Menus on Your Mobile

esca, a start-up company based on The Surrey Research Park in Guildford, has unveiled escamo, a new service that enables consumers in the Guildford area to download menus and order takeaways directly from their mobile phones. The service, which is free-to-use, will also allow mobile users to book tables at some of their favourite local eateries, and to peruse lengthy menus at their leisure before arriving at the restaurant.

esca is inviting consumers living in and around Guildford to download the escamo software and begin using the service immediately. Rose Valley, known for its Indian-Bangladeshi Cuisine, and TupThai, one of Guildfords best Thai restaurants, are among the first venues to make their menus and takeaway service available in this way.

Our easy-to-use mobile menus will basically turn an ordinary mobile phone into a food-ordering remote control, says esca Founder, Robert Taylor. By downloading this unique, free mobile menu tool, people in the Guildford area can now bring their favourite restaurants and takeaways directly to their fingertips.

esca moved into The Surrey Technology Centre, located on The Surrey Research Park, in July 2007. The firm specialises in the development of mobile technology that facilitates electronic commerce and, increasingly, mobile commerce. esca flags up several benefits that mobile menus will provide for restaurant owners, as well as diners. It notes that by using escamo, customers will have an up-to-date takeaway menu with them at all times, including the very moment that hunger kicks in. Also, whereas a traditional phone order may take a couple of minutes to process, escamo can reduce order times to just seconds, saving both time and money for the restaurants that choose to participate.

Owned and managed by the University of Surrey, The Surrey Technology
Centre provides space for a number of diverse technology companies who
work in the areas of research, development and design.
This type of service really does capture the imagination, says Surrey Research Park Director, Malcolm Parry. We are delighted to be working with companies like esca, and to see them combining real creativity and technical innovation in a way that benefits local businesses and consumers alike.

As part of escas mobile menu package, the company will work closely with participating restaurants to design and create custom-made mobile menus, which can then be downloaded free-of-charge to a mobile phone. Customers place their order from within the application, for processing at the restaurant.
The mobile nature of escamo will also provide a number of interesting marketing opportunities to participating restaurants. For example, restaurants can use escamo to send out special offers directly to their customers, thus helping to increase loyalty and customer satisfaction. Likewise, restaurants can also keep customers up-to-date on any special events or changes to the menu via automatic SMS alerts.

In addition, many restaurants are already planning to offer discounts for first time escamo users. Rose Valley is currently offering 5 off any escamo order of 20 or more. escamo users can also earn additional discounts by inviting friends to download and use the escamo service on their own phones. 

To download escamo onto their mobile phone, users simply need to text ESCA 4 ME to 86688. A list of fully tested, escamo-compatible mobile phones is available on the esca website, but esca says the software will run on most phones released over the last few years.