Thursday, July 30, 2009

Digital-Age Delivery

This may be one of those things that falls squarely in the "Things You Already Know About" category, or, worse, the "Not Applicable To You" category, but it also ranks pretty high on the "Things Lily Loves" list, so, therefore, it must be blogged about. When I first moved to New York, a friend who lived in the same neighborhood brought over a tall stack of delivery menus from local restaurants as a housewarming gift. It seemed every apartment was required to have an entire kitchen drawer (usually the one where cooking tools would go in other homes), stuffed full of these menus, and I was not going to be left out.
Then, one day -- after I had amassed the kind of impressive menu collection that spilled out like a ticker-tape parade every time that drawer was opened -- another savvy friend turned me on to a website called Seamless Web, which links directly to the ordering systems at nearly every restaurant in town, from pizza to sushi. It is like having all of those paper menus on your computer. What's even better is that you can order directly from the restaurants online, so it's all in writing and eliminates any language barriers or miscommunication that can happen over the phone ("Wait, there's a difference between Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala?"), and it notifies you when a restaurant is closing and how long your expected wait will be. I promptly reclaimed that drawer for my myriad kitchen gadgets, and have never looked back.

Seamless Web is currently available in fourteen cities, including L.A., Philly, San Fran, Chicago and London, and is spreading to more towns. Which may place it in the "Coming Soon to a Restaurant Near You" category.

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