Business, Startups

Why Online Food Ordering is Vital for Food Businesses

Smartphones have changed the behaviour of millions of people around the world. We chat, we email, we shop, we date and we order food online. If you’re a food business not yet offering an online food ordering service, you’re going to be left behind.

There’s an app for…ordering food online

The smartphone revolution has touched just about industry sector there is. When a certain global tech giant first used the slogan ‘there’s an app for that’ all the way back in 2009, little did anyone realise quite the impact those apps would have.

The takeaway and restaurant trade has been one of the most severely disrupted by the development of such apps. Disruption in an industry is not always a bad thing either, unless you are one of those businesses still fighting against the inevitable.

Ordering food online is big business. The world’s leading takeaway ordering service, Just Eat, first launched in Denmark in 2001. Since then, it has grown to operate in 13 countries and with a staggering annual revenue of nearly £250 million. Their website and app have around 1.6 million registered users regularly ordering food online.
While Just Eat are the market leaders when it comes to ordering food online, there are other players who also take sizeable bites out of the market. The company behind the brand Hungry House, one of Just Eat’s main competitors, was valued at £2.1 billion in 2015. The reason these two companies are so successful financially is because on every single order, they charge the business a commission.

If there is one thing these figures tell us, it’s that food businesses can no longer ignore the mobile marketplace. Online food ordering is massive business.

Apps for restaurants

Of course, the advent of mobile applications for smartphones is not limited purely to selling takeaway food. Restaurants are seeing the benefits from having mobile apps also. The main priority for those businesses is often table reservations.

Allowing users to view menus and reserve a table online can often be that motivation they need to actually leave the house and go to a restaurant. It puts the power to make a reservation for that evening, or the coming weekend, in to their pockets. Whether they are commuting home from work, on a break or filling some down time in the evenings, they can be viewing your business and making a reservation.

There is a telling statistic that tells us just how important it is for restaurants to offer a table booking option online and through an app. That is that 30% of all table bookings are actually made while businesses are closed. This means that restaurants who have adopted online bookings are almost coming in to the realm of passive income, in that they are attracting and securing business while the manager is at home tucked up in bed.

Getting your food business online

If you own a restaurant or takeaway and you’re reading this article, perhaps you’ve now been convinced how vital online food ordering is, but you do not know where to start?

Luckily, there are companies who can help you, and it’s not just those big ones we discussed earlier. UK start-up ‘Brand A Way’ can offer your takeaway or restaurant a fully functioning mobile app what is also white-labelled, meaning it will carry your branding, not that of any other business. Furthermore, the apps are commission free, setting it apart from Just Eat and Hungry House.

Giving customers the power to do business with you from the comfort of their own home is now vital if you want your business to thrive. Online food ordering is here to stay.

Guest Author: Salar Eftekhary is the Co-founder and Director of Brand A Way, the UK start-up that is helping takeaways and restaurants save money on the high commission fees of the big directory based online ordering services.

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