Online food ordering system – this term might have seemed like a flicker from a fanciful future about a couple of decades ago. Today, it is not an exaggeration to say that hotels and restaurants cannot survive without an online avatar of their business.
There have been a lot of factors that have fueled the growth of online food ordering. The first one can be attributed to the growth of mobile usage and the demand for food in comfort and confines of users’ homes. The intensity of the above factors can be attributed to the fact that an average American has at least one app like UberEats on their smartphones.
Another factor that contributed to the sudden growth of the online food ordering system is the COVID-19 crisis. Restaurants cannot any longer thrive on their dining facilities. They will have to, owing to the restrictions imposed on people in terms of avoiding stepping outside and social distancing, explore additional avenues for making a profit. Thankfully, for most restaurants, the online food ordering revolution happened at the perfect time.
The Lucrative Numbers
The growth and relevance of food ordering online can be represented in astounding numbers. In 2019, close to 1 billion people used online ordering systems, and that amounts to a little less than a seventh of the world’s population. This number is all set to go well beyond the 1.5 billion marks in 2020, as reported by Statista.
Beyond these numbers, an online food ordering system presents a lot of advantages to a restaurant. They help in attracting and retaining customers from an external perspective. Internally, they help in addressing payroll issues for tipped employees and inventory management. Overall, an online food ordering system can help manage and optimize restaurant operating costs.
More often than not, a food delivery app doubles up as an online food ordering system. It can help perform all the tasks listed above. What makes it even better is that instead of investing a lot of time and money in building your food ordering system from scratch, you can use white label clones to build an app like UberEats, in a very short time.
The success of businesses like UberEats, Swiggy, GrubHub, Zomato, Seamless, Foodpanda, and Postmates is a resounding testimonial to the intensity of receptiveness of the market with respect to food delivery apps.
How do food ordering systems work?
If you look at it from an outsider perspective, the way in which any food delivery app functions is quite simple and straightforward.
A customer has a mobile application using which they can view the menu of your restaurant and if you offer an aggregator service, the restaurants that have tied up with you. They can choose their favorite food items from the menu and add them to the cart. Once they confirm the order, the payment can be made either through digital payment methods, or in some cases, a customer can opt to pay cash on delivery.
The restaurant to which the order was given is notified via in-app push alerts. The restaurant starts to process the food and pack it, getting it ready for delivery.
The delivery request, parallel to the restaurant notification, is also sent to independent delivery executives in the vicinity. The delivery executive uses their vehicle to arrive at the restaurant and pick up the order.
The delivery executive is guided by the GPS-enabled navigation systems, enabling them to reach the precise location of the customer and deliver the food order.
Where does the money lie?
No business is complete without its profit. A food ordering app can make money from multiple avenues. An app dedicated to a single restaurant can also partner with a few restaurants in the vicinity for an added cost. You can charge not only for the listing but also a commission for every delivery that you execute for your partner restaurants.
Although most deliveries can be made available for free, in certain conditions, the business can charge a small delivery fee from the customer.
You can also advertise on your app by using third-party advertising programs like Google Ads. Additionally, restaurants can also consider engaging in third-party sponsorships with either the partner restaurants or even other businesses in the vicinity.
The vital features
For the other process to take place, there are a few features that need to be uncompromisingly made available for the parties involved – the customer, the delivery executive, and the restaurant. An administrator should be able to oversee all the activities of the app ecosystem.
The customer should be able to easily search the different restaurants and the menu. The menu should also feature a search option where they can easily find their favorite eatables. Likewise, there should also be a filter and sort feature where users can zero down on their favorite restaurant to order from.
The other mechanics should be easy, simple, and straightforward. It should be remembered that difficulty in executing order-placement might affect the conversion rates.
The GPS can be considered the epicenter of the on-demand revolution. With this technology, customers should be able to track the delivery of the food parcel in real-time. The GPS should also help in estimating a time of arrival for their food package.
The customer should be able to make payments using digital payment methods. To facilitate this, the app should be integrated with versatile payment service providers to handle all payment methods, including but not limited to credit cards, debit cards, and wallets.
The driver should easily register for the services and update their information like the full name, the address, the email, and the contact number. There should also be an authentication procedure where the identity of the driver is verified through identity cards issued by the government.
The driver should be notified about new order requests. They should have the liberty to either accept or reject the order requests.
Just like how it is for the customer, the driver should also be guided by the GPS navigation assistance to reach the exact location of the customer.
The restaurant should be able to manage their menu, the prices, and the time taken for delivery. If they feel that an order might take longer to execute, they can also reject the order.
The restaurant should be able to manage their inventory and stock. They should keep the app updated on the availability of items given on the menu so users do not order it, something that is not available and later gets disappointed.
Restaurants view online food delivery as an extension of their business. Therefore, the profit should quickly be credited to the bank account of the restaurant.
It should be remembered that if you have an app that caters exclusively to your restaurant, you are both the administrator and the restaurant in terms of app features.
The administrator should be able to manage, add, remove, and update restaurants from the list of available restaurants. They should have the power to disable users and drivers based on their malicious behavior. They can also check the menu pricing and the profit earned either by day or by the week or month.
The administrator is also responsible for customer relationship management. They should be able to access the support requests of the users and restaurants. They should either address it by themselves or delegate it to the support team to handle the issue.
They should have access to analytics that will help them get reports and insights on the performance of the app, the restaurant, and the delivery executives. This will help them enable them to make intelligent decisions in terms of promotions and process/operation optimization.
They should also be able to manage the payments and commissions. They should be bestowed with the power to make payments and bank deposits for the delivery executives of the restaurants. Overall, they are responsible for upkeeping the sanity and sanctity of the app.
The benefits rendered for a restaurant
The most obvious benefit of an online food ordering system for the restaurant lies in its additional revenue. However, in addition to that, there are a few other benefits that enhance the brand, the presence, and the profitability of the restaurant through an online food ordering system.
Online food ordering not only boosts sales but also helps in the analysis of data. With an online food ordering system, you can group your orders either by the time of the day, the cuisine, the area that generates the highest number of voters, and the average order value. All these insights would be useful for the restaurant in introducing new dishes or crafting their promotions and discounts.
An online food ordering system also doubles up as a customer management system. It is, in essence, a CRM that can help you handle customer queries and create promotions and discounts catered to each persona of customers.
How to go about building one?
Creating an online food ordering system is all about having answers to a few important questions.
- You will need to be clear on the objectives of your platform.
- The functionality that you decide for your app should be in line with your objectives.
- The budget is bound to be one of the most important factors. Create an appropriate budget, keeping in mind all the expenses including but not limited to the development, testing, marketing, and operations.
- Find the right development solution. This is common in most cases, the most expensive part of the entire cycle of building the food ordering platform.
- Market your platform in the right areas.
Diving deeper into development
As we have seen in the previous section, developing your food ordering system is, in most cases, quite an expensive affair. Many food delivery companies and restaurants choose to either hire their own team of developers or partner with an app development company to build an app like UberEats.
As a cost-effective alternative, you can even consider using white label solutions. These white label clones of leading food delivery applications are easy to customize and are available off-the-shelf. This ensures that you do not spend a lot of time and money to develop the apps, both of which are crucial when it comes to the success and profitability of your business.
All you need to do is get in touch with an app development company that specializes in white label UberEats Clone. They will deliver the app to you and customize it according to your business requirement. You are all set to start delivering profit and success to your business with these white label solutions!