Order Ahead in the World of 90’s Sitcoms

Mobile payments grew 75% last year and will only continue to grow as the food industry employs new technology. Order ahead is a key component of mobile payments due to the convenience it provides, and it has changed the way customers interact with their favorite restaurants.

The forthcoming ubiquity of order ahead has many benefits for restaurants and customer engagement. However, an important question that no one seems to be asking is… how would the availability of order ahead have affected the characters of popular 90’s sitcoms?

Perhaps the most drastic and obvious change to Friends would come in the form of the setting and production. The characters’ favorite local coffee hangout, “Central Perk,” would not have been so centrally positioned as a frequent place of conversation and plot advancement if the shop accepted order ahead. The writers and directors would have employed more walk-and-talk scenes instead of the traditional multi-camera sitcom setup so often used by most 90’s comedies.

For a more specific example, one needs to look no further than one of the most beloved Seinfeld episodes: season 7’s “The Soup Nazi.” Every plot point revolves around poor in-store food ordering experiences and a temperamental restaurateur who is anal about the ordering procedure at his place of business.

Jerry spends the opening scenes of the episode warning George about the titular restaurateur’s eccentricities. George remarks at how long the line is to order at the counter. His food is then revoked and money returned at said counter when he complains that he didn’t receive bread with his soup.

While George’s eventual timid and fearful second trip to the restaurant is successful, Elaine is not so lucky. After previously mocking Jerry’s ordering guidance, Elaine is banned for a year for telling the owner he looks like Al Pacino and doing an impression of Pacino’s character from the movie Scent of a Woman.

Later in the episode, Jerry’s girlfriend is thrown out for protesting the owner’s declaration that “nobody kisses in my line!” after an exhibition of PDA inside the restaurant. Jerry pretends to not know her so he can still order his soup, almost ending their relationship.

With the proper use of order ahead, George could have avoided making two trips, Elaine would not have been banned, and Jerry would not have needed to patch things up with his girlfriend. The characters could have avoided every encounter in-store, skipped the line, and grabbed their beloved soup to-go! Talk about added convenience.

Interested in exploring what order ahead can do for your restaurant’s business? Learn more in our case study:


Eggy Benedict

Eggy Benedict

Eggy is a Senior Support Genius at LevelUp. He likes to read Mystery/Crime Fiction before work every day, goes to the movies at least twice a week, and strongly believes that lunch is the best meal of the day.

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