Pivoting to takeaway... FAST!

Pivoting to takeaway... FAST!

Takeaway only? How?! Finding the best delivery partner to work with and fast!

If you own a restaurant or café, the odds are that you have had to change the way you do business in 2020.

Many venues had to move quickly to provide takeaway and delivery meals to stay in business and cater to customers who were keen to enjoy their favourite food even though they were in lockdown.

At this moment in time, London is in tier 2, meaning you can serve food in your establishment until 10 pm. However, there is the risk that the Government could move London into a higher tier in the next few weeks and dine-in will no longer be an option.

If you currently do not offer delivery, it may be something you may be keen to consider moving forward. In this article, we will look at the potential delivery partners available and how you can encourage as many people as possible to order takeaway from you.

Just Eat or Deliveroo?

There are quite a few delivery partners out there at the moment, but the two leading players on the market are Just Eat and Deliveroo. Both of these services have over a third of the market share each.

If you ask anyone to name a delivery partner, chances are they will say 'Just Eat'. Just Eat has gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 2001. The company bought out competitor Hungry House in 2018 and is currently enjoying a successful television and radio campaign fronted by hip-hop star Snoop Dogg.

Deliveroo was created in 2013 when founder Will Shu moved to London. He found that there were a lot of amazing restaurants, but that hardly any of them provided delivery. Similarly to Just Eat, Deliveroo is growing year-on-year, with the company achieving a staggering 100,000% revenue growth for the fourth year in a row!

How to sign up

It's easy enough to sign up on both platforms; all you do is enter your restaurant's details and upload relevant certification (for example, your hygiene rating certificate). If you're accepted, you'll be sent a tablet and wireless printer so you'll be able to access all your online orders.

You'll also receive marketing materials like stickers and have your delivery menu added to the respective website.

Things do move quickly. For example, you can enter your details on Deliveroo, and if you're accepted you can be up and running in seven days!

Setting up as a restaurant or café on Just Eat

Just Eat claims that restaurants that sign up receive an average of 4,000 orders through the service a year. That's potentially a lot of additional income!

Just Eat charges a 'starter fee' of £295 to get set up on its system. You don't have to pay this money up front; it's taken off the top of the orders you receive until it's paid off. It then charges a commission rate of 14% on every order as well as an admin fee of 50p. However, Just Eat recommend that you pass this admin fee onto your customers to cover your costs.

Setting up as a restaurant or café on Deliveroo

The advantage that Deliveroo has over Just Eat and other similar platforms is that it has its own established network of delivery drivers you can use if you don't have your own. Unlike Just Eat, it also does not charge a setup fee.

Deliveroo does charge a higher commission than Deliveroo though. Rates vary depending on whether you use its delivery drivers or your own, but rates are usually between 20% and 25% commission. Deliveroo is a lot more covert about rates than Just Eat is.

Deliveroo did reduce its commission fees to 5% at the start of the pandemic if restaurants used their own delivery drivers, so there is the possibility the company could do this again in the future.

What other alternatives are there?

If you want to offer takeaway but don't want to put money in the pockets of companies like Just Eat or Deliveroo, there are other options available.

According to app creator Flipdish, 70% of customers would order directly with a restaurant if it meant the restaurant would save on fees. You can use this to your advantage.

Why not look into creating your own website and app for customers to order from? If you have a little digital marketing knowledge you can set this up yourself or alternatively, ask a web developer to do this for you.

If you already have a website, there are plugins and extensions you can use to give customers the option to order and pay online.

Once you are up and running, you can promote your website or app on your menu or through social media. Your customers get the convenience of ordering online, and you make more profit!

Which delivery service is best? Is it the right option for me?

The process for setting up on both platforms is reasonably identical. The real difference is fees and commission. Just Eat demands an additional payment before you sign up, but Deliveroo takes more commission.

If you do want to go down the delivery service route, we'd recommend that you sit down and work out how much it will cost you. If signing up will leave you out of pocket, then it may not be the best option.

If you can afford to pay a little commission, we'd recommend trying one and seeing how you get on with it. If you find you're not getting much trade, you can always press pause and look into other options.

Whichever delivery service you go for, we would recommend that you do look having your own online ordering website or app. This way, you have full control over your orders and keep more of the money you earn.

If you get all of your business on one delivery platform and it suddenly decides to double the commission it takes from your orders, this may put your business in a bit of a bind.


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