delivery apps

Online food ordering goes mainstream with delivery apps

By Sean Beckingham

Food delivery services are becoming more popular in Canada, and we’re not just referring to pizza and Chinese take-out. Food delivery apps offer worry-free, hassle-free ways to get a wide range of meals from fast-casual places and popular restaurants.

UberEATS entered the market back in February 2015, capitalizing on their successful Uber driving services. Offered on desktop and mobile, customers choose between daily rotating lunch items from artisans and talented restaurant chefs Monday to Friday in 10 minutes or less. In December 2015, they extended their service, giving Toronto customers the ability to order food through their app seven days a week and into the evenings.

There are a number of benefits for restaurants that collaborate with UberEATS, including a broader market of consumers they wouldn’t otherwise reach, reduced delivery expenses and exposure to thousands of Uber food fans.

Strengthens relationships

UberEATS general manager Bowie Cheung says the team behind the program strengthens business-to-business relationships.

“Our timely responses with businesses and users are reasons why many restaurants want to collaborate with the UberEATS program. We are able to support busy restaurants by alleviating the volume of people who have questions or concerns they want addressed or resolved. As a result, the restaurant can focus on creating quality dishes, while Uber acts as customer support for the business. This partnership has had positive effects in terms of increasing revenue and fans for both brands.”

Another popular food delivery service, available in Montreal and Toronto since 2013, is Foodora (formerly known as Hurrier). Matt Rice, marketing manager with the company, says they’re ready to launch in Vancouver very soon, as well as providing an app on IOS and Android.

The idea is straightforward. The website shows restaurant partners and their hours of operation. A bonus feature includes the option of placing an order when establishments are closed. Customers simply select their meal, set their location, a delivery charge is added and then an estimated delivery time is provided upon checkout.

Popular choice

With numerous restaurants and artisan food services in Toronto, it’s becoming a popular choice with not only customers, but owners too.

“Hurrier (Foodora) builds positive relationships with restauranteurs by providing a solution that’s easy to use, integrates seamlessly with day-to-day operations, and brings incremental revenue,” says Rice. “We take care of the delivery logistics so the owners can focus on providing high quality food.”

Foodora places the order on the consumers’ behalf, picks up the food using bicycles and delivers items fresh using custom warming pouches.

Just Eat is another popular service, and its mantra is “Don’t cook, Just eat.” Available on desktop and mobile with over 1.3 million downloads worldwide, Just Eat operates in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. With thousands of restaurants offered and more added daily, you simply enter your postal code, select what type of food you want, order and pay. From there, you can either pick up your meal or get it delivered within 20 to 45 minutes (depending on distance and time of day).

Just Eat is a safe and simple way for customers to order their dishes from their favourite restaurants or try new ones. As well, it provides a great opportunity for a small business with little to no budget for their own delivery fleet to utilize Just Eat’s services. By aligning with this company, any restaurant or chain can get exposure to thousands of new potential customers by offering timely specials or discount codes. Just Eat is designed not only to satisfy customers but businesses too.

With the shift towards digital services, restaurants need to learn how to navigate this space and take advantage of it. Once you determine which service best fits your needs and will grow your customer base, you can use it to build a positive reputation, and increase your revenue stream. Now is the time to put your best digital foot forward because many delivery apps are quickly becoming a restaurant’s “storefront.”

How to use social media with delivery apps

  1. Promote the menu items that are being offered for delivery on Twitter. Don’t forget to include the app’s social media handle for “retweets” and engagement.
  2. Increase brand awareness and followers by hosting a live lunchtime chat (e.g. pizzerias would ask their fans what their favourite toppings are). Encourage participation by offering a prize such as a free appetizer on their next delivery order.
  3. When a dish is posted on a delivery app’s Instagram, repost it on the restaurant’s social media networks. It’s a quick and easy way to let your followers know that a delivery service is being offered.
  4. Post the custom image supplied by the delivery service on Instagram tagging the app. Start a contest by offering fans a reward if they tag three friends on the post.
  5. When advertising the restaurant’s delivery service use appropriate hashtags to make your content searchable, such as #delivery, #ubereats, #usefoodora, #restaurantABCdelivers, #toronto.
  6. Promote new dishes on the restaurant’s Facebook page and mention the delivery service company. They will automatically be notified and be able to share the post with their fans.

About the author:

Sean Beckingham is president of Branding & Buzzing, a social marketing agency established in 2011 that specializes in the food and beverage category. For more information, visit www.brandingandbuzzing.com.

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