Monday, July 15, 2013

HelloFood: Is This the New Way of Getting Food?

The other day I heard of a new app called HelloFood. If you’ve read this blog much, you’d know that food is one of my favourite things in the world (up there with sleep and computers) so I decided to check it out. That I’m writing about an app and an app that is built for Kenya is something I consider yet another milestone in my blogging career.

HelloFood is a service that allows you to order food from a variety of restaurants for delivery. They have apps for android and iPhone and for those who don’t use any of those platforms, like me, they have a webapp that you can use, it requires your phone browser be able to run javascript which most smartphone browsers do.

I’ll be talking of the webapp version for this review because it would have the largest number of users in my opinion because most people will testing out from the web.

The webapp is incredibly simple to use, when they say you can order food in three easy steps they aren't joking. When you first open the page in your browser you get a page that looks like this:
Their UI is pretty intuitive, I know this because I gave my baby sis (she’s 10) and she had no problem using it. My own view of intuitive is a little messed by my background of device and internet use that spans over a decade, the things I find easy to use confound most people - like my phone, so I usually have someone not as savvy check out the usability.

So you  select search by area and select the area you live in (they only support Nairobi county for now)
I selected Langata, which is much further down the list
Then you can pick some other options to refine your search, so you can have your results sorted by relevance or name and filtered by whether you want to only see discounted meals and open restaurants.
You can then set exactly how expensive your meals should start from, I guess so that you can say that you always eat meals that cost a certain amount of cash. I personally will be keeping this slide at zero whenever I use the service ;-p

Finally, you select the check box which shows the the extent of your budget. Wasn’t clear what the dollar signs mean exactly though you can get a sense ($$$ means big bucks).

You then select a restaurant from the list they give you, select something from the menu, select the amount you want (in case you’re ordering for your family or office) and add to cart and then put in your details and wait for your food:)
Some of the restaurants near me
The app is great way to order food, it’s simple to use and the UI is quite intuitive. It currently has about 88 restaurants listed and the great thing is it can only get better in time as they add more and more restaurants. Restaurants benefit from being listed by getting exposed to customers who may not otherwise have heard of you. I think this is one of the main benefits, for me any way, as a discovery tool.
There are a couple of things that need to be worked on though, a couple of the parts of the interface have functions that aren't exactly clear. Secondly, the app seems to be for ballers, people with deep pockets, there are currently no options for people like me that don’t spend more than 100 bob a meal. Maybe with time and more restaurants we can have more price points - they only have about 88 right now. Finally, they can help facilitate discovery by having the restaurants put up pictures of their food.

We love Cake!!!
Overall, it is a great app that allows you to order food and have it delivered to you. The app does need to work out reasonable delivery prices, especially if I’m ordering from a place that is nearer to my house. The delivery times are reasonable with most coming deliveries taking less than one hour which means that you can order with a decent expectation for delivery to be within the time given. See what Kachwanya and Martin (who reviewed their Android app) have to say. Let me know what you think of the service in the comments. Catch you next post. Peace!!!

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Private Thoughts of a Young Kenyan by princelySid is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.