OLO is honored to have such a positive review of the Five Guys iPhone app, built on the OLO API, from such an expert as Dan Frakes! Congratulations to Five Guys, Solertium, and OLO. OLO is eager to help more restaurant brands launch and operate five-star apps.
(Blackberry coming soon!)
“The Five Guys Burgers & Fries app for ordering from the ever-expanding burger chain is good in all the ways the Baja Fresh app is bad. Launch the app and give it permission to use your location, and you’re immediately presented with a list of nearby restaurants, closest first. (As with the Baja Fresh app, you’ll need to create an account the first time you use the Five Guys app.) If you want to find a restaurant in a different location, just type in the zip code and tap the search button.
Tap a restaurant, and you see a page displaying the restaurant’s address, hours, and distance from your current location, as well as a Google Maps map of the store’s location. (The app is optimized for both the iPhone and the iPad, so it takes good advantage of the tablet’s larger screen here.) Tap Directions To This Store to switch to the Maps app and get directions—with the starting and ending locations automatically filled for you—or tap Order From This Store to start the order process. Unlike with the Baja Fresh app, if you do decide to switch to the Maps app, or to quit the Five Guys app for any other reason, you’ll be right where you left off when you come back.
High Five: The Five Guys menu (left) is easy to navigate, and the app makes it fun to customize your order (right).
Before you choose your items, the app asks if you want to pick up your order now or later. (Now places your order for immediate pickup; later lets you choose a date and time.) You’re then taken to the Menu page, which groups all menu items into five simple categories: Burgers, Dogs, Sandwiches, Fries, and Drinks. Tap a category to see a simple list of items in that category, along with the price of each. Granted, Five Guys offers far fewer menu items than Baja Fresh, and most of those items don’t require a lengthy description, but the Five Guys menu is much easier to navigate, and the app itself is much faster to load screens and perform actions.
Like the Baja Fresh app, the Five Guys app lets you customize most menu items. Choose a burger, hot dog, or other sandwich, and the next screen lists the myriad toppings and condiments you can opt for. Tap an extra, such as Grilled Onions, to add it, or double-tap for more options: Regular, Lite, or Extra. The menus screens for drinks and fries let you easily order any combination of drinks or french-fry styles and sizes using helpful more (+) and fewer (-) buttons. When you’re done configuring any sandwich, your drinks, or your fries, tap Add To My Bag, which takes you back to the main menu-category page.
The bottom of that menu page always provides a Review My Bag button that also displays the current total for your order and, when tapped, takes you to the ordering page. If you haven’t added any fries, the app prompts you to do so. (If this prompt annoys you, just tap Never Ask Again.) After reviewing your order, tap Place Your Order, and the app uses the credit card you provided with your account to make the purchase. The process is simple and straightforward—I never had to wonder if I was doing the right thing or how to go back to the previous screen or the main Menu page.
As someone whose take-out orders are regularly screwed up, just as pleasing is what happens after you place your order: You get an easy-to-read summary—both within the app and via email—that lists your entire order in precise detail, along with the pickup time, the restaurant and feedback phone numbers, and a link to an online feedback form. Indeed, when we showed up at the restaurant at the specified time, we walked up to the pickup counter, grabbed our ready-and-waiting bag, and left; everything was exactly as we ordered it. (Another nice touch: On the outside of the bag is a receipt with each sandwich numbered; those numbers correspond to numbers on the wrapper for each sandwich, making it easy to figure out whose is whose.)
The Five Guys app also offers a few nice extras. When reviewing your order, you can tap the plus (+) button next to any item to add another just like it. And after placing your order, the app asks if you’d like to create a favorite—which includes both the chosen restaurant and the items in your bag—for that order, making it easy to repeat that order in the future. (To do so, you just tap Favorites on the opening screen of the app, and then tap a favorite order; you’re asked the now-or-later question, and then your bag is filled and ready for checkout. You can even modify the items if you like.) My only beef here is that I wish you could create favorite items—say, your favorite cheeseburger configuration—that you could add to any order.
Sadly, from what I’ve seen, most take-out apps are closer in quality and experience to the Baja Fresh app than to the Five Guys app. So let me make a humble suggestion to restauranteurs: If you’re considering making an iOS app for ordering on the go, download the Five Guys app and try it out. And then copy it as closely as possible. Take-out eaters everywhere will thank you.” - Dan Frakes, Sr. Editor of Macworld.com