Oakville Eats: Just-Eat.ca

Online ordering that delivers.

Oakville Eats: Just-Eat.ca
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Let me say at the outset that this is not a typical restaurant review because I’m actually not going to review any food, or even a particular restaurant. What I am going to review is an innovative approach to ordering food for delivery, online.

Just-Eat.ca

Food type: Online Delivery/Takeout


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Overall Rating:
Food: N/A
Service:
Washrooms: N/A

If you search Google for “online delivery,” Just-Eat.ca finds itself at the top of the list. If you visit their main website at Just-Eat.com, you will see that Just Eat began in 2001 in Denmark and offers meals from 34,000 restaurants in fourteen countries: 10 in Europe, India, Argentina, Brazil and Canada. Surprisingly though, Just Eat is not in the US!

Entering the Canadian website, you are presented with two fields, one to enter your Postal Code and the other to choose what type of food that you’re craving, in the form of a drop-down list of food types, ranging from the traditional takeout varieties to various Asian types and Middle Eastern, as well as types you wouldn’t normally think of, such as Jamaican and Desserts. On the next screen, the list of available restaurants is dominated by independents but also includes big chains like Crabby Joe’s, Dominoes and Boston Pizza.

A typical Just Eat restaurant menu.

A typical Just Eat restaurant menu.

Choosing a restaurant brings you to the main restaurant screen that includes its menu with a handy table of contents on the left. The first item on every menu is “Tip the Driver”: I appreciate that Just Eat looks out for the delivery guys. [Disclaimer: in my teens I delivered pizzas and tips were a big part of my income, so tip your driver well!] Each item sports a brief description, including any options which are available, and its price. Building your meal is as easy as point-and-click: simply click on the plus-button beside each item and that item is immediately added to an always-displayed “Your order” box on the right. Want more than one of the same item? Just click the plus-button again. Every time you add an item, the order list is automatically updated, showing the item quantities and prices, sub-total, delivery charge, taxes and grand total. Change your mind or ordered too many of an item? Simply click the minus-button that sits beside each item and the item quantity is reduced by one.

A typical Just Eat restaurant menu, with some items selected.

A typical Just Eat restaurant menu, with some items selected.

If there are options for an item, for example choosing hot, medium or mild, or choosing which main and side-dish on a Dinner-for-One, a dialog box will appear allowing you to select your option(s).

Once you are happy with your order, press the “Order Now” button and you will be walked through the steps needed to complete your order, including account registration or sign-in, payment and confirmation. A great piece of information that is included after you confirm your order is the estimated time of delivery. Every time but once that I have ordered, the delivery has shown up at, or before, the time specified.

Overall, the website is well-designed, displaying all the information you need to order a perfect meal. The order process is smooth and normally completes without a hitch. If you have any problems with the site, you can Live Chat with a Just Eat representative from 11:00 am to 3:00 am EST. However, if you are like me and have any questions about the food or the restaurant, you would rather contact the source than an unrelated call centre. Here, Just Eat puts up a few roadblocks: there are no restaurant telephone numbers listed nor are there any links to the restaurants’ websites. In this age of Google, trying to keep information away from your customers to keep them on your site is just counter-productive: it doesn’t really work and it just annoys your clients.

Would I suggest any improvements to the site? Of course. First, that delivery-time estimate that I mentioned? It should come before you pay for your meal, so you could decide to abandon the order if faced with a long delivery delay. Another welcome improvement would be an interactive map displaying the restaurant locations as well as the distance from your location to each restaurant. The delivery/takeout decision would be made easier if you could see each restaurant’s location and get a feel for how far away it is. Lastly, if the restaurant makes a mistake and offers you some sort of a credit, there is no way to process this at Just Eat: to redeem your credit, you would have to order from the restaurant directly next time. If Just Eat wants to keep your business, there should be a way to process these in-store credits online.

So, if you are looking for an easy, efficient way to order takeout or delivery from a wide choice of restaurants in your area, look no further than Just-Eat.ca. 4.0/5.

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