Nfld. & Labrador

New app HelpMeOrder aims to cut through restaurant indecision

The new app HelpMeOrder aims to help indecisive eaters, by letting users vote for their favourite dishes at restaurants.

Picking only your 'absolute favourite' dishes narrows down crowd favourites for indecisive diners

Peter Francis, left, and Mina Michail are the computer engineers and best friends who co-founded Help Me Order, an app to help indecisive diners pick a meal. (Submitted by Peter Francis)

Are you that person who can never decide what to order at restaurants? One St. John's man has just launched an app to solve your indecisive dining woes.

The app HelpMeOrder lets people upload pictures and vote for their favourite dishes at local restaurants.

It then ranks menu choices based on the number of votes each plate has received.

Co-creator Peter Francis said he wanted to create a "visual menu" that would help people make their choices.

"To me this is an idea that should have been there for a long time because it's just natural," said Francis, 33.

"We have restaurant reviews so why not have dish ratings as well?"

On Help Me Order, users can vote for their favourite dish at local restaurants and see what others recommend. (Submitted)

Sausage-inspired idea

While the app launched last week, Francis and his best friend Mina Michail got the idea after going to a resort together in 2014.

At the breakfast buffet one morning, Michail wandered over to the kid's table and discovered delicious sausages that quickly became their morning staple.

"When we came home, a couple weeks later he messaged me and said, 'Hey why don't we create some sort of app that lets people do that, lets people discover hidden gems in places they go to?'" said Francis.

"A lightbulb just clicked in both of our heads and we've been working on it ever since."

Peter Francis and Mina Michail got the idea for Help Me Order while on vacation at a resort in 2014. (Submitted by Peter Francis)

Both Francis and Michail are computer engineers, and said they thought about the app's technological details before the business plan.

Since the app launched last week, they have both been trying to spread the word to friends and restaurant owners.

"Most people when they get an idea they might think of the business aspect, how they're going to make money," said Francis.

"That never really crossed our minds until much later. We were just excited to create a solution."

Choosing favourites

Francis said the app is unique because users can only vote for one dish at each restaurant — their "absolute favourite."

"We feel it adds more weight to your vote that you're kind of having to choose favourites," said Francis.

While the creators are focusing their energies on their hometowns of St. John's and Mississauga, Francis said he's hoping for the app's eventual expansion.

The Help Me Order app allows users to vote only for their "absolute favourite" dishes at local restaurants. (Submitted by Peter Francis)


Laura Howells is a multi-platform reporter and radio producer. She has worked for CBC in Toronto, Hamilton, Whitehorse, and St. John's. Send story ideas to and follow her on Twitter @LauraHowellsNL.