Twilio Programmable Wireless provides connectivity to Eatabit’s purpose-built cellular thermal printers in thousands of locations across the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and the U.K. Cellular connectivity allows restaurants and food delivery services to plug the Eatabit device in and it just works. No need for WiFi, network cables or POS compatibility.
Ordering food online is exploding and popular restaurants often partner with multiple online food ordering services to keep up with customer demand. This is great for customers but can be a burden for restaurants as each partner brings their own devices and processes for sending orders to the restaurant. The restaurant industry is built on trust, and handing off ordering to a third party creates a huge risk, especially when customers base their judgment on service and quality. Eatabit set out to serve both restaurants and the growing proliferation of food ordering services, by providing a custom-built ticket printer with cellular connectivity.
Eatabit is a longtime Twilio customer, starting out as an SMS food ordering service. The founders immediately saw an opportunity to help the burgeoning online food ordering industry become more successful by standardizing the way online food orders get to restaurants. Eatabit’s hardware can be placed anywhere and requires no training. It’s is a win for the food ordering services because it makes their product a lot easier to sell, and it’s a win for restaurants because they can consolidate all their online food ordering partners to one device.
Eatabit took a hardware-based approach with their cellular thermal printer from the beginning. Before working with Twilio Programmable Wireless they contracted with many other carriers and they were forced to work within their parameters. With other carriers, Eatabit devices needed to be polled to send data back to the Eatabit cloud, all while using more power and more bandwidth than was necessary because of these parameters.
By switching IoT carriers to Twilio Programmable Wireless, we reduced our monthly operating cost by 3x and reduced outage time to almost zero
With Twilio Programmable Wireless, Eatabit were able to save almost 40% in cellular data because they reconfigured their hardware to use the Twilio Commands SMS API feature. Eatabit now exchanges simple machine-to-machine messages instead of constantly polling the device to check its state. The Twilio Commands API uses the SMS channel to notify the device that it’s time to download data. This solved their issue of constant device polling, resulting in cost savings.
When Eatabit started their business, there were a number of software companies using IP printers and fax machines which rely on a physical connection. The Eatabit founders knew there was a more cost-effective and easier way to maintain hardware. Having a stand-alone device that can connect directly to the internet over cellular, means that restaurants no longer have to worry about connectivity. This removes friction for food ordering services and creates a business model for Eatabit where they can lease devices to scale their business quickly. With Twilio Programmable Wireless, Eatabit can continue to scale their business with complete visibility over their usage and operations and keep working towards becoming a trusted brand in the industry.