Cafe lets people order via Twitter

Digital transactions have the potential to not only disrupt real world  consumerism but to also restructure the payment process. Traditionally, going to  a brick & mortar store implies searching for what you plan on purchasing and  then waiting in line to exchange money for the product or service. As we have  seen with online ticketing, we are now seeing an opportunity to circumvent the ‘process’ entirely and to expedite physical transactions in a nonlinear way.

At the most recent Dublin Web  Summit the energy company Electric  Ireland set up a pop up Tweet Cafe. Patrons placed their orders by tweeting  using the hashtag #tweetcafe and the number of the box with the food or drink  that they wanted. A virtual queue was formed using Twitter profile pictures and  displayed on a large screen. When their purchase was ready the proper numbered  box opened and they could grab their meal.

By leveraging both Twitter’s real time interactions and their hashtagged  searches, businesses–particularly in the food service industry–enabled customers  to purchase products through a non-traditional method. They wait in a digital  line, removing the need to wait before even placing an order, and the queues  operate to alert people to when their order is ready rather than when it is  their turn to place one.

Although the Tweet Cafe offered pre-made meals and drinks, the model could be  easily appropriated into a real cafe or small restaurant setting. Customers  no longer have to wait in line and can order as soon as they are ready. The next  step would be to include smartphone payments thus placing more emphasis on food  preparation rather on transactions. Avoiding lines and serving customers in this  way would let workers regulate customers faster and more efficiently by  collecting orders all at once rather than after they have been rung up. Orders  can be organised in a manner that gets them filled more quickly.

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