you have a refreshed lunch break, you refresh your mind,” he said. “This allows you to be more productive on the second part of your day.” For more information or to download the app, go to www.allsetnow.com.