Something wonderful seems to have happened here in the UK. The British summer has arrived. No, I’m not talking about that 15 degrees Celsius when the local teenagers start riding their bikes without tops on, this is actual, real, heat.
At this point a lot of people will crank up their barbeques and will under-cook slabs of meat. This is fine once or twice, but after you’ve had your fifth pink burger then it’s probably best to avoid barbeques for a bit.
Cooking inside is a much better option, but with our lives increasingly time-constrained and the weather outside being so beautiful, it’s probably better to spend some time with your family rather than slaving over a hot stove.
This is where JUST EAT comes in. You may have seen their ads on TV where chefs roam the streets. There’s an app for your handset too and it’s ridiculously easy to use. You tell it where you are, choose a restaurant and order your food. I’ve been using it for a bit so I figured it deserved some air-time here.
On this screen you can whack in a postcode, your type of cuisine( let’s say you are after an Indian Restaurant) or just hit the button to locate yourself via GPS if you’re somewhere that you’re not familiar with.
It’ll then go off and find restaurants that deliver to the area in question. When I tested the app it showed some closed ones and, unlike the website itself, it didn’t offer me the opportunity to order from those restaurants and have it delivered when they open. Bit of a shame that, and it had me heading off to the website once or twice.
So, you choose the restaurant you’d like based on the star rating (which is from feedback received from people actually ordering food from that restaurant) or the food type. You can sort by user rating, A-Z or by cuisine type. You can also see which restaurants are offering special offers.
Personally I love the feedback system. If somewhere has a stack of great reviews then I’ll definitely consider ordering, rather than walking down the high street and taking pot-luck based on appearances alone. This is a really useful system and, once you’ve ordered (and eaten) your food you can leave your own report.
Choose the restaurant you like and you’ll see delivery charges and whether there’s a minimum order cost for delivery. The menus are separated into food types, so if you’re ordering from an Indian restaurant you can see beverages, Tandori Dishes, Appetisers, Balti Dishes and so on.
Within each section you can see any notes that the restaurant has added. As you can see here Uzair Balti tells us that everything is freshly prepared and comes with tomatoes, capsicums, herbs and spices etc. You can also see here how much everything is. It’s simply a matter of clicking the “+” symbol to add that item to your basket.
Here I’ve chosen a Keema Balti, but we then get another screen for tweaking your order slightly. It gives you more granularity and means that, in this case, I can add spinach for an extra 75p. I can see a running total on the bottom of the screen here and I can then add it to my basket when I’m happy.
When we go back to the menu we can see what has been added. Click on the basket on the top-right and you can see what you’ve ordered, how much delivery will be and you get the opportunity to alter your order if you wish.
It’s then a jump to the checkout. This is where you need to login. Don’t worry if you’ve not done this yet, you can get setup very easily straight from the app. Once you’ve done that you get a screen showing your registered postal address and phone number. The latter is needed just in case the restaurant need to call you – this is particularly useful if you’re getting food delivered to work and there’s security implications which prevent them from getting to your office. You can also add some notes too, just in case you want to pop some additional information in which didn’t fit in the order somehow.
The last screen is how to pay. You can choose debit or credit card, but I was impressed with the fact that you can choose good ‘old cash. Pay when the food arrives. Good if you’ve got friends around and you’re putting money into a pot.
Now, all this is good, but I wanted to show you how I really use it. The video below is me and my son on Saturday. We popped out for a “few minutes” and were out for hours. We were looking at the trains and I’d planned on getting some lunch. Trouble is, the local Subway is absolutely packed on Saturday lunchtime and, although there’s 30 minutes free parking in town, there was no way I was going to park, walk there, queue up and order the sandwiches in that time. This is my solution..