Using technology to promote your food business

Digital and innovation

14 August 2017

In the past few years, the UK market for restaurant-quality takeaways has taken off, with big names and local favourites adding themselves to meal service apps.

Could your business be the latest place to pop up when hungry diners search for “restaurants that deliver near me”?

If you run a restaurant or have your own catering business, what can you learn from the current trend for home delivery?

The new way of dining

Disappointed that he couldn’t get the same meal delivery service in London that he’d experienced in New York, Will Shu launched Deliveroo in 2013. Supper’s Peter Georgiou had a similar story when his attempts to have a meal from a London restaurant delivered via taxi didn’t end well. As Peter told the Guardian, “there has to be a better way”, and so he set up a service that delivers quality restaurant food.

The benefits of food delivery apps

For city workers like Will, a delivery service means they can continue working into the night on a full stomach. For many, it’s a brilliant compromise between eating at your favourite restaurant and having a takeaway. If you want a night off from cooking, and prefer fine dining to a greasy takeaway, this is the perfect solution. 

For the restaurateur or caterer, you’re increasing your customer base without having to expand your premises or increase your front-of-house operation. Delivery orders move quicker than the fastest turned tables. It’s also great for marketing, as your business will reach a wider audience.

Getting your business on the road

You could add your business to an existing app, which can be really easy. Just Eat, for example, is straightforward for smaller businesses as they offer a complete package including website building.

Alternatively, if you go it alone, you'll need to set up your own app or online ordering service, but you’ll save on the costs of using a pre-existing service. However, you’ll be responsible for the delivery, including vehicles and drivers, as well as managing the orders.

Whichever option you go for, think about practical implications. Can your kitchen handle an increase in orders? One restaurant, Clockjack in London, answered this question by opening a new kitchen catering solely for deliveries. Make sure you have retail insurance that covers you for any changes to your operations.

Other ways to use technology

There are others ways you can use technology to increase your revenue. Bakeries, for example, are masters of the long-distance sale. By using a decent e-commerce website and reliable couriers, purveyors of baked goods such as Cornish pasties and cupcakes can send their products all over the country at a moment’s notice. 

With the right technology, the world’s your oyster – and yes, you can order those, too.