2 more food apps aim to meet growing appetite in Edmonton

Click to play video: 'New apps aim to capitalize on Edmonton’s burgeoning food scene'
New apps aim to capitalize on Edmonton’s burgeoning food scene
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton's food scene is booming and a pair of new apps are looking to make it easier for consumers to sample cuisine from more of the city's eateries. Emily Mertz explains – Jun 14, 2017

Two new apps for ordering food and having it delivered have launched in Edmonton.

ClickDishes and Nomme are the latest additions to Edmonton’s mobile food ordering landscape and hope to make buying and picking up food easier and faster.

ClickDishes is a mobile app that partners with local restaurants to offer customers pre-ordering for pickup, and to streamline dine-in eating and paying.

“Customers place an order on their app and pay for it,” co-founder Vicki Zhou said. “Restaurants receive it on their tablet and acknowledge how long it will take for them to make the order. The customer then gets a notification saying that your order will be ready in 15 minutes or five minutes… You can launch the map so it guides you to the restaurant. Once a customer arrives at a restaurant, the restaurant should have their order prepared and ready.

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“They put it at a different pick-up line separate from the restaurant’s in-person line.”

READ MORE: Looking for a farmers market in Alberta? There’s an app for that 

Zhou said she and the app’s other co-founder worked downtown and saw a need for this kind of service.

“Downtown workers only have 30 minutes for a break and we spend 15 minutes lining up to get food and pay for the food. With ClickDishes, you can just order at your desk and then you can just walk to the restaurant and pick it up.”

The app launched in Edmonton this week and so far 14 local restaurants, including BRU Coffee and Beer House, The Burger’s Priest and Remedy Cafe, have joined up to test out the Grab & Go service. ClickDishes also has a feature that let users split the bill with other diners. It plans to have a total of 30 restaurant partners in Edmonton by the end of June.

READ MORE: UberEATS aims to take big bite out of Edmonton food delivery competition 

Nomme is comparable to UberEATS or SkipTheDishes, except that it interviews, trains and hires its own drivers. It’s a takeout and delivery app used by more than 400 restaurants across Alberta.

READ MORE: UberEATS driver has access to company ‘removed’ after couple receives mouldy food 

The two new additions join a market that already features apps like UberEATS and SkipTheDishes.

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SkipTheDishes has been in Edmonton for nearly four years and has seen “tremendous growth” in the last two.

“Consumers are wanting more and they’re expecting more,” co-founder Andrew Chau said. “Consumers want better brands on the network, they want more selection, more variety and lower delivery fees. We’ve made it our goal to provide the best selection for consumers so we’ve got over 500 restaurants in Edmonton… over 30 per cent of our restaurants offer free delivery on their orders.”

Chau welcomes competition in the market.

“It’s pretty fascinating and it’s exciting. It’s good to have competition because… it just brings even more awareness to delivery in Edmonton and across Canada.”

“I think Edmonton has always been a growing city and a very industrious city,” Chau said. “We’ve been able to help restaurants grow their business especially in a time where some other parts of their business might be slowing down because of the economy.”

The food delivery app is now available in 40 markets across Canada.

WATCH: Skip the Dishes expanding operations 

Zhou says Nomme and ClickDishes each offer something different and meet a big demand in Edmonton.

“It is a competitive industry for us but for Click Dishes, there’s definitely a huge demand in downtown Edmonton and also in cities like Vancouver and Calgary. There’s a lot of demand for mobile ordering-ahead apps,” Zhou said.

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“We welcome any competition. That’s the trend of the market.”

READ MORE: Find the perfect Edmonton patio with the Patio Buzz app 

Needless to say, the industry is booming.

“In the U.S. alone, mobile ordering is expected to reach $38 billion in sales by 2020,” Alec Wang, the CEO of ClickDishes, said. “With mobile ordering becoming more mainstream thanks to large brands like Starbucks and McDonald’s releasing their own apps, it is an obvious trend in the marketplace that our local businesses need to take advantage of. The ClickDishes team is excited to bring these capabilities to Alberta’s restaurants.”

The company also says ClickDishes allows local restaurants offer the same mobile ordering options as huge, global chains at a significantly lower cost.

Both ClickDishes and Nomme are available on iOS and Android.

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