IPOH - Time-pressed office workers can now pre-order their lunch before they arrive at the eatery, thanks to a new app from MeCan App Sdn Bhd.
The company has come up with mecanorder, an app that works on Apple and android platforms, though the new Nam Heong Food Court at Ipoh SoHo is currently the only establishment to use the application.
"As soon as customers reach the restaurant and press a button, the kitchen staff would start to prepare their food," said MeCan App business development manager Rachel Liew.
"Time is saved by not having to look through the menu and in deciding or waiting for the waiter to take your order," said Liew.
She said the app also allowed customers to make special requests, such as less sugar in drinks or not to have any bean sprouts in noodles.
"It is no different than ordering through a waiter, except you do not have to wonder if the person taking your order actually understood you," she said.
"At present, there is heavy reliance on foreign workers at food and beverage outlets, and very often we find there are misunderstandings due to language barriers."
Nam Heong Kopitiam Sdn Bhd owner Andy Goh said the app suited his business model, which is a modern, air-conditioned food court to attract the younger generation.
"Like sundry shops, traditional coffeeshops are dying a slow death," he said.
"I think a modern food court offering Ipoh's famous street food will appeal to young people who shy away from coffeeshops, claiming that they are stuffy and cramped," said Goh, whose family owns Ipoh's iconic Nam Heong Coffee Shop in Jalan Bandar Timah.
Beautician Chiah Xiao Ying, 23, is one of those who are bowled over by the app's convenience.
"I will definitely patronise the food court again due to its sleek design," she said.
The food court also has tablets installed at each table for customers who order only after arriving.
Naturally, using an IT-based system means that some customers will need help.
Housewife Looi Kim Gaik, 57, said she would get used to the new system after a while.
"I was unable to order my food without the help of my son," she said.