This morning you may have noticed something new in your Facebook feed. The social media giant has rolled out an “Order Now” button for some of your favorite restaurants.
By partnering with existing ordering platforms, Facebook looks to streamline the ordering process. For urban dwellers, that means no more flipping between apps before you find what you want. And for areas with fewer delivery options, it’ll mean knowing which favorite spots deliver and which will have your food ready for pickup.
“Behaviors are different across the country, but eating is pretty common, whether it’s at a national chain or local spot,” said Alex Himel, Facebook’s vice president of local, during Wednesday night’s launch event at New York City’s Mission Chinese. During the event, Facebook’s director of engineering, Mike Sego, and product marketing manager Ellery Long gave demonstrations on the product’s interface.
There are two ways to find a restaurant: directly or through the Order Food search. Order Food operates like any food-delivery app, with filters for price, delivery or pickup, rating, and cuisine. Either method will direct you to the large blue button found on each restaurant’s page, and the button will pull up the partner ordering platform within Facebook.
Here’s where the smallest hiccup occurs in the setup: remembering your log-in information for each partner. Personally, I haven’t needed my Delivery.com or Panera information since I created accounts, and yet I’m perfectly able to get my groceries delivered or my free birthday cookie. For me to use the Facebook option, a password or two had to be reset. If you’re the sort of person who uses Facebook as your login credential already, you’re set. I’m just not that kind of gal.
“There’s no charge to either the consumer or the restaurant,” Himel told me. “We just want to help people order food.”
Order Now also highlights the restaurants you’ve ordered from and the restaurant pages you like on Facebook. (This is probably a more useful function for those who aren’t food writers; I personally “like” many restaurants just to stay up-to-date on their happenings.) Fortunately, Facebook will keep your ordering habits private because there's no reason for your parents to know you ordered in again, making it only the delivery person who can judge your ordering habits.
If you need help narrowing the options — and there are so many between the mom-and-pop Indian joints and those familiar chains — The Daily Meal can help you choose one of America’s best pizzas for dinner tonight.