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What are the benefits and challenges of offering takeaway and delivery for operators?

What are the benefits and challenges of offering takeaway and delivery for operators?

Just because digital ordering, takeaway and delivery is ‘on-trend’, that doesn’t mean it should be adopted without thought. It would be careless to not explore the benefits and challenges of offering a digital ordering and takeaway service before diving headfirst and making an investment in a technology or people.

What are the benefits and challenges of offering takeaway and delivery for operators?

Benefits
Offering digital ordering and takeaway is a great way of generating repeat business; people are more likely to place frequent, repeat orders for their favourite takeaway than they are to sit-in and dine at the same restaurant time and again.

Managed properly, mobile ordering will also reduce wait-times and increase the speed with which customers are able to order and receive takeaway, it will make fast food faster, ordering more precise, and customers more satisfied. Reducing queues also means that more customers can be served, therefore more money through the till!

When a restaurant offers customers the option to order takeaway or delivery through a branded website or app it benefits from the access to data it grants it. Unfortunately the same can’t always be said when directing orders through a third party aggregator like Just Eat (which doesn’t supply customer data to clients).

With its own platform, every time a customer places an order, the operator can gather data on that person – who they are, what they bought and how frequently they buy it. That data can then be used to create effective marketing and loyalty programmes and to make business decisions that lead to increased sales and efficiency.

Challenges
While mobile ordering can increase sales and enhance the customer experience, without a well thought-out marketing strategy customers, and potential customers, won’t know about the app and the restaurant won’t maximise its ROI.

Customer communication is critical when implementing a new ordering and delivery system. Businesses must consider many aspects, such as, who is going to let the customer know they’ve received their order and the time when it will be ready? If something goes wrong, a designated staff member must be in charge of communicating the issue to the customer so they don’t arrive at the store or restaurant expecting to be able to pick up their order, only to find themselves disappointed. The tracking and managing of customer communication may require operational adjustment and will need thorough planning.

If a restaurant hasn’t offered delivery before, it can be daunting. One approach is to support pick-up first, then step into offering a delivery service. Get the basics right first. When ready, there are plenty of tools and companies that are solely focused on facilitating delivery, helping it to run smoothly and integrate with the existing ordering platform.

Ultimately, a successful ordering service enhances the guest experience, deepens customer relationships, drives more revenue and increases profit margins. It’s important that a restaurant’s people and operations are ready to provide the ordering, delivery or takeaway, experience their customers expect.

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