The days of passing your phone around to everyone are finally waning.

By Mike Pomranz
August 27, 2019
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

This is not how you wanted your Friday night to go. You're ordering from the local pizza shop and politely ask if anyone wants anything. "What do they got?" Ugh, you think, as you hand over your phone. "What is this? An Android? How do I use this??" Cue your immediate regret for inviting anyone over in the first place. Thankfully, Postmates has become the latest delivery app to solve this issue with group ordering (not to be confused with Postmates Party) — allowing people to place items into your cart from their own device. Yes, those people are still annoying, but at least now you can continue to pretend that you definitely don't feel that way.

Here's how it works. One person has to be the "host," creating the central order and then sharing the link with others. The host can also set a spending limit for each person since they'll be the one footing the bill. Once everyone's orders are placed — which the host can track from their app — the host has one more chance to edit the order before sending it out into the ether. Meanwhile, others in the group will also get notifications about the delivery's status, so everyone in the office can stop pestering the poor receptionist to ask when lunch will be arriving.

Postmates isn't the first delivery app to offer group orders. Back in 2017, America's largest delivery service, DoorDash, claimed it had become the first nationwide app to offer mobile group orders (a feature they had launched on the web back in 2015). Meanwhile, the country's second largest service, Grubhub, apparently only offers group ordering if you have a corporate account.

Granted, it's not like group ordering will solve all of your problems. You'll still probably have to yell across the room, "Hey, John, put your darn order in already!" But as James Butts, Postmates' SVP of Product & Design described it, group ordering is a way "to maintain the social, personable parts of the buying experience." Because what's more social in 2019 than everyone staring at their own phone in synchronized harmony?

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