Due to the coronavirus and lockdown measures, UK consumers are ordering food online like never before.
And while many fish and chip shops are opting for a delivery route, others still prefer the reassurance of handing over food themselves and are choosing a click and collect method.
To help chip shops pivot to an online ordering model, many companies have launched coronavirus deals where they’ve waivered the setup fee, put commission charges to one side, or done away with long contracts tying you in. But you’ll need to be quick to take up these offers as many are time-limited. FOODit‘s free setup offer expires at the end of May, for example.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that while you’ll be able to get set up with an online ordering system in just a matter of days, if you want an app as well – which is highly recommended as this puts you constantly on your customers’ smartphones – this will take up to two weeks at that’s purely how long Apple and Google take to approve the app.
When looking at mobile applications, make sure you understand if it will be a mobile app or a mobile website.
Few points to consider:
⭕ Mobile apps are far more superior and offer a lot more flexibility.
⭕ With mobile apps, it’s easy to treat users with a personalised experience.
⭕ In-app notifications are the notifications which users can only receive when they have opened an app.
⭕ The presence of an app on a user’s device helps influence the user’s perception about a brand, subconsciously.
⭕ A well-designed mobile app can perform actions much quicker than a mobile website.
As with delivery aggregators, the costs involved with click and collect will vary from platform to platform. We’ve compared a number of systems most widely used in the fish and chip industry here, although we would always say use these as a guide only. You may be able to negotiate better rates, especially if you have more than one site.
|Company (A-Z)||Set Up Costs||Monthly Fees||Other Fees||Additional Costs & Considerations|
|Flipdish – Self Serve||£0||n/a||Order Fee 7%, Card Fee +2.5%, Customer Fee per Transaction 50p||Printer £249|
|Flipdish – Managed||£345 for first location, £249 per additional location.||n/a||Order Fee based on volume, Card fee +2.5%, Customer Fee per Transaction 50p||Free Printer|
|FOODit||£0 (Normally £79 + VAT but being wavered until end of May)||n/a||10% +VAT||n/a|
|Hungrrr||£0 (Free covid-19 special offer for fish & chip shops)||From £75 per venue||n/a||n/a|
|Preoday||£0||From £49 per venue||N/A, Card fees are set by your chosen card provider.||No printer or tablet provided as Preoday can work with EPOS. Bear in mind this may be an additional cost.|
|U Just Cook||£395||From £20 per venue||Orders <£10 - 15p, Orders £10-£24.99 - 30p, Orders £25-£49.99 - 50p, Orders £50+ £1.00||Free Printer|
What you’ll want to do first is look at any extra costs, for example, is there a charge for hardware, such as a printer to print orders? Sites like U Just Cook automatically include this in their package whereas others like Hungrrr and Flipdish charge.
You’ll also need to consider whether the operating platforms work with your current EPOS system and set up a payment provider. Always check payment providers’ digital/card transaction fees (this will be a cost per transaction) and also how quickly the money is paid into your account as these can vary hugely.
Another area to consider is the features of each app, for example, in the current situation you will probably want to limit your click and collect service to a set amount of orders per day. Work out how many orders you can comfortably handle in a five or ten-minute time slot, allowing for enough time for customers to pass in and out to collect their food, and once the time slot is sold out you’ll want your platform to automatically offer the next available one. Make sure the app works for your business.
As far as we know at the moment, Preoday allows you to handle so many orders per hour, but we will update the article if we hear otherwise.
|Company (A-Z)||What They Say|
|Flipdish – Self Serve||A budget portal set up for those that know how to set it up and have the time. Provides a user friendly online ordering system for individual restaurants, multi-store chains, takeaways, delis, cafes, convenience stores and franchises.|
|Flipdish – Managed||A managed set up for those that don’t know how to set up and don’t have the time. Provides a user friendly online ordering system for individual restaurants, multi-store chains, takeaways, delis, cafes, convenience stores and franchises.|
|FOODit||Complete website which accepts orders and bookings. Unlimited support, no monthly maintenance fee, free POS|
|Hungrrr||Online and app food ordering system ideal for takeaway, restaurant and food businesses. Our system gives you a powerful e-commerce food ordering website as well as iOS (Apple) and Android apps all managed from a single easy to use system.|
|Preoday||A branded online portal linked to your website. Order analytics and loyalty scheme. Fully customisable Android & iOS apps. Supports both collection and delivery, EPoS, Loyalty, CRM, payment, and printer integration. Inside your existing app or we can provide the complete app. Tablet & Printer not provided as Preoday works with multiple systems, so if you don’t, have you must source.|
|U Just Cook||Online ordering system platform by Gloria Food, Hosted on Amazon AWS and linked to payment provider Stripe. Six month Facebook launch, and other marketing POS.|
For the customer, online ordering platforms are exactly that but for you, the operator, they are much more sophisticated. For example, by linking with your till system you can see what products you are running low on. If you are down to your last few tubs of mushy peas, you can switch that option off and customers simply can’t order them. This saves time and hassle having to contact and refund customers who have already placed orders.
Depending on who you use, you can either have full control over edits, such as price changes, delivery costs and opening times, or you can leave it up to your systems provider. It’s whatever works best for you, just bear in mind if you’re in charge, any changes are instant and will probably save you a few pounds too.
Most importantly, with your own branded website and app you have complete access to your customer ordering data, rather than a third party aggregator owning and using it. This means you can see your customers’ order history and market to them directly.
With click and collect being new to many shops, you’ll naturally have questions in the initial stages so always check the after-sales support. Some providers will gladly guide you through the system, the printer set-up, etc., and even offer you marketing support – which is also key in ensuring your click and collect service is a success. Remember, always ask to see a demo so you can understand a system’s full capability and then ask who else is already using it and speak to them to see how they are getting on.