A new app is making waves on the Toronto hospitality scene. Ritual aims to help its users save time by quickly integrating into their lifestyle, especially if it involves extensive “lunching out” throughout the week.
Once signed up, users create a profile with their name and photo. They then turn on the GPS on their smartphones that immediately populates the app with cafes and restaurants that are part of the Ritual network and that happen to be in the area around them.
With the touch of a button, users can select a restaurant/café, review its menu, choose the item to order (and sometimes customize it), and then place the order.
For example, a user can place the order while in the office, and then walk over to the restaurant, with the food ready for pick up upon their arrival. The app not only lets the user know how much time is left till pick-up, but also when to leave based on their geographic location. All payments are made through user’s credit card that is entered into the app, and automatically charged for every order.
Torontonians will find many city favourites on Ritual, such as Jimmy’s Coffee, Banh Mi Boys, Khao San Road and Burrito Boyz, to name a few.
Robert Kim, the app’s co-founder who has developed a variety of apps acquired by the likes of RIM and Google, told FAJO that his team considered several factors when creating Ritual.
“For busy urban professionals, deciding what to eat, where to eat, waiting in line, and paying for a lunch or coffee can easily take up half of lunch hour, if not more,” he said. “So we came into this space thinking: how do we do this differently? How do we do this better?”
“Some of the large global food chains are rolling out similar technology across their stores and we give smaller restaurants access to technology that they would normally not be able to build or invest in themselves.”
Kim added that Ritual is designed with Smart Ordering Technology: everything is timed perfectly between the restaurant and the user, so orders are always ready as the customer walks in the door, hot and fresh upon pick-up.
The app is also programmed to remember the user’s favourite orders, customizations and preferences.
The app originally only served the King West area because of its density, in terms of both working urban professionals and the number of food establishments. However, it has grown to both Liberty Village and the St. Lawrence Market area.
Ritual is currently in the process of preparing other zones for further expansion.