Local lockdowns, social distancing measures and curfews are all enormous blows for our hospitality industry. While there’s no doubt we’re living in uncertain times, one can find reassurance in businesses who’ve sought innovative ways to reach their customers and adapt to this new situation. For instance, Pizza Pilgrims developed ‘at home’ meal kits so loyal customers could still get their fix during the lockdown and Crepe Affaire enabled Pickup to reopen safely. Even if your business hasn’t ever offered takeaway before, with the current restrictions on dine-in operations, there’s never been a better time to seize the opportunities afforded by pickup!
It may seem daunting to embrace new technologies and methodologies. Fortunately, through an intuitive, reliable and secure mobile Order & Pay solution, introducing a collection service can be done quickly, cheaply and with minimal disruption to existing operations.
Whether you want to call it pickup, takeout, takeaway, collection or click & collect; ultimately, they’re different names for the same service: allowing your customers to place and pay for orders, and arrange a time to come to you and collect them at their convenience. While there’s never been a more pressing time to adapt your business for pickup, it’s also worth considering a long-term collection strategy.
Here are five reasons why click-and-collect will benefit your business:
1. It’s more cost-effective than delivery.
For operators who’ve never offered a ‘takeaway’ service before, knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. Big-name delivery aggregators may offer a seemingly convenient solution to get your food and drink to customers, but with their much-publicised high commission fees, their ‘assistance’ comes at the cost of your profit margins.
Pickup on your terms incurs none of these costs. Wi5 can offer a mobile Order & Pay solution that allows you to manage digital menus and payments for table service and collection at less than the cost of most aggregators, and with the added bonus of zero set-up costs.
2. Keep your customers.
The person ordering from you via a delivery aggregator just became their customer, not yours; irrespective of whether they’re buying your food for the first time or they’re a lifelong fan. Data and insights relating to that customer will go on to help the aggregator, but chances are you’ll never benefit; most likely quite the opposite. You work hard to win business. You deserve to keep your customers.
Encouraging your customers to order pickup or delivery via aggregators’ marketplaces runs the risk of them being enticed away at the point of purchase by a competitor, their decisions influenced by an algorithm you have no control of or may not even be aware of!
Using a third-party for delivery also means you have zero control over the state in which your food is delivered, the speed it arrives or that all-important interaction with the customer. However unjustly, most people ordering food via an aggregator app don’t make a distinction between the restaurant and delivery company, so any lousy service from these aggregators ultimately reflects poorly on your business.
Those willing to risk the above to benefit from aggregators’ ability to drive traffic might wish to view them as a customer acquisition channel. In order to continue to grow and develop your business, you might consider moving newly acquired customers over to your own channels ASAP, where you can retain them yourself. Take the power back: gather insights into your customers’ behaviours so you understand their wants and needs and can more effectively manage your marketing and loyalty programmes to ensure the customer experience is what it should be and representative of your business.
3. Benefit from upselling.
Since COVID hit, myriad solutions have appeared out of nowhere to capitalise on the opportunity and offer some form of mobile ordering. However, unless it’s a brilliant experience for both customers and staff, it will ultimately fail, losing you customers and revenue at a time when every penny counts.
At Wi5, we’ve invested very heavily in design to enable operators to display beautifully presented menus to customers. By showcasing starters, sides, modifiers, specials and desserts, you can highlight higher-margin items and easily increase ATV. We even have features allowing you to schedule menus, such as Sunday Lunch options (on a Sunday, obvs!), or as a way to categorise promotions, such as Happy Hour.
4. Customers already know what to do.
There’s no need to worry about educating customers regarding pickup. Thanks to well-known QSR brands and delivery aggregators, such as JustEat, your customers are already well-practised at using their phones to browse menus and then order and pay for their food. And with clear and intuitive user experience and no need to create an account, they’ll find Wi5 very easy to use.
Once you have a solution in place, all you need to do is advertise your pickup menu (share the URL or a QR code) through your usual social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and of course, your link to it through your existing website, and your customers will know exactly what to do!
5. Reduces wastage
Your customers will be able to browse your menus and submit their orders themselves, which means less opportunity for error due to miscommunication, resulting in happier eaters and less food (and money!) being wasted.