WeChat, OrderIn turns online food orders on its head

OrderIn, a relatively new online food ordering service, has opened an Official Account on WeChat that lets users easily and securely order and pay for food from their favourite restaurant, fast food outlet or corner café-without ever leaving the WeChat app. I’ve been using OrderIn in the greater Cape Town, and the service works well. What sets it apart from other services is the fact that you don’t have a flat delivery fee. Instead you will be charged for delivery according to how far the restaurant is from your delivery location, but most (at least in Gardens, Cape Town) offer free delivery.
Launched in 2013 by former Goldman Sachs New York banker Dinesh Patel and former Groupon COO Heini Booysen, OrderIn is the first mobile phone delivery service of its kind in South Africa. More than 650 restaurants make up the OrderIn ecosystem in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
Now, WeChat users can order food from anywhere during restaurant hours and pay for their orders through WeChat. To celebrate the partnership, WeChat users will get R50 off their first three orders placed through OrderIn.
I actually installed WeChat for the first time only to use this feature and I can report that it works a charm. The entire process, from browsing restaurants, ordering, paying and tracking your delivery is done from the WeChat account.

Photography for Waggener Edstrom Communications in August 2015 by Jeremy Glyn. WeChat and OrderIn brand activation at Momentum, Centurion.
Photography for Waggener Edstrom Communications in August 2015 by Jeremy Glyn.
WeChat and OrderIn brand activation at Momentum, Centurion.

“œOrderIn is perfect for people while they‘re at work, students who notoriously value convenience or busy families that don‘t have time to cook“ says Patel. “œIt‘s convenient, easy and, unless the restaurant charges a delivery fee, the customer won‘t pay a cent more for their order than if they had ordered from the restaurant directly.“
OrderIn is user-friendly. It detects your location, or customers simply enter their address and are presented with a list of restaurants in the area. They then place and pay for their order, which is confirmed via WeChat. In the restaurant, a wireless printer connected to OrderIn‘s server alerts staff when there‘s an order pending and prints it out. Staff then enter the expected time of collection or delivery into the printer, which sends a confirmation to the customer via WeChat. Within WeChat, customers also have access to a customer care feature, which allows users to chat live with OrderIn‘s customer service team.
“œPartnering with OrderIn is just another way WeChat is merging the online and offline worlds, by turning online food orders into real-life deliveries. Seamless payment integration means customers never have to leave the app and can conveniently complete their orders from start to finish within WeChat. Our location sharing feature allows restaurants to geo-target content to users in the area, so they can, for example, offer discounts and special deals to encourage customers to order from them. It‘s a win-win situation,“ says Brett Loubser, Head of WeChat Africa.
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