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Downtown App Dining Experience

A cool beacon app let you order food from mobile phone and skip the long line.

avatar Robert Mao
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Downtown is an app to let you order meals, coffee directly from your mobile phone in the store. Line is too long in the cafe? Just skip it by ordering from the phone directly!

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Downtown - Order and Pay

Right now Downtown is only available in Palo Alto and Stanford campus, but give it some time it might expand to more cities.

I know this app for a while because Keith Teare is involved, however I didn't be able to use it until today in Coupa Cafe Palo Alto.

I saw this box on every table apparently there is a beacon device in it.


Not a surprise when I open the app it already know where I am. I think GPS and wifi can help it locate the store mostly but the beacon can make the app even know which seat you are, so after you ordered the waiter can bring it to the seat.

The UX is pretty slick, very easy to navigate and it's really easy to order with photos.

The downtown beacon device is a bit big. The Gimbal beacon I got during CES is much smaller, it's small enough to be put in the typical top or even embed in the table.


If you are not near any restaurant or cafe, open the app you can see a list of stores, you can also see a map mode to see where the stores are located.

Looks like not a lot of store support it for now, even in Palo Alto.

This concept has a fancy name "o2o" in China, and there are several large players in China already, the completion is tough and some even just come to US and try to target Chinese restaurants.

If you happen near a city where Downtown is available, give it s try it's actually pretty easy to use.