Pubs and Restaurants have various different options to set up an online takeaway and delivery service and in this guide we have tried to give some brief guidance on the different possibilities, what is involved and the initial and ongoing costs.
Online Shop Builder
There are a number of solutions available to build an online shop, the most popular ones being Shopify and WooCommerce.
Is it easy to set up?
Shopify has tried to make it as easy as possible for businesses to set up their own online shops but you will need to follow the steps carefully and have some technical ability in taking good photos of your food and drinks and then upload them to Shopify.
Shopify was designed for online shops and as such it is not very easy to reproduce an existing pub or restaurant design.
There is no set up cost for Shopify, the current ongoing monthly cost starts from $29 per month but it is currently free for the first three months for new online shops.
In addition to the monthly fee the transaction charges are quite high at 2.2% plus 20p for Shopify card payments in the basic plan.
In order to be able to offer a local takeaway and delivery service, you will need to add an extra third party Shopify plugin, Store Pickup + Delivery by Zapiet, this allows you to restrict your delivery area by postcode and also set specific opening times, collection slots etc. The plugin works well for a local delivery business but you may need some technical help in setting it up. The cost for the app starts at $29 per month.
So overall the ongoing cost of using Shopify for your takeaway and delivery service is $58 per month plus 2.2% plus 20p per transaction.
WooCommerce is another popular online shop platform but in order to use it you will need a website using the WordPress platform.
Is it easy to set up?
You would need to be technically confident to set up a new WordPress website with WooCommerce. There is an in-depth guide written here about how to do it, visit https://barn2.co.uk/woocommerce-takeaway-plugin-how-to/
WordPress is a very popular website building platform and there are thousands of designs, some very specific for pub and restaurant businesses. You may also find that your existing website is built using WordPress.
There are a couple of initial fees as mentioned below but as it can be quite tricky to set up and put together a good looking website, you might wish to budget using a web designer to help out which could add an additional £500 to setting up a basic site.
You will also require the following software:
WooCommerce Product Table Plugin: £79 per year
WooCommerce Opening Hours & Chosen Times Plugin: £35
WooCommerce Delivery Slots: $99 per year
Twilio SMS Notifications: $49 per year
WordPress theme: approx. $50
In addition you will also need a payment gateway to take online payments, Stripe is very popular, quick and easy to set up. Stripe fees start at 1.4% plus 20p per transaction.
Therefore, in total the initial cost would be around £75 plus £500 to hire a web designer.
Ongoing costs would be around £200 per year to also include website hosting, plus transaction fees of 1.4% plus 20p.
Third Party Apps
Instead of building an online shop you could opt to add a third-party hosted menu solution which links to your existing website or Facebook page.
In this guide we have looked at the following:
Launched in 2013, this company is based in London, UK. The company states:
“Cozied up in the heart of Shoreditch, we FOODies make it our mission to bring the best products to the best, independent restaurants and takeaways of London and beyond. Nothing makes us happier than connecting people with their long-sought after dishes or helping your business grow!
We are a gregarious but experienced bunch of creative people who work hard to connect restaurants with their customers and showcase their food online in the best way possible.”
The FOODit solution includes the following features:
- Collection of delivery, with delivery distance checker
- Apply variable delivery fees based on distance
- Update order status and ETA’s as you cook
- Manage each order via the FOODit app on a tablet or smartphone
- Fully flexible menu structure
- Add multiple options per dish, with automatic price calculator
- Display photos of each dish
- Full set-up provided plus menu editing service
- Option to make instant changes to your menu yourself
Is it easy to set up?
No technical knowledge is required as FOODit provides a service to set up your menu and configuration. However there is a set up charge for this service.
The menu links to an existing website and is designed to match your existing design.
The initial set up cost is £79 plus VAT, there are no ongoing monthly fees but instead there is a commission rate of 10% plus VAT.
This solution was launched in 2013 and is well established. The company states:
“We love the convenience of ordering online for food delivery and we order all the time. But we noticed that, while many restaurants have great food, they lose potential sales because they don’t provide an online ordering service. And many of those who have built their own online ordering service end up with a buggy program, resulting in bad user experiences.
This is when we noticed that restaurant owners don’t have a choice. Either they go with one of the big portals, who charge between 10%-18% commission on every order, or ask the web agency of their choice to build a custom module – which turns out to be very expensive as well.”
The GloriaFood solution includes the following features:
- Website Ordering Widget
- Mobile Ordering
- Facebook Ordering App
- Restaurant App – receive and confirm orders in real-time
- Unlimited Orders
- Unlimited Menu Items with Images
- Delivery and/or Collections
- Timed Slots
- Define your Delivery Areas, Minimum Spend plus Delivery Charges
- Order for Later – schedule a later pickup or delivery
Is it easy to set up?
Very easy to set up and has been designed for non-technical users, in most cases it just takes a couple of hours to get up and running and taking your first orders.
The menu links to an existing website and or Facebook page and has an appearance quite similar to other popular food ordering apps and is easy to use.
The advantage of this solution is that there is a free version that you can use to get started. The only difference between the free version and the paid version is the lack of an online payment facility. But customers using the free version have a choice of payment by card/cash in person and also by card by telephone.
Should you choose to upgrade to the paid version, there is an ongoing cost of $29 per month but you can link the system to your preferred payment provider and avoid expensive additional transaction fees.