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Best Apps & Ordering Systems for Takeaway & Food Delivery

Let’s look at your delivery and ordering system – how customers will order and receive their food, and put money into your bank account!

  1. Low Tech – Customers Phone You for Pickup or Delivery

Make sure you have a phone system, not just one number. That means ‘divert on busy’ and another person to pick up the call and take the order - easy to organise on a mobile or landline. The other order-taker can then email it to you if offsite, or enter the order on the POS if onsite, or if you can enter it on the POS remotely (useful to set this up).

This system can be ‘good enough’ if you have low volume – the main priority is not to frustrate people with voicemail or no answer, because they won’t call back. Texting customers is a great way to reach them in a group, using services like BurstSMS.

Have your menu visible on your website, or even as a simple Google Doc, so you can share the link if you email or text people. PDF menus are very hard to read on a phone, and should be avoided - everything should be mobile-friendly.

  1. Customers Use an Ordering App

These have exploded in popularity, and many new services have come online. You can set them up the quickly and without tech skills. Features you should be looking for in an app:

  • Integration with your POS system, to keep ordering simple for the kitchen, and integrated with all the orders going through
  • Integration with third party delivery driver services if available in your area
  • Easy editing so you can adjust menu prices and change photos
  • Able to be used for table ordering when this option is available again
  • No lock-in contracts – month by month payment is best
  • You have 100% access to all customer data, so you can reuse it
  • The app does not use your customer data to remarket suggestions about other restaurants or competitors
  • Easy phone payment using Apple or Google Pay, plus the ability to enter credit card details.
  • Fast support available by phone, chat or email

Ordering apps available in New Zealand include Mobi2Go, Online Restaurant, regulr, and more here.

Compare Fees: setup costs, monthly fee, % of sales, credit card cost %, fee per transaction - they can vary widely.

  1. Set Up E-commerce Options on your Website

This is an option for those who like to DIY. It will look and feel like an app, and is integrated with your website. Services that can create this for you include WooCommerce, Shopify and Wordpress plugins like GloriaFood. You have 100% control of the ordering and payment system. Here are some examples that do it well: 

Banh Mi Caphe

Blu Poké Shed

  1. Organise the Delivery

If customers are not ordering at the counter or collecting, you need to get the food delivered. You can use your own drivers (and keep staff employed) or in some areas, specialist delivery services may be available.

If you have room for it, kerbside pickup is popular but needs to be well-organised. Customers could text on arrival or you have someone waiting outside watching. There are many adaptions needed for restaurants and cafes to get into the takeaway and delivery game!

Make sure vehicles are fully insured for business use, and delivery staff are covered by ACC - check with your lawyer and insurance broker.

  1. Third Party Apps to Consider

Services like UberEats and Deliveroo are popular with customers, but the fees are very high – up to 35% of the menu price, plus other costs. Can you make money paying that? They are widely known and used, and you can get started very quickly. The huge increase in demand with the Coronavirus crisis has meant delivery may not be as reliable as you want, and you may get complaints.

Smart operators use these services for customer acquisition - when you send out an order, include a flyer in the delivery bag suggesting that next time the person orders from your website, where prices will be 10% cheaper. You have discounted slightly, but you are not paying 35%, and can remarket to these once they are in your system.

  1. Do your research

Ask the opinions of fellow cafe and restaurant owners on these different services. Active business owner groups on Facebook are very useful, and because they are tightly moderated, there’s no shouting or trivia. One of this is Cafe Owners NZ Forum for example.  

This article was written by SilverChef, a leading hospitality distributor in ANZ.