“What are we having for lunch”…”Which nearby restaurants deliver”…”Who has restaurant X’s number”…These questions have become an almost inevitable part of our everyday at the office. Outside of the workplace, this same scenario probably happens in most households and in multiple social settings. The hardest part is finding a place that caters to everybody’s preferences, to spare ourselves going over countless menus before making this “critical” decision.
It goes without saying that having all dining options at our fingertips in a user friendly mobile app or web-based platform would make this process significantly smoother. It’s actually a perfect startup problem to tackle but unfortunately no proper food delivery app has been put in place yet. The only similar food delivery app available is “Onlivery” which was launched four years ago and is still growing.
Nothing else came along until “Wizmates” was brought to my attention. I was first introduced to Wizmates app by a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, and have been trying it out since. The app is extremely user friendly and easy to navigate. It is location-based, and features at this point over 60 restaurants, including some of Beirut’s most popular restaurants. I can honestly say it is the best online food delivery app we’ve had until now in Beirut. This first version of the app focuses on the Beirut area, with future plans aiming to expand to other parts of the country.
How does it work?
First things first, you can either use Wizmates on the web or you can download the app from the Apple store or the Android market. Enter Wizmates, and it automatically picks up your location and pins it on the map. Based on this location, the app will prompt you to search and find restaurants that deliver around you.
The app will generate a restaurant list that can be organized by the type of food offered. These include, but are not limited to: Lebanese, Sushi, Healthy, Fast Food, Pizza, Burger, Indian. I guess the categories will get updated in time as more restaurants are added to the list.
Once you select a category, a list of representative restaurants will pop up. The app will indicate which restaurants are currently open or closed for service. Pick a restaurant, and the app gives you access to navigate the menu. The menu screen is comprehensive, clear, and easy to browse. It includes a detailed description of each item, as well as the associated price. Once you have made up your mind, you can pick your items of choice and add them to your basket. A cool feature of the app is that it includes a section for special requests such as food restrictions and extras, as well as asking for change if needed.
Once you are done, you can review your selections in the in-basket and finalize your order. You can also enter special instructions at this time too, in case you forgot to on the order screen. The app will prompt you to enter your address. After your first time using the app, you can save your address to use for future orders, making the process even smoother.
Finally, you can choose if you wish to have the order delivered, or make ready for pickup in store.
Can I track my food?
As soon as you place your order, you will receive an email and phone notification. You will also receive notifications when your food is ready to deliver or for pickup.
How do I pay? Are there hidden fees?
The app is free of charge. The delivery charges are set by the restaurants, and the app will not charge any additional fees for your order. The main payment method currently is cash on delivery. I was curious to see if the app will also allow for cashless transactions. The app will actually feature two new methods of payment soon: online credit card payment as well as credit card machines at the door when available.
Which restaurants are taking part in it?
Wizmates currently has a list of over 60 restaurants that includes places such as Chilis, Casper & Gambinis, Sandwich w Noss, Diwan Beirut, and others. The app aims to target every restaurant in town, starting with the most popular spots and branching out to all others.
Will the app allow for delivery from several places at the same time?
Yes, Wizmates will allow for orders from several restaurants. This aims to please different food preferences within the same group. The app developers also told me that they will have their own delivery fleet soon, and therefore will be able to deliver from stores and restaurants that do not offer delivery service or simply cannot afford it.
Wizmates also offers a hot deal feature for delivery. This is a very attractive option for the Lebanese market, where everyone is always looking for a “good deal”. Vouchers and specials will also be featured.
Where can I download the app?
[Wizmates] is a web-based platform and is also available for download on iOS and Android. Most people would go for the mobile app nowadays but I love the website experience as much as the app.
Here’s a small video to show you how easy the process is: