Last Friday the ‘premier’ online food ordering website Seamless.com crashed during peak hours, leaving thousands of people stranded without their daily company-funded lunches. Seamless immediately worked to resolve the problem, tweeting up a storm replying to people’s complaints and hurrying to ‘fix a site issue’ and asking their users to ‘follow us and DM us so we can make it up to you’.
The greater problem at hand here is that too many people rely on one website to get access to their food. In today’s world where menus have become largely obsolete and so many people have developed a phone-phobia (speaking on the phone, that is), it’s hard to imagine how to get food delivered to you without Seamless. Particularly in offices where Seamless Corporate Accounts dominate, with the website down how will employees be reimbursed for their meals and what will they do without that handy ‘repeat previous order’ option?
Offices work with multiple firms and clients to ensure that if one sector goes down the others will remain profitable. The same logic should hold true for an office’s dining needs. Large corporations that subject their employees to long hours rely on food ordering services like Seamless to provide an edible perk to keep their employees lively. These employees order the meal of their choice and get it fully refunded through Seamless House Accounts by participating companies. For these participating companies Seamless crashing disrupted their online ordering and will no doubt become a headache for payroll.
One office manager in Midtown, Manhattan preordered pizza a day in advance, and was shocked to find that the pizza arrived early at an unscheduled time. In her case, Seamless’ servers failed to hold the order until the next day, immediately releasing it to the pizzeria and causing an unwanted confrontation between the office manager and the pizzeria owner.
While mistakes can be expected from any service, the current system offices use of relying on only one ordering service is inefficient and potentially costly. For individuals who could not order online, they picked up a menu or used another online ordering service to get their meals. There are currently at least four other online ordering services in New York City which all charge restaurants and companies far less than Seamless. In the coming months, hopefully the current model will change so that the next time Seamless crashes, we’ll be ready.
DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com