"Cyberslice" walked so delivery apps could run

Originally published at: "Cyberslice" walked so delivery apps could run | Boing Boing


A lot of it was built on a business foundation of sand (hill?), but I still really miss the optimism and opportunity of the dotcom 1.0 days. There was a real sense that a bunch of goofy ideas like this unleashed on the unwalled and interoperable and open-standards based plains of the Internet could change things for the better.

So much, said the Golux, for that.


William W. Webb was RIGHT THERE, 99s techbros.

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The early days of online ordering of food felt unreliable because there was a sense of people not checking email or similar online messages very often. Like, I worried that the restaurant would get my order sometime in the next day or two. Even if that wasn’t true, it was how it felt. Talking to a person felt more “sure” somehow. Like, a real person definitely got my order and they will deliver it.

The first online food I ordered regularly was Dominos pizza because they had that thing in the early 2000s where the site would show you your order’s progress on a little progress bar. The bar turned out to be fake, they weren’t tracking orders that closely, but it built consumer confidence that the order had been received and that this was really happening.


Indeed, and this was my hesitance for any kind of online ordering (outside of early amazon since this was their entire business). It was like people who weren’t directly involved in web stuff looked at this as fake somehow, or the staff didn’t get complete training on how to deal with it or that systems weren’t fully in place (incoming emails? some other mechanism?).

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And now we have the opposite problem: restaurants have gotten so deep into the gig apps that they don’t even have staff who can do delivery or even take phone orders.


Amazingly, there was a grocery-delivery service that predated the web: Peapod. The company is still around in some form. My mother ran a store (not a grocery store) that had some kind of relationship with them. They had a BBS interface. Ordering groceries was like playing Zork.


Yep, for sure. There’s a local burger place near me where the number of waiting gig delivery people outnumber the number of patrons in line to place their order. There is one guy there trying to juggle the IRL customers as well as make sure the gig’ers have everything they need. Makes me feel a smidge of contempt for people at home, taking bong hits and watching stupid TV while all this commotion and chaos is happening. And keeping me from my third pound steakburger. :wink:

It might not be reasonable from a business perspective, but I wish that these places had their own delivery people. Employees who do that stuff. Follow the traditional, longstanding pizza delivery model. Goes double for grocery stores. /rant


Does sending a fax to your friendly neighbourhood pizzeria count as ordering online?
If so, we did it in the 1980ies.

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