Foodies take note: Square is beta testing a new app that has some pretty exciting implications for online food ordering. The app is called Square Pickup, and it allows users to place a take-out order with a variety of local restaurants. It sounds like users will be able to do everything within Square Pickup, from viewing the menu to placing their order and paying. Of course, Square faces some rather stiff competition moving into the online ordering space, but as Priceonomics points out, the company has some distinct advantages over others like GrubHub.
The biggest one is that a lot of these restaurants are probably already using Square in their stores, which means that menus will already exist on Square's servers. This, in turn, allows Square Pickup to hit the ground running, as early adopters won't have to wait weeks or months for menus and other information from their favorite restaurants to come online. Getting out of the gate quickly is key here, as it would allow Square Pickup to become popular almost instantly, provided the implementation of the service is done correctly and enough people know about it.
For now, though, Square Pickup is merely in its beta testing phase. The beta test is occurring on both Android and iOS, and it's a closed beta of sorts. This means that you won't be able to simply join up and download the app, but rather you'll need to be invited to join first. Once you've been invited to participate in the beta, you'll be given a code to enter at Square's website, which will then give you access to an app download.
At the moment, it doesn't seem like there are too many restaurants participating in the beta test, but we imagine that number will continue to grow throughout the test and as we approach Square Pickup's launch. For its part, Square has been mostly silent on the beta test, which suggests that it may not want to start making announcements until it has data from this trial phase. Hopefully it won't be much longer before Square parts with some official details, because Square Pickup sounds like it could be a very useful app indeed. Stay tuned.