A while ago Taobao pre-announced a “killer service” in the category of lifestyle. It turns out to be an online dish ordering service, Taobao Diandian, revamped from its former lifestyle service.

After viewing the menu of a restaurant and choose dishes on the webpage or through the app, users can make orders by scanning the QR code on each tables. As it used to be a ratings & reviews service, there has already been an inventory of restaurants. To enable the ordering feature, a restaurant needs to upload the full menu and agrees to have QR code stickers on their restaurant tables.

Taobaodiandian

To encourage users to use the app, some restaurants offer discounts. Features for merchants include pulling together combinations of dish recommendations for users to choose from. Users can see what others have ordered for reference.

Currently it’s only available in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. More locations will come later.

After the concept of LBS hit China, almost every big Internet company released a “lifestyle service”. Finally almost every one became a combination of ratings & reviews, group buy, location-based search, food delivery and everything, where Dianping is believed the winner so far. Taobao Diandian, redesigned though, still includes food delivery and location search services.

At least the ordering feature is useful that you don’t have to wait for a waiter/waitress to visit your table and make orders. Ideally, it will save costs for restaurants by hiring fewer waiters/waitresses. Even better, data gathered may help restaurants to improve performance.