Order Yourselves

FuseOrderAre you going to a festive, company meal this year? Many restaurants want you to pre-order your food. This usually involves a number of frustrating, error-prone steps1. And, unlike ordering at the table, guests are in the dark about what everyone else is choosing.

There is a better way: FuseOrder.

1. The meal organiser creates the event and adds people to invite (or makes the link available to guests).

2. As a guest, you can see who else is going and what they’ve chosen. Then you can make your selection from the menu, whenever suits you.

3. Once everyone has chosen, the organiser locks the event and can make it available to the restaurant for them to approve. The restaurant also sees a summary of the order.


At the meal, everyone can be reminded of what they ordered and, if it helps, see how much theirs cost.

FuseOrder isn’t just for Christmas though. Add your own places and menus for:

  • sandwich rounds (have them prepared when it’s quiet)
  • takeaways (also helps splitting the bill)
  • office coffee rounds
  • pub rounds (get them on the bar before you arrive)
  • company/group meals
  • sporting events (e.g. bike rides, runs)
  • spa visits
  • sharing food preparation
  • conference programme choices
  • voting (e.g. for movies/games nights)
  • combining orders for party/barbeque food
  • theatre drink pre-orders
  • anniversary meals

FuseOrder: Your guests and yours hosts will love you.


Typical steps involve:
* the organiser getting hold of a menu and reserving a table for a rough number of guests
* sending a copy of the menu to the invited guests (I’ve seen some illegible photos used for this!)
* collecting all the responses and translating them into actual items on the menu
* chasing up missing and confusing responses
* handling people changing their minds
* collating a summary of the items ordered
* telephoning the restaurant and reading out the summary and confirming the number of guests
* the restaurant writing down the items and translating them into items on their menu
* handling people changing their minds too late
* the restaurant creating another copy of the ordered items for the chefs
* everyone arriving for the meal and asking “what did I order again?”
* keying the order into the till for the bill
Each of these steps is fraught with delays and chances for compounding transcription errors or omissions.

The best a man can get?

For some reason I don’t really understand, I shave my face almost every day. I use a manual razor, currently a Wilkinson Sword Quattro-Iced-Titanium-Strontium-something or other. I did try to stick with a perfectly acceptable Gillette three-blade razor but was forced to upgrade to a four-blader by some clever, nationally coordinated, stocking systems. Whatever’s next? I’m now trying to avoid upgrading to a manual razor with a battery in, and an extra indicator to tell me to buy more blades.

For many years I put up with buying a new pack of blades every couple of months or so, as a single blade used to last me between 1 and 3 weeks (over £9 for a pack of 4 blades, which cost under £0.05 each to manufacture). But I could never stomach the adverts. The ones where men are hugging babies and doing man things, like driving cars and playing golf all set to a crescendoing power ballad. Especially the father’s day specials. So here’s my response to the bad adverts – a top tip that Gillette don’t want you to know that will save you hundreds of pounds: When you’ve finished shaving, dry the razor head on a towel.

That’s it: after every shave, make sure there’s no water left on the metal blades by dabbing them on a towel and your blades will last many, many times longer. I’ve been doing this for a few years, and I now only use about 3 blades a year. Do it – they’ll have less money to spend on their insulting adverts. Or grow a beard.

Don’t flap when reversing

Top tip: when helping someone to reverse their vehicle into a small space – don’t stand behind the car and beckon them with gusto until you think they’re about to hit something and then show them your palm like some kind of traffic police.

(Instead, how about holding your arms apart to show them the actual size of the space and reduce the gap between your hands as they near the obstacle? That way they get immediate feedback and can see ahead of time how far they have left.)