What if you could order a meal from your favorite fast food joint with your cell phone? Then all you would have to do is go pick it up and enjoy it. Well, that is exactly what is on the horizon for cell phone users as fast food restaurants are going mobile with SMS technology.
A company in the UK has come up with a way to utilize the global texting network. Businesses, like fast food restaurants, place the small device, called an SMS printer, in the kitchen. The unit receives messages as a text message and prints it out. The kitchen staff treats it as an order and fills it as they would any order. All the customer has to do is pick it up.
The SMS printer is a standalone device that is not dependent on the Internet and does not require a hard phone line in order to operate. Therefore it is completely and totally portable. It is also small enough to be placed anywhere that is out of the way, yet accessible to the staff. Kitchens in fast food settings can use these types of printers to convey messages to kitchen staff correctly.
The printers use a thermal standard receipt paper sort of like that used by some fax machines. They also use a standard SIM card like all cell phones. This is how the printer picks up the SMS text message and prints it for viewing. The SIM cards can be bought almost anywhere and will can be either a contract or PAYG (pay as you go) type card. This choice is totally yours, in either case.
Here is how this idea works. A customer goes online and places an order. Before the order is completed, it can be edited or changed in any way. Payment is also done online and the order is placed. Your order is now sent through the SMS network to the kitchen. The kitchen sees your order exactly as you entered it, so mistakes with the orders are not a problem.
Since the whole process is done electronically, there are no interactions to worry about, misunderstandings or forgotten details. It all comes through in hard copy print to the kitchen personnel. Customers no longer have to pick up a phone or wait in a line at their favorite fast food or takeaway restaurant.
Customers can even control when the order is placed with the push of a button and with the exception of the order that prints in the kitchen, is entirely paperless. There is no call to make, handwriting to decipher or line to wait in.
Because the orders are placed on the Internet, they may be placed from any computer whether that is a desktop PC, a laptop or a cell phone with Internet capabilities and access. Not only is this a quicker, more precise order process, but adds a new dimension to fast food as we know it now.
So now the Internet has a new use for everyday life. Fast food has gone mobile in one maneuver.