Many of us find ourselves rushing between work and home on weekday evenings with little time for determining take-out options, let alone actually cooking, which is why I was so stoked to see the flyer taped to the El Rey drive-thru window announcing the launch of an El Rey iPhone app. Visions of delicious Cuban tacos available at a few swipes of the screen danced through my noggin as I waited for my Cuban sandwich and guac.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, my fantasies did not come to fruition.
Several attempts to order lunch from the downtown El Rey failed due to an unknown application error. After two failures during the payment process, I called the store to verify that order had failed as well as confirming that my card had not been charged. The gentleman who answered the phone confirmed that the order had failed before confessing that he was not aware that the application had been launched for the downtown location.
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It seems that the application is not ready for any location due to some critical errors, the least of which is failure to process orders once the cumbersome ordering process has been completed. Users must complete profile information and payment information prior to placing an order, which is not the case with most e-commerce use cases during which customers enter payment information following order placement.
Other errors with the ordering process exist. Customers are unable to select any option other than "Pick-up" for orders, despite "Dine-in," "Delivery" and "Catering" also being listed for each location. Orders can only be placed with the default location, and it cannot be changed during the order process. Finally, orders cannot be saved and finished later after adjustments, like default location, are made. Thus, if you fail to switch locations before starting an order, you'll lose everything in order to adjust location or payment information.
According to the iTunes App Store page, the app is currently Version 2.0 and reflects the last update on July 12, 2011. One can only hope that Version 3.0 will be pushed out soon, but not before being thoroughly tested.
For now, skip the app and call in your order to beat the fray at the counter.