It’s finals week. You know what that means. To save myself some time, I have recently been trying pre-order apps of two of my favorite casual restaurants – Sweetgreen and Pokeworks. It turns out that Sweetgreen is the winner in this battle. Users find pre-order apps desirable as it lists the ingredients and price clearly besides the time-saving aspect, especially for the type of build-your-own menu. Therefore the 2 key criteria to judge the successfulness of these apps is visual clarity and barrier-free navigation. Sweetgreen excels in both parameters. In terms of visuals, while the customization menu of Pokeworks is heavily text-based, SG made the smart decision to layout each ingredient with an image as well as its calorie value. This is a great relief because I often found myself googling a certain ingredient as I have no idea what that is. Another game changer is that SG allows you to look at the menu (visual trigger) and make the order before requesting log-in and payment information. As people have already invested time figuring out the menu and customizing their meal, they tend to have less trouble following the steps (The Sunk Cost Fallacy). Whereas Pokeworks requests that information at the very beginning, which immediately puts me off as it already feels like more works (contrasting the goal of time-saving). The Sweetgreen app is also extremely valuable for the company with the data it collects. By finding out what ingredients and combination that people keep re-ordering / not coming back for, the casual salad restaurant will be able to design better seasonal menus and adapt their marketing strategies.