Anyone who has waited in line for more than 20 minutes on a short lunch break has wished that there was a better way to get your food and go, and one mobile company is trying to remove the concept of waiting in line all together. PayDragon is launching a mobile phone service that not only helps order your food but allows you to pay and get pinged when your order is ready – all with a single click.
The app, created by Y-Combinator grad Paperlinks, is a super simplified mobile app that allows you to store your payment information and find restaurants and food trucks near you that let you order and pay in the app – then all you have to do is walk right up to the counter and grab your food when you get the alert.
CEO Hamilton Chan showed me just how simple this process is for the consumer as well as the merchant. A restaurant (or food truck) uploads its best –selling items onto the app and includes brief descriptions and high res photos to entice the hungry users the with a single click, the user taps the “purchase” button and gets an alert when they can pick up the order. It’s that simple.
Merchants also get the benefit of not loosing customers that turn away when they see a line and, since it is all logged and automated, the merchant also can track the best sellers and how long the average person is waiting from order to pick-up.
Chan explained to me that the company is trying to capitalize on making ordering food super simple and quick so the busy business people can get what they want without all the extra hassle.
There is also a Discover tab and Facebook integration people can find new places for lunch and share the deals they are getting with friends.
The concept came about when Chan was working QR codes that they would print on to-go menus and allow people to easily order their take-out through that technology.
But now there is a great shift of people looking to head out the door with just their smartphone and order, purchase and track all of their transactions without paper or waiting in line.
Chan said that they first tested the concept out at South by Southwest, and is now launching it with Los Angeles food trucks, including The Bun Truck, CambalaCHE’s, The Grill Sergeant, and Rounds Premium Burger.
There are several limitations to this app, however, including the fact that you cannot alter an order, order multiple items on a single ticket or have option to pay in person but Chan says that this is app was built for the one-click purchase, to cater to that person on the go.
“Right now we are focused on the simple transaction and not fusing it up with more elements than it needs,” Chan told me. “We wanted to build something where merchants only need a browser or email open and users could make simple transactions without any complications.
With mobile payments and wallets being the hot items at the moment, PayDragon is entering the right category. Already the big boys at PayPal have launched their mobile payment products to compete with the industry leader Square and Visa is expected to enter the mobile world any minute. There are also smaller brands such as GrubHub and LevelUp that are reaching out to smaller restaurants and local stores to offer loyalty programs that help the merchants and well as the consumers.
While PayDragon would like to layer in some loyalty and deal offers as it expands, the real focus now is on the one-click transaction.
PayDragon is currently available on iOS and Android and the only fee involved is a small percentage per transaction that the merchants pay to the company – and currently the company is only live in Los Angeles, and a few spots in Austin but there are plans to expand to San Francisco and New York in the coming months.