The BBC has discovered that there are still hundreds of takeaways with low FSA hygiene scores available on Just Eat and Deliveroo. The BBC research found more than 400 outlets with an FSA rating of one – in need of “major improvement”. Although the delivery companies say they are committed to improving standards, ultimately any restaurant on the platform risks being tarred by the same brush as those with poor hygiene ratings.
This news comes five months on from the BBC Panorama investigation, which found discrepancies in what some restaurants were serving, compared to what they told customers. One restaurant was unable to provide basic, legally required, allergen information when asked by the reporter. They also found that more than 100 restaurants have hygiene ratings of zero, despite some being promoted by the app as the “crème de la crème” of takeaways in a particular area.
To our mind, this exemplifies the dangers of solely being present on a large aggregator platform like Just Eat. As a restaurant, you can’t control the quality of the other businesses and things like to what extent they comply to government regulations. Just Eat can offer support and training to the businesses on their platform, but at the end of the day it is the responsibility of the individual business to comply with important regulation like the EU and government’s allergen information rules.
This is why we believe operators should instead look to use a digital ordering provider like Preoday that allows businesses to retain their own brand experience and doesn’t charge commission. It is time to regain control and make sure you’re not potentially getting tarred with the same brush as other businesses you might not necessarily want to be associated with.
We like to talk about ourselves as the next step on from Just Eat. We see the platform
as the first generation of digital solutions for hospitality businesses, and we are the next. Paying commission to Just Eat, in order to grow your customer base and encourage people to discover you, works, but it 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 just go to Just Eat to find the cuisine they’re looking for.
Having your own solution, on the other hand, through a third party provider likes Preoday means that customers get to know you directly and you can gather and keep your customer data. Having your own platform is more financially sustainable for restaurants, either by building it yourself, or paying a monthly subscription for the platform and support service.
Realistically, many organisations do not want to spend the time and money developing a platform themselves. 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 and the power of standing out on their own, rather than being lost in the Just Eat crowd.
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.