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The City Customer and the Country Customer

The City Customer and the Country Customer

It makes sense that advances in technology are initially experienced by those who are city or large-town based. Mostly because that is where innovations tend to start out. Whether it's mobile food ordering and delivery or an experiential pop-up, city folk get their hands on it first. Cities are also better equipped to provide profitability due to population density and are a more natural choice for entrepreneurial start-ups.

The City Customer and the Country Customer

But what about those some 11 million people that live in rural areas of the UK? Are brands like Deliveroo mistaking their lack of access as a lack of interest and deliberately leaving them out in the cold? Are they not worthy customers also?

As a person that calls deepest-darkest Kent her home, I’ve been known to open up an aggregator food-ordering app, if only to see what was available in the area. The answer has always been nothing. Deliveroo and Uber Eats are forever ‘Coming Soon’ and even Just Eat offers my town a measly two options. Tops Pizza or an Indian takeaway with a minimum £30 order cost.

Thankfully I know what my favourite eateries are in my local area so I can go to their website and order online or through their app. Or can I?

Unfortunately, there are still alarmingly few restaurants, in my area at least, that have cottoned onto the benefits and success having a digital ordering option brings. As a customer I, just like my city counterparts, like to peruse a menu on my mobile. I enjoy the ease of placing my order in a few clicks rather than having to phone, wait for the line to be free, and then communicate my options slowly down a crackling phoneline. Was that chow mien or chop suey sir? It leads me to question, why am ‘I’ and my rural counterparts being left behind?

So, I’m issuing a rallying cry today.

Operators in towns, villages and hamlets of the UK, it’s time to take control. Don’t sit there waiting for Deliveroo to come to you, even if it does, the associated fees will drive down any profit there is to be made.

Launch your own ordering web portal or app, the technology is here and ready for you. Hold the power of customer data in your own hands and improve guest satisfaction by offering new routes to your product. Build relationships, encourage loyalty and earn more money.

Yes, restaurants and bars in the city have access to the technologies that attract fresh custom, but so do you. You know how tough it is to reach new customers, especially those beyond a five-minute walk. Having an owned platform is the answer and its one every rural – and city-based – venue should consider.

Charlotte Bass, Head of Marketing, UK & Ireland

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