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Technology, Software

Client:

Curated Lunch From the Top NYC Restaurants Delivered to You Daily

Subscription­based lunch delivery service. A technically complex web application that incorporates different user groups, recurring payments, and intelligent clustering of customers per restaurant based on address.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Initially, the client had a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve. CityLunchClub was to become a subscription­-based lunch delivery service targeted at those who lived and/or worked in Manhattan.

Restaurant Randomizer

CityLunchClub’s policy aimed to offer new food options every day, and A2 Design faced the challenge of making this possible. The site needed to incorporate the functionality to offer delivery five days a week, on business days only and, as such, there was a requirement for at least 20 restaurants to be active at any given point. We created the so­called “Restaurant Randomizer” that automatically allocated the restaurant to different customers on a daily basis.

The Restaurant Randomizer system incorporated two more functions: it ensured the registered restaurants received an equal amount of orders every day (to ensure the participating restaurants enjoyed consistent business), and it also incorporated intelligent clustering of customers per restaurant based on their address. This helped to ensure that deliveries were efficient.

APPROACH

Holistic Project Management

We used leading methodologies and tools to manage and execute the project. To maintain our high-quality standards, we used Basecamp for project management, DoneDone for test management, and JIRA for online bug reporting.

Team

We believe in the values of specialization of labor. That’s why we created a dedicated team for the project.

  • Project manager
  • Frontend developers
  • Backend developers
  • Designer
  • Quality assurance department

Easy Communication

Considering the scope of the project, we understood the necessity of transparent communication, which involved daily status reports, and weekly calls between CityLunchClub representatives and the project manager. The customer’s feedback was quickly taken on board and any required changes implemented.

QA Testing

We understand the importance of manual testing, that’s why a whole quality assurance department was involved in the process.

THE SOLUTION

Responsive website design

To enable multiple users to access the web application across different mobile devices, we designed the website in responsive HTML. Alongside HTML5, the design proved to be future­proof. The web application now provides a consistent user experience, irrespective of the device being used (widescreen PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.).

Payment gateway integration

The third­party payment gateway, Recurly was integrated into the system. It provided a robust and secure payment transaction mechanism.
Moreover, a recurring payment system was created.

Accounts and memberships

There are three types of accounts:

  • Corporate accounts for the company owners who offer their employees free lunches.
  • Restaurant accounts for the restaurant partners.
  • Private accounts for individuals.

As far as membership levels go, customers can choose from as little as one lunch a week up to five. The more lunches customers purchase, the cheaper each lunch is.

Referral program

To promote the startup and attract attention to it, the marketing team developed and implemented a number of interesting referral programs.
One such programs is the “Invite Friends and Earn a Free Lunch” initiative.

Cross­browser compatibility

The web application was based on HTML5­based responsive device that was designed to operate on regular desktop browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. Special tweaks were made in the app to make it compatible with Safari OS on the iPad2.

Agile Development Methodology

We have previously underlined the advantages of this approach.
In a nutshell, we had to recourse to it in order to meet the tight deadline of the project. Thanks to its short delivery cycles, the Agile methodology helps us to stay in control of projects, especially those that have a large scope.

Address auto­completion and Google Maps integration

Google Maps and Google GEO-location (built­in address auto-completion) were integrated into the system. This made the system fool-proof (the user cannot order to an address that does not exist). Moreover, the system automatically schedules deliveries in an efficient manner. This ensures that a delivery driver doesn't have to drive around Manhattan several times but can deliver everything in an effective manner. The effort of building such an intrinsic system has been well worth it: it provides economical advantages for the restaurant and convenience for the customer.

Subscriptions and notifications

Depending on a chosen Membership Plan, the user receives a notification letter inviting them to place an order one day in advance.
This letter contains live links so the user doesn't have to login to the web app.
Notifications are also sent to customers informing them of the latest deals or offers.

Downloadable Documents

Once the order is created, the restaurant receives a set of orders one day in advance. Alongside the orders, the restaurant receives automatically generated maps in PDF format. These are used to guide the delivery driver.

Social sharing

Social sharing was another feature that made a difference in the promotion of the website.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and email sharing functionalities were integrated into the site.

THE RESULT

Lunches in accordance with user preferences

Customers can choose a different meal every day from three different options.

Clever monthly cycles

The web application is set to provide the user with a different restaurant option every day.

Location-Based delivery

The system offers intelligent clustering of customers per restaurant based on address.
This ensures delivery is fast and efficient.

Cross­-platform Cross­-device experience

The CityLunchClub web application provides a consistent user experience across multiple screens – laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
It’s surprising how many companies still underestimate the importance of this feature. CityLunchClub didn’t, and as a result, their sales increased.

Business Growth

The flawless combination of website design, intelligent restaurant randomizer and delivery system, as well as clever marketing techniques based on social media and referrals helped CityLunchClub to attract target users and grow their membership base.

LET'S GET STARTED!