1st party vs. 3rd party ordering system

A point-of-view that every restaurant should understand

Now it’s common knowledge that every restaurant should offer their customers the convenience of online ordering. The good old days of the customer calling you to place an order is gone.

Do you know who do not want to call you anymore? Your customers

As we all know, restaurants now-a-days have online ordering in one form or another, but the key is to make sure that the ordering platform helps you retain your customers and grow your business. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference b/w 1st-party and 3rd-party online ordering systems.

While it’s not rocket science, it’s merely a point-of-view that’s largely ignored.

Examples for a first-party ordering system:

  • Telephone
  • Your website
  • Your mobile app

Examples of a 3rd party ordering system:

  • Eatnow/Menulog
  • UberEats
  • Other aggregators …

Just imaging the following for a moment:

  • When someone calls your store — you have them waiting for a minute and play the offers of other nearby restaurants.
  • When someone visits your website — you show them the ads of competing restaurants.
  • When someone downloads your mobile app — you tell them there is another pizza place nearby based on location.

Ridiculous isn’t it. That’s exactly what happens if you send your customer to a 3rd party ordering platform. For example, the moment you send your customer to EatNow, he will be shown 10 other offers on the face and by the time he locates your shop he has already been exposed to more restaurants than you had imagined.

More over once he signs-up for EatNow, he is no longer your customer from EatNow’s point-of-view, hence it’s only rightful for EatNow to send weekly promotional emails with every other option he has got on earth. From the marketing point-of-view,

3rd-party platforms actively display and promote other restaurants to your customer

So it all boils down to the fact that your should only recommend a first-party system to your customer. I’m not suggesting to hold on to your customer by keep him ignorant of other potential stores — it’s lame. But it’s equally foolish if you actively send him across to a different store and hope to be in business. Mind you, I’m not against EatNow. To clarify,

  • Will I list my restaurant on EatNow? — Yes
  • Will I let new customers finds my restaurant on EatNow? — Yes
  • Will I display EatNow posters around my store? — NO
  • Will I ask my existing customer to order with me on EatNow? — NO

Recommended 1st-party ordering system

While a website with online ordering would have been sufficient a few years back, in the era of smart-phones websites are not offering the rich user experience one would get from a mobile app. So

I would recommend having your own mobile app

Mobile App in the name of your restaurant will be ideal as it offers necessary convenience and also helps in customer retention.

But wait. I have bad news for you here. After Apple banned white-labelled apps it’s no longer as easy as it used to be for the restaurants to have their own app. Essentially it’s a blanket rule with just 13 words —

4.2.6 — Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected. Which simply translated to — No more mobile app for restaurants.

So we created Zagl — e-shopping mall a platform that would still give the benefits of having your own app and act as a first-party ordering system where no restaurants are shown to the customer up-front just like AppStore or Google Play.

For example, let’s say your are a customer of Joy Of India, Torrensville, the way it works is simple:

  1. Download Zagl App (available on AppStore and Google Play)
  2. Search ‘Joy Of India’ and click add. The shop permanently sticks to your home page.
  3. To place order click Joy Of India
Zagl is like having a folder of apps of your favourite shops

So if you are looking for a 1st-party ordering system for your cafe/restaurant, either invest in your own mobile app (likely an expensive option) or open your store on Zagl today.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash