Starting An Online Takeaway? Here Are A Few E-Tips For Success

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The instant food takeaway industry in New Zealand is booming, with over 160,000 curries ordered on Menulog in 2019. During first three months of lockdown, over 40,000 curries were ordered alone by Kiwis.

According to a survey performed by YouGov Galaxy Research utilising data and insights from Menulog, which has 900 eateries on its platform locally, almost 1.2 million Kiwis order takeaway food every month. (An insatiable App-etite: Online food delivery report | Scoop News, 2018)

According to Global Data, a London-based insights firm, the yearly increase in New Zealand’s takeout delivery sector will be 6.7 percent by 2021, more than double the growth anticipated for dining out at restaurants.

A basic e-business strategy for a takeaway business should include:

  1. A Website
  2. Social Media Presence (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  3. Google and FB Ads Campaign Strategy
  4. UberEats.co.nz listing
  5. MenuLog.co.nz listing
  6. An Online Reservation System
  7. Online Ordering Via Own Website – Integration of Payment Gateway
  8. Cyber security and SSL Integration To Prevent hacking
  9. Local Presence on Google Local Business Listings
  10. Storytelling of the Brand & Regular Storyboarding

E-BUSINESS FOR TAKEAWAYS: For e-marketing, an organisation can employ the internet (apps + website + social media). Blogs should form a basic strategy for any food take-away business.

Search engine marketing: Search engines can find the website and its Google listing.

Online partnerships: A companyy can work with a lot of other eateries to help market them online through its own and others apps.

Online Feedback: Facebook, Instagram and Google Reviews should form a part of your core strategy.

STAGE MODEL – E-COMMERCE LADDER 

A business should use all the steps in the ladder model in the sell side e-commerce.

This includes the following:

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Brochureware site
  3. Interactive site
  4. Online ordering
  5. Relationship building (via social media)
  6. Site optimisation (SEO and SMM)
  7. Ordering via storytelling integration tools
  8. In-store Touchscreen ordering systems (To prevent queues)

Buy side e-commerce for a restaurant business generally includes:

  1. Supplier integration into system
  2. Stock availability of vegetables and meat
  3. Online ordering system from suppliers
  4. Integrated databases with suppliers and various sites
  5. Supply chain optimization in real time automatic ordering for stock replenishment.

ANALYSIS OF TAKEAWAYS MARKET IN NZ: A quick analysis of NZ takeaway market shows that most companies are using basic e-business systems apt for a takeaway and not suitable for making it into a large business unless integrated with sell side e-commerce.

A companyies are heavily dependent upon UberEats and Menulog for online ordering business, making them erode margins and making them weaker for the long term play.

Most companies are not using platforms such as Instagram or Facebook optimally as the content and posts are sub-optimal and lack a YouTube channel. Staff shortage prevents owners to focus time and resources on building e-capability.

SEO For The Long Term Organic Search Play:

Analysis of Strategy involving SEO for Online ordering: Search engine optimisation or SEO is simply a technique by which online tools can be used to improve a website’s size, loading time, and thus its rankings on search engines.

A company should use SEO to boost sales via online ordering. The strategy to be visible in the top pages of Google rankings via Search Engine Optimisation should be the primary goal. Storytelling will make a difference and differentiation in the local market. It will also reduce cost spent on Google Ad campaigns.

A company should uses the following mobile apps to reach the customer if in NZ:

  1. UberEats
  2. Zomato
  3. MenuLog

A company should use the following website route to reach the customer via browser and desktop search:

  1. Website 
  2. Google rankings 
  3. Bing rankings 
  4. SEO visibility via listings via keywords 
  5. Facebook

Key SEO fault-lines to avoid: 

Most companies have been missing the image alt attributes which weakens the SEO for its keywords online

Robots.txt file: 

A robots.txt file is simply a set of instructions which can instruct algorithms that run search engines on how they should crawl the website.

Implementing the Robots.txt file will help augment the crawl. The .HTAccess file should be updated in order to avoid cyber hacking.

XML Sitemaps: 

A sitemap contains a list of crawlable web pages as well as other useful information for search engines, such as last update times and page priority.

SEO Search console should be setup in order to improve the crawl by Google. XML sitemap should be updated to augmented the crawl.

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY: 

Great social media integration intocan increase its SEO value and traffic thus generating more online ordering customers.

ESSENTIAL SOCIAL MEDIA PLUGINS A COMPANY’S WEB PAGE: 

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram

IMPORTANT: A YouTube channel which can be essential to building a loyal fan base, with unique recipes designed by its chefs. 

GTM should be used to integrate all pixels in one platform.

B. Practical Adoption / implementation of SEO

A company has adopted SEO successfully in the following areas.

Restaurant’s Online Analytics: A company’s webpage should have Google Analytics-4 tool integrated to monitor traffic and user behaviour and analyse where the customers are falling off in the funnel. 

Page Size Info: 

A company’s page’s file size should be reasonably low with compressed images for a quick load time.

KEYWORD ANALYSIS FOR ONLINE ORDERING: A company’s website can use various phrases and keywords that helps it rank higher in Google search for local listings. Local word of mouth works better via likes, shares and comments. Coupon and database CRM systems should be integrated.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS: 

Top Recommendations That Can Get More Traffic and Business: 

  1. Implement a XML sitemaps file
  2. Implement a robots.txt file
  3. Remove Duplicate H1 Tags
  4. Increase page text content
  5. Add Alt attributes to all images
  6. Link Facebook and Instagram Page to website
  7. Create and link Twitter profile
  8. Setup & Install a Facebook Pixel
  9. Create A YouTube channel With new Recipes Each Week
  10. Create a LinkedIn profile to invite professionals
  11. Have a storyboard campaign schedule

Besides, a company can adopt new technologies such as the following to revolutionise if budgets permit.  

  1. Get a in store touchscreen integrated with PoS at Restaurant
  2. Adopt a Contactless dining option to reduce staff costs 
  3. Build own customised and integrated e-commerce Mobile App
  4. Start a weekly newsletter (for discount deals and recipe tips)
  5. Redesign website for responsive and dynamic features for iPad 
  6. Adopt robotic kitchen systems to alleviate staff shortage concerns

ORDERING VIA CUSTOM MOBILE APP: 

The app will also offer the benefit of direct to kitchen ordering and placing special meal requests regarding spices, allergies, etc. 

An app will also help in creating a customer profile and mailing them regular updates about restaurant’s new offers so that it can fill tables on lean days, with extra discounts to diners. 

The restaurant can also offer diners the ability to split bills within the mobile app, or offer tips if any. 

CONTACTLESS DINING OPTIONS QR codes: With the advent of the pandemic, handing paper or cardboard menus is not considered safe enough, as it can transfer germs between diners. 

Thus, a contactless way of ordering should be enabled. This can be via two methods:  

Option 1: Use of QR Codes: QR codes can be placed upon the table and upon scanning they redirect a diner to a mobile website.

The diner can then choose the dishes, see the prices and the pictures, prior to ordering verbally, or by just clicking. Orders from the table can directly be placed to the kitchen in this mode.

Benefits: 

  1. No transfer of germs 
  2. Direct placement of orders to kitchen
  3. Inventory management and leakage prevention 
  4. Seamless order billing and online payment 
  5. Data collection of customers for loyalty and rewards 

CONCLUSION: 

If you are en existing business without much traction, you should definitely redesign its website, work on its mobile app both for Google and Apple app stores, and install QR codes on tables inside its restaurants.

A company should install a direct to kitchen software, where diners can directly order by sitting at their tables, with little or no human intervention.

A companyy should also work on its SEO in order to get more traffic and more customers, and have an inbuilt loyalty program, where regular diners and online customers can be rewarded with a coupon each week. 

A database of regular customers will not only increase footfalls but also increase valuation of its restaurants, wherenever the founders plan to exit the business.

REFERENCES 

“What Is a Robots.txt File? Best Practices for Robot.txt Syntax.” Moz, 2022, moz.com/learn/seo/robotstxt.

“What Is an XML Sitemap and Why Should You Have One?” Yoast, 4 May 2021, yoast.com/what-is-an-xml-sitemap-and-why-should-you-have-one/.

“What Is Robots.txt? | Google Search Central  |  Documentation  |  Google Developers.” Google Developers, 2022, developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/robots/robots-faq.

“What Is an XML Sitemap and Why Should You Have One?” Yoast, 4 May 2021, yoast.com/what-is-an-xml-sitemap-and-why-should-you-have-one/. Accessed 12 June 2022.

(Wish to get your e-business strategy redefined? Email us on info@startupanz.tech)