Hungry diners who don't have time to go out for a bite can let their fingers do the walking and "fax" meal orders to pizza parlors and delicatessens in Pennsylvania.

In the Pittsburgh suburb of Fox Chapel, The Food Gallery decided six weeks ago to use its facsimile machine to take written lunch requests as well as regular business documents. Employees blan-keted area businesses with menus and fax order forms and waited for the calls to roll in, said assistant manager Cheryl Potashman."It's gone over very well," Potashman said Wednesday. "We have a number of corporate offices right in the area. A number of companies will send somebody down to pick up six, eight, 10 lunches. They're very pleased. They're down here several times a week."

For the most part, about 20 different companies have participated, she said. "It saves us a lot of time," Potashman said. "The phone used to ring off the hook, just asking what is in our hot food counter for the day. It's cut down considerably on those calls."

Food Gallery may expand the program to two other stores in Shadyside and suburban Scott, she said. "To the best of our knowledge, we're the first store in Pittsburgh to do it," Potashman said. "It is a growing trend in the supermarket industry. There are a number of delis in the New York area that do it. We're starting to see promotions in the trade magazines."