tapviva - Modern point-of-sale ordering systems

Archive | March, 2011

Our Take on Android In-App Payments

30 Mar

While we are excited about Android’s in App billing (see Android Developer post, and TechCrunch article), we are disheartened that it is still not relevant for our a service such as ours. tapviva works with cafes and food trucks that process a high volume of low dollar amount transactions. The in App Android billing takes a 30% fee per transaction. This type of cut for physical goods is simply not feasible.

According to January 2011 research by Canaccord Genuity, in 2010 restaurant’s share of the food dollar was 50%, if in App payments take an additional 30% to other costs, restaurant models no longer stay viable.

Thus, while the in App building may make sense for digital items and software where there is no additional cost per sale, it is not yet applicable for sale of physical items (such as delicious baked goods).

We would like to see the rates more closely aligned to those of standard credit card fees. Isn’t taking 2.7% + 30 cents per transaction enough of a payment? It seems that the technology can absolutely handle this in App payment structure, but the business model has not caught up to capability or needs.

Usability aside, we wanted to see how in App payments actually work. We have tested in App payments with the Comics App from ComiXology. We are impressed by the ease of setting up an account and the link to the Android store when you purchase, but for some reason a $0.99 listed item became $1.99 when we got to checkout. Not sure where the issue is, but take this as a warning to check prices before checking out.

When we tried to make a purchase with TapTapRevenge App – we had no idea if the purchase had actually gone through, no confirmation or way to tell if you already owned it.

So a few questions we have:

  • Are other people having the same issues with current in App payments?
  • When do you think Android will have a model to support the purchase of physical goods?

Sample In App Payment Flow on Android

Beyond the Food Truck Aggregator – the Food Truck Map

29 Mar

We know how helpful food truck aggregators are – see our blog post on them here – we also know the location of food trucks can be even more essential.  Sites with Twitter feeds and lists can be extremely useful – but maps can be the holy grail – i.e. where can I eat breakfast/lunch/dinner within a few blocks of where I am NOW!

We have found a few sites doing this – please let us know if we missed any – and if you know of any sites or apps with plans to add maps.


Food Trucks Map – Full webpage map.

Pros: Huge Map, easy to see truck locations, can check box for “food trucks open now”

Cons: Still a bit clunky, each food truck location appears as an “X”, user has to click on the location to figure out what truck being referenced


San Francisco

SF Street Food Finder – Map and scrolling updated tweets.

Pros: Can scroll through past and future locations (a few days prior and forward)

Cons: Tweets are constantly updated, unclear how often map is updated as only a few trucks appear on map


New York

Zagat Food Truck Map – Full webpage map.

Pros: Integrated Zagat reviews, sortable by cuisine, clean interface

Cons: Very unclear how food truck locations are updated


Washington D.C.

thestrEATs - Nice map on the homepage.

Pros: Very clean and pleasing interface

Cons: Not immediately clear how you enter your location


Food Truck Fiesta – Maps food trucks based on tweets.

Pros: Includes time of last tweet (we have missed trucks before because of not checking time of last tweet)

Cons: Map looks a bit bunched, need to play around with zoom to accurately read


Let us know of any food truck maps we may have missed – or other comments on the ones mentioned in this post.

Restaurant Reviews and News – San Francisco Sites

24 Mar

So we know you want to order your coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner using tapviva – but how to you decide where to go? Today we look at a few review sites to get the latest news, and the good and bad reviews (yea, we rhymed that on purpose). These sites are a few alternatives to Yelp – please review these review sites (is there a site for that?).

GrubStreetSF (@grubstreetsf on Twitter) is a source for news, openings, closings, special events, great dishes. They also have a pretty good search function to find any prior articles about restaurants of interest.

EaterSF (@eatersf on Twitter) provides news, openings, closings and awards. We like the interactive maps featuring restaurants and locations – good way to find a good restaurant by neighborhood.

KQED’s Bay Area Bites (@bayareabites on Twitter) latest reviews, interviews with local chefs, comparisons of a single dish served at different restaurants. We like the bonus recipes for nights in, try this one for Soda Bread.

7×7 Bits Bites (@7x7bitsbites on Twitter) the reviews, news, special events and features from the food + drink section of the 7×7 magazine and website. Lots of recs for free or cheap drinks. We always like the 7×7 “best” lists, try this one on Best Burgers.

SFoodie by SFWeekly (@SFoodie on Twitter) reviews, interviews, news, openings, closings, great database of SF restaurants. Right now we are enjoying the SF’s 92 list of best dishes: Mmm Sandbox Bakery.

Let us know what sites we missed!


Food Truck Aggregators – Eat Fast, Faster

22 Mar

tapviva is a technology that makes customers (and cafes, and food trucks) lives easier. We appreciate other technology and sites with the same purpose. This post is an ode to sites that aggregate food truck menus, locations and more (starting with SF, LA, and DC, and not exclusive).

San Francisco

SF Carts – Featured Off the Grid Events, map of trucks, and Tweets (find them @sfcarts)

Los Angeles

Find Food Trucks LA – All the Twitter feeds in one location (find them @findfoodcarts)

DTLA – Twitter list with all the food trucks in downtown LA, follow on Twitter, no need to go to a separate site

LA Food Truck – Daily LA food truck news (find them @lafoodtruck)

Washington D.C.

thestrEATS – Maps, tweets and Menus (find them @thestreatsdc)

Food Truck Fiesta – Maps, Tweets and Articles (find them @foodtruckfiesta)

Please let us know if you have any other favorite food truck aggregator sites, we want to hear your thoughts! Or, are you a food truck aggregator? Send us your site, we want to check it out.


tapviva? That’s Lean!

16 Mar

tapviva is cloud dining.  We are building a platform agnostic, fully customizable mobile ordering app for local counter restaurants, cafes and food trucks. Our goal is to bring the mobile app technology to all cafes, not only the ones that can afford to build the app themselves.

Our app will allow the cafes’ customers to order and pay on their phone, the order will be received by the cafe, and the cafe will begin preparing the order before the customer arrives. Both cafe and customer will have a clean and pleasing experience.

We are a lean business because our goal is to help thousands of cafes, restaurants and food trucks be lean by bringing them an affordable app service.

In the meantime, we stay lean by doing it all ourselves, with a little help from the AppSumo lean start-up package.  Vote for us in the unbelievably awesome AppSumo Lean Startup Challenge. Here are a few ways we are using, and plan to use the AppSumo package to help our lean little start-up grow (plus a few other tools we use to stay lean that we couldn’t help but mention):

  • Like any good start-up, we need clients to agree to our terms and conditions and share some information about their business and interests. We found Pandaform to be the perfect (affordable) solution.  Not only did it save us money, due to the AppSumo deal, but it also saved us time. Pandaform is incredibly easy to use (it is drag and drop), we get a notification whenever a form is filled out, and it has an admin panel that actually makes sense. Easy to set-up forms? That’s lean!
  • We need to deliver orders to food trucks that are on the move. We plan to be using Twilio’s text message service to send orders to phones.  We have been excited about Twilio since we first heard about it – we are looking forward to using the service to send texts to clients for pennies. Pennies for texts? That’s lean!
  • Twitter is a free way for us to market tapviva to potential clients, we have been amazed by our ability to connect with ideal potential clients in cities other than our own around the country. Free marketing? That’s lean!
  • Right now we are relying on outbound efforts (thank you BatchBook CRM!) to find and organize clients. In the future we hope to have customers find our site and sign up for our services. When they land at our site we still want to be available for any questions they may have – we plan to utilize SnapEngage to live chat with any customers with questions. Letting customers find you, but still having a live conversation? That’s lean!

tapviva? That’s lean!