We are on all leading platforms

Australian Restaurants have an online ordering problem

To give a bit of a context here, online food ordering in Australia is dominated by Menulog (recently acquired by JustEat). You can pretty much order food from any restaurant in your area. It’s really a simple and effective business model, one that works for both the customer and the restaurant. Except for one problem — high commissions for the restaurant.

Menulog charges roughly around 15% per order which is quite high in a low margin food industry

And the commission go all the way up to 45% if you are ready to pay more for a favourable position in the search results. This bidding process gives unfair advantage for the bidders against the restaurants located in the locality of the customer.

High commissions coupled with bidding for top spot has led to a lot of resentment in the restaurant owners community

As a solution to the problem, restaurants’ in Australia are seeking out to have their own online ordering system such as having their own app or signing up for web ordering systems like FROLO. Most of these restaurants’ believe that getting a first-party online ordering system would solve their Menulog problem and get disappointed when orders do not show up on their new system.

The problem lies in the thinking that:

If I have my own system then my customers will order directly using it

Nope. Most restaurant’s choose to stick with Menulog even after they get their own ordering system and continue to hang Menulog posters (not to mention Eatnow, Deliveroo, UberEats etc) around their store. So the message sent to the customer is this:

We are on all leading platforms and choose as you please

A customer exposed to a message like this is very unlikely to order via. your system because you never insisted that in the first place.


Solution:

I’m not suggesting you quit Menulog once you get your own online ordering system. All I’m arguing for is be mindful of the message you send your customer’s way.

The most basic action you can take is to simple remove all the posters or 3rd party platforms hanging around and only promote your own ordering system in-store

While it is a good start, this itself is not enough to make the transition happen. Change happens over time and it takes persistent effort on your side for the campaign to be effective. Converting your customers from Menulog to your own ordering system is not a event that happens in a tick but a process that you have to commit to.

Every order that goes out of your store is an effective vehicle to communicate with your customer. At Zagl, we recommend our clients to drop a card along with every order with a message that the customer can empathise with the restaurant. And it reads like this:

Help us save on commissions — order directly with us

This is a simple and a powerful message. It’s an appeal from the owner about a problem that he is facing while urging the customer to take action on his part to be part of the solution. This is also accompanied by step-by-step instructions on how to place an order directly with the restaurant.

Saving on commissions is the very intention you sought out for your own ordering system in the first place, now its time you also communicate that to your customer and at the end of the day that’s what matters.


For newbies — Zagl e-Shopping Mall let’s you setup first party mobile ordering for your cafe/restaurant on a mobile app for free. For more information checkout the getting started guide.

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash