Preordering food or hot drinks can be fraught with inefficiencies. If you order too far in advance, your fare might be cold when you get there. Order too late and it’s not ready.
To better streamline its order-in-advance process, Square is adding a new feature to Square Order today called Arrival Prediction. It’s exactly what it sounds like: Square Order now predicts when you’ll pick up your food.
Merchants have to set a preparation time for each menu item and Square builds corresponding location tags around the business. Once a customer puts their order in, Arrival Prediction is turned on, and when they get close to the business, the location tags are triggered. The seller gets a notification that the client is on their way, and coffee is served hot upon arrival.
This is just the latest in a string of new offerings to be rolled out by Square, which is trying to get its mobile payments business to catch on. Square Order rolled out earlier this year to replace the now-defunct Square Wallet. And though times seemed tough for the payments startup when the media caught wind of its $100 million losses in 2013, Square reportedly took in a fresh $150 million investment a couple days ago.
New products like Arrival Prediction may keep consumers interested. After all, having your vanilla-latte-no-foam-extra-hot fresh and ready when you arrive at the shop is a nice little gimmick. But Square will have to deliver a bit more in order to win the payments space — especially as more competing products arise.
The new feature will be available at any coffee shops that currently use Square Register. Though the product is “optimized” for coffee orders, Square tells me, restaurants will have the new feature too.