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Michael Jordan of Order For Me: “Don’t stop”

Before COVID-19 even existed, we were already aiming to change the way people dine-in at restaurants with Order For Me. We wanted to create a shift in the hospitality service to fit the wants of a younger generation, where true hospitality is a matter of improving experience through convenience. We committed to that right away, […]

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Before COVID-19 even existed, we were already aiming to change the way people dine-in at restaurants with Order For Me. We wanted to create a shift in the hospitality service to fit the wants of a younger generation, where true hospitality is a matter of improving experience through convenience. We committed to that right away, despite the challenges we knew would exist. We’re aiming for this to go beyond just restaurants and become a catalyst towards a more convenient global system for any type of transaction or service.


As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Jordan.

Entrepreneur, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Jordan, is a self-taught programmer who developed and launched the mobile platform, Order For Me. Officially incorporated in January 2019, Order For Me offers restaurant customers a safe and completely touchless dining experience. Michael brings a true entrepreneurial spirit to the company, with years of experience building tech products and launching and selling several successful startup businesses currently being used today.

With a multitude of hands-on experience and lessons learned in building, managing and growing online platforms and communities, Order For Me was a concept Michael considered and researched for a few years before it evolved into a sustainable business model. In the summer of 2019, he tested the platform with a few restaurants, not yet realizing the enormous relevance it would soon foster. With a global pandemic on the heels of the unveiling, the significant shift in restaurant dining has made Order For Me a vital solution for customers in today’s climate.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I never expected to go into the tech industry; My college degree is actually in Fine Art. After graduation I ended up working for the Fire Department of New York for a while. I dove into the tech industry when I decided to start an online fantasy sports game for professional surfing. My friends and I wanted to play this and there weren’t many available options, so I decided to create one. I’ve always been a self-starter who loves a challenge, so this quenched my entrepreneurial spirit at the time. After selling a couple of successful tech startups in the surfing space, I started noticing a need for new technology in other industries. I was reading some articles on California Labor Laws and their impact on the restaurant industry and had that lightbulb moment to make something easily accessible, without the need for downloads, that could simplify the process to benefit both the consumer and restaurant. My entrepreneurial spirit has consistently guided me through my work in the tech world, eventually leading to Order for Me.

Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

We launched our first two Order for Me accounts in mid-February 2020 with no sign of a looming pandemic. Less than a month later, all LA restaurants were required to shut down due to COVID-19. While we were just beginning to get Order for Me off the ground, this huge curveball came to us and there was little information on how the world would look moving forward, let alone indoor dining. Rather than giving in to the stress of the situation, we seized the opportunity to adjust our service to the current climate. Virtually overnight, we created a to-go ordering option for restaurants to use while sit-in dining was not allowed, with the promise of not charging any commissions or fees for life. From there, we grew to 27 accounts in less than two months. In a time of worldwide chaos, we were able to find an opportunity and increase reach with our target market by creating a valuable tool and resource for local businesses and the public.

Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?

I’ve always lived by the Steven Pressfield quote: “Don’t prepare. Begin.”

Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

Order For Me is a convenient and user-friendly mobile platform designed to allow restaurant customers a safe and completely touchless dining experience. By utilizing QR technology or a designated table code, guests can view the menu safely from their own phone/s and place orders (complete with modifications or special requests) when they are ready, which are then sent directly to the restaurant to prepare and deliver to the table. Installment plus tips are also made through the platform and on the guests’ timeline — There’s no more group bill to split.

How do you think this will change the world?

Before COVID-19 even existed, we were already aiming to change the way people dine-in at restaurants with Order For Me. We wanted to create a shift in the hospitality service to fit the wants of a younger generation, where true hospitality is a matter of improving experience through convenience. We committed to that right away, despite the challenges we knew would exist. We’re aiming for this to go beyond just restaurants and become a catalyst towards a more convenient global system for any type of transaction or service.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?

Given the unprecedented climate we are currently in, it feels like we are already living in a “Black Mirror” episode! But in all seriousness, any digital platform poses certain risks. For example, people could argue that using your smartphone to order a meal, split the bill and leave without speaking with your server several times throughout the process may decrease the opportunities for human interaction that many enjoy. But, Order For Me actually makes it safer and more convenient for people to dine out and socialize with friends and family, instead of opting to get food delivered to their couch at home.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?

I met Greg Daniels, Order For Me’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Chef, in early February while I was attempting to work by myself on every aspect of the service, from setting up sales to testing the platform itself. Over time, I realized I did not have enough of a handle on restaurant operations and staff training. I needed someone with actual experience in the restaurant industry by my side if this was going to be successful. In hindsight, when Greg came into the picture it was almost like a perfect storm. He filled in all of the gaps I was struggling to compensate for on my own. He knows what goes into the back of house, front of house, the proper language to use, and the overall operations that go on within restaurants. By adding Greg to the team, we gained a credibility within the restaurant industry that I was unable to bring beforehand.

“I had been looking into this over the years. In the back of my head I had the idea that direct communication between the customer and the kitchen would be available at some point from technology,” says Greg Daniels, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Chef of Order For Me. “I understood the value in what Michael concepted, and it turned out I had a perspective that he needed.”

What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?

The technology and concept is already there. Once more restaurants start utilizing it, and more customers realize the ease and convenience of using this tool, we are confident it will attract a wider reach and we can develop it across various verticals and into other markets beyond the restaurant industry. We’ve heard it described by customers as “life changing” and it really is an incredible dining experience.

Given the current state of the restaurant industry post-COVID, we expect a 25% adoption rate based on the increased demand for contactless ordering. With newly implemented safety protocols, contact tracing and overall convenience, both customers and restaurant staff have a strong incentive to use Order For Me.

Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?

Don’t stop. There are always reasons to stop and they are relentless, but you have to ignore them and keep making progress every day. Make lists, write down goals and always take steps towards achieving them.

Greg Daniels, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Chef of Order For Me adds, “One thing I like to tell my team is to take on more than you can handle and you’ll rise to the occasion. It’s also so important to build and maintain relationships. Stay in touch with as many people as possible because you never know when that relationship may play a pivotal role in the future.”

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

We were already committed to the concept of Order For Me as a revolutionary dining experience prior to the pandemic. Once COVID-19 hit, the platform became even more essential to the future of the industry. What makes our product different is that we have been developing this technology for years, and not only to be utilized during this critical current climate, but as a sustainable resource for the foreseeable future. Now that the technology and execution are in place, the platform has the ability to scale into more restaurants, and from there, into a range of different verticals. There are only so many restaurants in the US, and we hope to go beyond that into other industries as we continue on this exciting trajectory. We have the momentum right now.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Michal Jordan, CEO & Founder

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeljordan100

Greg Daniels, Chief Executive Chef & Co-Founder

https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-daniels-377341138/

Order For Me:

https://www.instagram.com/orderfor.me/

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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