According to Henide, “Just Eat’s labour-intensive operations could be soon substituted for low-cost, personalised online order infrastructure (equipped with analytics and advertising capabilities that allows targeted ads via Facebook and Google-ad websites).” We think it’s about time.
Just Eat has done well to bring new customers to quick service restaurants and takeaways online, but now restaurants need to take the next step to claim these customers as their own. As an aggregator it has helped restaurants take a first step to engaging with customers online and through mobile.
The next step on from Just Eat
However, it does not go far enough. We see Just Eat as the first generation of digital solutions for hospitality businesses, established during the dot com boom, but the industry is now ready for the second generation. Businesses are under pressure to find an alternative to using aggregators. This is where a proprietary mobile and online ordering solution becomes the logical next step.
Where Just Eat falls down compared to an in-house solution is both its business model and the lack of insight and control it offers to clients. Paying commission to Just Eat, as a way to grow your customer base and encourage diners to discover you, works, but it severely cuts into margins in the long run. Moreover, aggregators like Just Eat don’t help companies grow sustainably through making their customer base loyal. Most people don’t remember the brands they interact with on Just Eat, they only remember Just Eat.
Why you should own your own customers
A proprietary solution, on the other hand, means that the company can gather and keep its customer data. Having their own platform is more financially sustainable for restaurants, either by building it themselves, or paying a monthly subscription for the platform and support service. Realistically, many organisations do not want to spend the money and several years developing a platform and this is when an external provider with a tried and tested platform can provide an ideal solution. Of course, many businesses will still want to use Just Eat to attract customers, but they should also consider what the alternatives can bring.
When giving advice to Just Eat Henide concludes that, “Just Eat’s core operations are scalable, and as a matter of priority, management should focus on bolstering their offering, mimicking instead the approach of Preoday and ChowNow, in helping businesses to create value themselves and via other (potentially more profitable) channels.” We, for one, hope that Just Eat does not take his advice!
It’s not as catchy as: ‘When is a door not a door?’ (answer, when it’s a jar) but it speaks to the idea that in-car collection, and the technologies that support it, are flexible enough to bend to the needs of a business and its guests.
Delivery can be daunting to the uninitiated, and it might be tempting to sign up with a third-party ordering aggregator that offers the service, such as UberEats, but other options could suit your business and brand better. Here we present three different ‘levels’ of delivery, starting with the most basic – and cheapest method: doing it yourself.