Do you think you’re doing enough to get orders through your kitchen? At a quick glance, using food delivery services sounds like the perfect option right now. But you need to consider how the market is operating in South Africa. Let’s take a closer look at the latest restaurant news about online food ordering.

According to consulting firm AlixPartners, 16% of consumers said that ordering from a third-party provider was their preferred option compared with 21% who said they preferred ordering directly from the restaurant, while 20% said they would like to order from the restaurant by calling in. Another source confirmed this. Sense360 found that 63% of consumers preferred to order directly from the restaurant compared with 18% who preferred third-party services. 

The biggest reason why consumers prefer to order directly from the restaurant is that it’s cheaper. The pandemic has put a strain on people’s pockets and they don’t necessarily want to spend more of their diminished revenue.

What else do patrons want? ?

People will want to go to your restaurant as long as it’s tech-focused, so make customer experience improvements. When you make it easy for people to order, and especially to reorder, it creates return appeal. This is the key to online food ordering no matter what app is used. So whether you’re going to use your own one or pay for a food delivery service, make sure it’s convenient for the user. 

Numerous innovations have gained momentum to improve the overall customer experience such as offering QR payment options. This helps smaller restaurants (that can’t afford food delivery services) to expand their customer base.  

In an effort to reflect the ergonomic needs of fast-food consumers, KFC has launched a high-tech concept store in Sandton. All in-store facilities have the customer experience in mind. This includes self-service kiosks, dedicated click-and-collect parking bays for customers who order online via the KFC website or the KFC app and specially demarcated collection bays for delivery partners. 

In other restaurant news…

A new, web-based platform has been launched in South Africa. Called Mr Yum it’s seen as a low-cost alternative to the bigger players in food delivery such as Uber Eats and Mr D Food. This platform charges only 4.9% per order compared with the up to 30% commissions you can expect to pay the others. Mr Yum is not a food delivery company. It allows restaurants to cut out the middleman and run their own deliveries by using its online ordering and payment system. This service has come at the perfect time as it offers customers the choice of delivery to their door or to pick up at the restaurant. It also offers tableside ordering and contactless payments.

For even more customer convenience, we have a range of services that integrate with Pilot’s Point of Sale (PoS) service. A few well-known names include Snapscan, Zapper, Dineplan and Mr Yum. Take a look at all the services that integrate with our PoS.   

The best pickings 

To give you an indication of what people are ordering online, Uber Eats released a 2020 Cravings Report which revealed that consumers love it nice and spicy. More than 5 000 orders were made in the “hot” category and 1 300 stepped it up to “extra hot”. It also reveals that people crave healthier food. In terms of pizza, people wanted less cheese, gluten-free bases and dairy-free toppings. Uber Eats confirmed that the allergy-friendly filter was a popular feature together with an increase in vegan orders.  

Don’t leave just yet, we have more insights for you. Grab a copy of our guide, The Definitive 21st-century Restaurant Playbook

Author : Rudi Badenhorst