The concept for OrderHere was formed in late 2019 between two friends who wanted a simpler way to order drinks at their favorite brew houses. This is the classic example of a solution being created to fix a problem the founders personally experienced. We were tired of waiting for a server to ask us if we wanted another beer, or even worse, needing to wait in a bottlenecked line at the bar.

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic became clearer, particularly with the need to eliminate paper menus that could transmit the virus, we quickly realized this is a real business opportunity and ramped up our development efforts to offer a contactless ordering solution for dine-in customers. Our mission is to empower local restaurant operators with the ability to provide a superior level of customer service in a safe manner, while also enabling them to run their operations more efficiently.

What it does

OrderHere changes the process of ordering & payment for any restaurant operator. Each table contains a QR code that is linked to the specific table number. With a quick scan from a native smartphone camera, the customer is brought directly to the restaurant menu. The customer can order from the menu directly from their own device, without ever needing to create an account. Payment is collected by either Apple Pay, Google Pay, or a credit card.

This allows for a superior customer service that eliminates the need for physical menus. It also eliminates the need for waiting on a server to place an order, allowing users to be fully engaged in their conversation and place orders on demand - no more flagging down a server!

By eliminating the need for staff to take orders, operators can instead focus their staffs efforts on tending to guests needs in a more personalized way, while also operating in a leaner model.

How we built it

While Rob focused on the design of the user experience, Erik took the lead on the development work. We began with conceptual testing using lo-fidelity prototypes, and iterated on them to the experience we offer today.

Tools Used:

  • QR Code Generator
  • Kiss-Cut Sticker Vendor
  • Sketch
  • Invision
  • react.js
  • webpack
  • node.js
  • AWS API Gateway
  • AWS-Lambda
  • AWS-DynamoDB
  • AWS-S3
  • Square APIs: Orders, Items, Customers, Payments

Challenges we ran into

Integrating with Apple Pay was not as seamless as we expected it would be, and took considerably more development time than expected.

We also gained a further appreciation for UI & Visual designers, as neither of us have formal UI design training.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud that we have built a ready-to-scale solution with 0 outside investment. where the concept, strategy & execution has been 100% delivered by a 2-man team. We are happy to be able to support our local community restaurant operators in their recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

What we learned

We have learned that the hardest part to starting your own business is just getting started. It is impossible to answer all of the unknowns at the beginning, and the most important thing is to keep making progress everyday, pivoting as necessary when new obstacles present themselves.

What's next for OrderHere

OrderHere is launching to the public in late June 2020. We will begin onboarding customers to the platform and are excited to learn from our users. The future roadmap contains several features that will further enhance the experience, with the goal of reimagining how the local restaurant operates.

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