Cooperation with online ordering portals - what are the pros and cons?

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Many people use the internet to do their shopping and this also applies to buying takeaway meals. Entering a website or an application to order online is fast, easy, modern and above all very convenient. A restaurant that wants to stay on the market should think about modern marketing tools. One of the possibilities is cooperation with portals offering online ordering.

Online ordering portals - what do they offer to restaurants?

Online ordering systems are a very big and popular marketing tool. Taking advantage of well-known brands of online ordering systems allows you to:

  • reach more customers - searching on the platform will allow the customer to find our restaurant.
  • take advantage of platform marketing - platforms advertise on the internet, radio and television, so these brands are very popular and recognizable.
  • strengthening your brand in the local market - by having more customers, more people will reach our restaurant.
  • improve the ordering and delivery process - eliminating the system of telephone orders and writing on cards leads to waste of time and many mistakes.
  • showing customers pictures of our dishes - pictures of appetizing dishes on a modern website encourage them to make a purchase.
  • development of the restaurant's marketing - online ordering platforms also offer advertising the restaurant on social media or sending marketing content to customers.

Each of the well-known platforms has different pricing offers - it can be an initial fee plus a percentage of subsequent profits, a monthly subscription, or no initial fee but a commission on revenue. The commission often depends on the number or amount of orders.

What offers do well-known online ordering platforms have?

When choosing an online ordering portal with which you want to cooperate, you should look at the offers of several different companies, not just one. It is worth comparing offers and calculating annual costs and predictable profits. Of course, if you have more money, you can use several platforms to reach even more customers. However, if we choose one, it is worth thinking carefully and also reading user reviews.

One of the well-known companies offering online ordering sites offers restaurants three basic packages of cooperation:

  • Basic - 149 PLN net per month up to 90 orders per month (1788 PLN net per year),
  • Premium - 499 PLN net per month with no limit of orders per month (5988 PLN net per year),

Another company offers 49 PLN net for setting up a website plus commission. The customer has a choice of three levels of commission:

  • up to 60 orders - 6.8% net (e.g. 40 orders x 40 PLN = 1600 PLN net x 6.8% = almost 109 PLN net),
  • 61 to 400 orders - 5.8% net (e.g. 150 orders x 40 PLN = 6000 PLN net x 5.8% = 348 PLN net),
  • more than 400 orders - 3.8% net (e.g. 450 orders x 40 PLN = 18000 PLN net x 3.8% = 648 PLN net),

Online ordering portals - what are their disadvantages?

In addition to the many pros described earlier, well-known online ordering portals also have quite a few cons:

  • The biggest one is that by giving customers an online ordering site on some well-known portal we are actually advertising that platform and not ourselves. The customer enters the platform and sees their logo, the design of the site, and other company-specific features such as the color scheme. Our restaurant website is just one of thousands of websites.
  • The risk is also to become dependent on the platform. As part of the subscription and commission on profits we get an online ordering site but if we find at some point that the costs are high or we are not interested in cooperation then suddenly we lose the ability to offer the customer the opportunity to order online.
  • Lack of own customer database is another disadvantage. We do not have access to all the data and can not contact the customer directly and thus lose the opportunity to build relationships. It's the platform we use that has our customer base and can send them marketing content advertising themselves or other restaurants.
  • Most portals in addition to a fixed monthly fee also charge commissions on orders made in the system. As a result, the cost of using well-known platforms with online orders can generate costs ranging from several hundred to even several thousand zlotys per month.
  • Restaurants count on a large number of orders through a well-known online ordering portal, but in addition to showing existing customers a link to the ordering page, we have no real impact on the number of orders on the site. It is the platform that decides to advertise a particular restaurant in a particular region.
  • The aforementioned competition on well-known online ordering platforms is also a problem. Customers use different restaurants on the site. By giving your customers access to the platform you also give them access to other competing restaurants.
  • The above examples of offers show that the cost of annual cooperation with a well-known online ordering platform can be as high as several thousand zlotys - for this price you can commission a software company to create an individual website with the ability to order online.

How to work with online ordering platforms to get only benefits?

Just as we pointed out above, the well-known online ordering platforms come with quite a few downsides in addition to the pros. Therefore, you need to take actions that will minimize the risks and bad sides of such cooperation and lead to increased profits. An example of such actions can be:

  • It is best if a restaurant has its own online ordering website and treats cooperation with portals as an addition increasing profits. By selling mainly from its own website the restaurant advertises its brand.
  • It is better not to place links to external online ordering websites on your website. Then you lose your own customers and your own sources of income and redirect them to a site where you have to share the profit.
  • To take-away orders completed from an external platform it is worth adding a flyer of your restaurant so that the next time the customers order, they use the individual restaurant website and not an external platform.
  • It is worth at the beginning to familiarize yourself with the offer of the platform and check whether you conclude an agreement for a year or less and whether you can resign from it at any time. If it turns out that the costs turn out to be too high and profits small it is good to have the option to terminate cooperation with a month's notice rather than after a year.

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Izabela Praska

Editor of FooDeliver.pl, passionate about gastromarketing and good cuisine, marketer. FooDeliver.pl product specialist.

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