iPad app for food truck orders

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by TheSandwichShack, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. TheSandwichShack

    TheSandwichShack
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    Hi, I have a food truck known as The Sandwich Shack. We've just been in business for a couple of years, and currently we're taking orders on sticky notepads. I write the order in short on a stick pad and paste it up on the outside of the fryer hood, and they get taken down when the food comes up.

    What I'd like is an app where I can customize a short menu and enter an order through simple button presses (a "Philly Cheesesteak" button, "Pulled Pork", "Onion Rings", "add gravy", etc), which will be pushed to another device or two, creating an order list for the cooks.

    When they put the food out, they can then press the order on their end, erasing it from their board. Maybe sending it back to me so I can close it out when I hand out the food. Maybe it can store the orders for analysis later, like seeing how many Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches we sold, etc.

    My app search keeps leading me to Point Of Sale apps, which we don't need because right now we just deal in cash. I'm hoping some experienced App folk here will be able to tell me about an app that can do what I've described here.

    Thanks in advance!
    Mike
     
  2. TheSandwichShack

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    Bump - is there a better iPad forum out there? I thought I might get at least one response.
     
  3. twerppoet

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    This is one of the largest, if not the largest, iPad forum, but what you're asking for something that's fairly niche, at least as far as the membership here goes. Even those that use their iPad's for business aren't likely to use it specifically for the kind of application you are looking for. And you are being very specific with your request. It's the kind of app you almost have to have custom made.

    Basically, no one is responding because they have no ideas that might help. I certainly don't.

    If you can't find it searching the app store, you should probably try some online food truck and/or small restaurant communities. I'm sure they exist, and at least a few of those members will be using iPads, as POS terminals if nothing else.
     
  4. dhewson777

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    It looks like most of the apps out there are set-up for the all-round order taking, POS, seating, restaurant apps. As TP said, your taking a niche need so you may have to think laterally about apps for other uses that could get shoe-horned into what you need or even have someone develop an app for you, which then maybe useful for other similar businesses that you could put on the App Store and earn a few extra $$$.

    If anything comes to mind, I'll certainly post back here suggestions.
     
  5. davidalan99

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    Take a look at FileMaker Pro for development (Works on Mac or Windows) and then deploy it to Filemaker Go for iPad or iPhone. You will with very little work be able,to build you own app and deploy it. Each record will be an order, that will have your menu by item on it (make this a check box field) with price then a bottom total with or without tax. Include a status button to include order, cooked, delivered, for example. At the end of the day you can run a report to see what and how much sold with the totals dollars by item and by all sales. Remember to include and automatic field for date so then besides the daily totals you can also run a report for any period of time. On an iPad or Mac or PC go to www.filemaker.com.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. dhewson777

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    There were a couple of order taking apps floating around, most want to print the orders for the kitchen rather than sending it or having it appear on another iPad.

    A real basic one I downloaded was called iOrder Food, it has a very basic, unpolished layout but only prints to an AirPrint printer. You can set-up your menu and it will total the order for you.
     
  7. twerppoet

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    AirPrint huh?

    That actually does trigger an idea or two, though it would require a combination of an iPad for order taking and a Mac for the kitchen. A Mac Mini with a cheap monitor would be enough, and a trackpad instead of mouse (for easier cleaning). And a local wi-fi network of course. But you'll need that for almost any solution.

    With Printopia it is possible to print to folder or applications, instead of to a printer. If you printed to a folder on the Mac, then used Carousel view sorted by creation date you'd have a nice scrollable list of orders. They might even be big enough to read that way. If not double clicking on one would open it in Preview.

    Certainly a work around hack job, and you'd need to work out more details; like maybe another open folder to drag completed orders into, and a way of archiving them later. Or maybe use tags (colored dots next to the file names) to keep track of current and completed orders.

    You could probably do something similar on the iPad, but it would be even clunkier, and almost certainly require internet access; another layer that might fail or be unacceptable slow when you need it most.

    All in all, I doubt this is the simple solution the OP is looking for.
     
  8. TheSandwichShack

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    Thanks so much for your ideas! twerppoet, you believe that a wireless Internet connection is essential - is there no iPad-to-iPad communication technology? Like, Bluetooth-range stuff?
     
  9. twerppoet

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    Yes, Bluetooth exist on the iPad, but apps that use it to communicate directly are rare, usually for transferring files. Even then it tends to be a secondly, backup method for when wi-fi is not available.

    While Bluetooth would probably work in as confined workplace like a food truck, developers are unlikely to create an app that has such a limited range (about 40ft), and therefor a very limited market.

    It is not hard to set up a small wi-fi network. An Airport Express (about $100) would do, and you can find even cheaper routers. Personally I'd go with the Airport express. both because you can manage it from the iPad, and because not all routers work with every device. Since it's an Apple router, it's almost guaranteed to have been well tested agains't iPads and Macs. You can secure it, and even hide the ID, to keep people off your network.

    I live in a travel trailer, and my Airport Express has been reliable, and the range is more than adequate, even for several yards beyond the trailer (in case you want to wander the line taking orders).


    The other possibility is AirDrop. This uses Bluetooth to discover nearby devices, and then creates a peer-to-peer wi-fi connection to transfer files. But it would be very awkward. It's meant for sending files and photos between iPads, and would be extremely awkward to use as an order system; even if the POS app supported sending files this way.
     
  10. TheSandwichShack

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    Thanks again. Seems like it would be a worthwhile thing to develop - something that can use Bluetooth to form a connection between iPads so they could play a game against each other when they meet on the street, for instance. I think there would be a big market for something like that.

    Imagine a city-wide game where you could meet fellow players randomly and duel them, or something. That would be cool.
     

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