For restaurants and takeaways, the face of food delivery has changed quite significantly in the past decade. It's almost unbelievable to think that we once relied upon over-the-phone orders to make our sales, and yet for quite a while, that was solely how many businesses in the food industry earned their profits.
It began with the internet...
When the internet was invented, it allowed takeaways and restaurants to make their own online websites, where they could add in their own ordering pages and allow people to make their menu selections online. People could also pay for their orders online, reducing in-house cash payments and making the ordering process more convenient for both businesses and customers.
Online delivery marketplaces
Then came the online marketplaces for food delivery, which allowed takeaway businesses to input their menus onto an online platform that handled their sales, taking a slice of the overall profits for their favor. These marketplaces are still used today, and some of them even handle delivery for their restaurant clients.
While there's no denying the convenience in this, especially as these marketplaces reach such large audiences, that 10 or 20% cut that they take from every sale is a little insulting.
Moving on in 2020
The likes of Just Eat and Uber Eats will probably never go anywhere anytime soon, as they're unquestionably a handy tool for takeaways to make use of. But going forward, it's looking more and more possible that takeaways can make an impressive number of online sales without the need for these websites - using their own in-house apps.
Food ordering apps are refreshingly easy to put together nowadays. You can make an app just like you can make a basic website, using a DIY app builder with drag and drop functions to put the whole thing together in a matter of minutes. Apps are generally free to make; there's just a small monthly running cost to keep them online.
The advantages of a food ordering app are fairly self-explanatory. Not only are you offering your customers a simple way to access your menu and order your food from their home screen, you can also encourage customer loyalty by tracking their orders on your app and offering free or discounted meals after so many orders or so much money spent.
It certainly seems to 2020 is the year that food delivery apps are taking off. Many takeaways and restaurants are advertising their own apps for the simplest and most convenient way to order from their menus. While it's unlikely that takeaways will be able to target all customers with their apps, repeat customers who make weekly orders are likely to see the appeal in being able to use an app to quickly make an order from their phone.
So, the question is, should you use a food delivery app for your takeaway? It's definitely an option worth considering. You may want to make an app, market it well, and give it up to a year to see how it works for you. You can then decide whether it's worth continuing after this trial period.