This Could Be Next: “Twitter Takeout”



@scottmonty and @jeffpulver fueled an interesting brainstorming/micro-ideation session on Twitter about “Twitter Takeout.”

I describe it here in my Seesmic video.

Essentially, Scott, Jeff and the Twitter crowd talked about how great it would be to have the capability to order takeout via SMS and Twitter. Brands are already playing with SMS and mobile web-based ordering. But what would it be like if I could hop onto my Twitter feed, set up an account that would ping my PayPal account and the account I’ve set up with my favorite neighborhood restaurants and post the tweet, “@paypal order 1 @starbucks double Espresso” and have my order placed and paid for while I’m on my way to the nearest Starbucks. @Jeffpulver also introduced the idea that this could be supported with Google Adwords.

What if (to add the social component of Twitter), our friends on Twitter were organizing the next social media breakfast and we could coordinate the menu and ordering via our shared event-based Twitter stream?

No lines to wait in, no trying to find my money at the bottom of my purse while a long line waits… this idea makes me wish I had the resources to develop it. I see “twitter takeout” as a huge opportunity for QSR.


9 Responses to “This Could Be Next: “Twitter Takeout””

  1. This got me thinking. How about this….

    You develop a site that partners with the Subways, Paneras, etc. of the world, and users create an account with their payment info. They can then go to that site and select what they want from the menu. The site then gives them a unique URL in tinyurl format, that can automatically be added to a twitter message. When you’re on the go, you can just grab that URL (or have it sent automatically) and send it via twitter/SMS/email, whatever. The sending of that URL triggers a pull on the other end where the restaurant (through a GET call) can pull in your order info, then send you a confirmation via twitter or whatever is your preferred contact method.

    Then, the URL becomes your unique order identifier, so you just show them that URL on your phone as payment confirmation.

    That way, you wouldn’t have to set up separate accounts for each merchant, you’d just need one account, and have the ability to use it ANYWHERE.

    The service would make money by taking a tiny cut of the order price or just a flat service fee from the restaurants. They could also make money on the other end of the transaction by having a service fee for the actual processing of the order. Either way, the service would be free to the end customer, and it would be a no-brainer to join, as you’re getting convenience at no cost to you.

    Again, just a thought.

  2. Great idea ! We could extend it by using this for Restaurant wait lines. Follow us and we will let you know when your table is ready that may be cool

  3. Yeah, that would be cool. Instead of being handed one of those little pagers, you could get “table ready” notifications right on your phone.

  4. Hi Amanda,
    Saw your twitter post. I had this idea many,many years ago and have a very well formed model that I’m implementing now. I registered the domain almost 10 years ago. Until this year, technology and the public were not up to speed. Now that they are, I’m racing to get it together. 2008 will be the break out year for many, many similar services. The difference with my company is that users will own their own data. Privacy is the other key. I’ll be filling in more about the company on Seesmic over the next few days.


  5. It’s a great idea. Obviously, the translation from idea to implementation is pretty important, but good ideas have to start somewhere. :)

  6. Great idea, suggestion, find a local restaurant company, talk to the manger and give it a shot without the paypal feature. Contact some developers to see if they can create a paypal/twitter mashup

  7. This would work great if the management had a cell phone that received Twitter messages via SMS. Be great for call ahead orders and call ahead seating.

  8. Only thing that might be a problem is the unreliability of twitter/sms. I have sent txt msgs to twitter, only to have them show up days later. Txt msgs sent to my friends have never been delayed that long. I have yet to determine if the tardiness was due to Suncom or Twitter… *shrug*

  9. Wow- rich opportunity/discussion here. Thank you for your thoughts. I would love to see it be developed if one of you has the resources and interest.

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