Today’s technological advances allow consumers to order pizzas and groceries online, says Marina Mayer, managing editor. Convenience or laziness?

America's Mouse-clicking Obsession

In today’s day in age, it’s easy for people to get a bit lazy when it comes to food. Several technological advances have made it so that consumers can order and receive food with just a click of a mouse button. No need to dial in your order or worse – actually drive to pick up your food.

I can hear my grandmother now – ranting about how she had to trudge through five miles of snow just to pick up a loaf of bread. And here we get to order our food online without ever having to move from the couch.

No wonder why Americans are so fat.

As a response, more and more restaurants and foodservice outlets are targeting the Internet-savvy crowd by allowing – even enticing -- them to place orders online.

Actually, it’s not all bad, but it can be expensive. Companies like Peapod charge a pretty penny to make it convenient for the crazed stay-at-home mother of five kids, the disabled and even the elderly to stock up on groceries and have them delivered to the front door without the hassles of fighting through crowds, standing in long lines and loading and unloading their car.

From an order delivery standpoint, places like Jimmy John’s allow users to place their order online or even fax the order in.

Now major pizza chains are jumping ship by promoting the “click instead of call” routine.

According to a recentAdvertising Agestudy, national brand pizza chains conduct 20% to 30% of their business online. However, pizza delivery companies are vying for that number to climb to 50%.
The study shows that customers spend more money when placing an order online. Plus, they are more satisfied with their order, which has reduced the number of complaints after the order was delivered incorrect or not what the customer expected. Customers who order online also are more likely to take advantage of online promotions, such as coupons or specials.

In the foodservice channel, for example, Pizza Hut is projected to bring $1 billion in online sales by the end of 2012, a whopping increase from $100 million from May 2007, says Bob Kraut, vice president of marketing for the Dallas-based pizza giant.

Maybe its because companies are practically giving them away. If consumers order online, Pizza Hut will give them $20 cash back in rebates. Talk about recession-proof.

Pizza Hut conducts all of its online ordering throughQuikOrder,which allows users to create a profile that stores personal information for decreased ordering time in the future, according toAdvertising Age.

Domino’s processes about 75 online orders per second versus the one to two orders it was averaging from orders brought in by phone or in person.

As advanced technology makes it easier for the working world to conduct business, it also allows hungry customers to log on and click in their order.

For my grandmother and me, it’s laziness at its best.

Such convenience just makes fat keep getting fatter.

Marina Mayer, managing editor