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Texting That Order In!

How Students Are Ordering Food from their Cell Phones

By Dr. Ola Ayeni for The Food Channel

It’s not new that students and schools order food—especially pizza—online. But how about ordering food from mobile phones and having it delivered or ready for pick up at the nearest location? That is what many independent and quick service restaurants are now offering to high school, college students and even tech-savvy parents.

There are over 283 Million cell phones in the United States according to Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). With over 95% of these cell phones capable of sending and receiving text messages. This makes the cell phone a natural option for students who are seemingly always using their cell phones. Many students prefer to communicate with others only through their cell phones, especially the 15-25 year-olds who would rather leave their wallet or bags at home than their cell phones.

The Food Channel has identified Social Media (“Think Social”) as one of the Top Ten Back-to-School Food Trends for the new school year.

Working with several mobile marketing companies to provide cell phone or mobile phone ordering, restaurants are taking convenience to another level. Big chains like Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s all allow students with a cell phone to order food and have it delivered or picked up at the nearest store location.

Cell phone users can also use their phones to go to a mobile website, place an order, pay with their credit card and receive notification when the order will be ready. iPhone users with the right apps can get their Whoppers and pizzas simply by touching a few icons or buttons.

Beyond ordering food via cell phone, high school and college students are also taking advantage of social media messaging platforms like Twitter to get notification of the time and places mobile food vendors are going to be. On-the-move vendors offering everything from ice cream to pulled pork sandwiches to tacos are tweeting their whereabouts using Twitter—even sending out coupons and daily specials.

It’s a tasty, techie world out there today.

_Dr. Ola Ayeni is the Chief Idea Officer of Mobile Dialog, a mobile marketing and consulting company in, Naperville , Illinois, that helps restaurants increase revenue and engage their customers using mobile and social media tools. He can be reached at email: Corporate@m-dialog.com, phone: 1-888-424 9666, or web site www.m-dialog.com