Technology has impacted a wide range of sectors, and in particular, we’ve experienced a rapid overhaul in our means of shopping and ordering. Look at takeaways for example — instead of drawers full of the local takeaways we know about, we’ve got apps filled with up-to-date information on the latest restaurants and outlets that are delivering to our area.
We Brits love takeaway, with a known fondness for Chinese, fish and chips, Indian and more. Let’s take a look at how technology has changed the industry.
An app for that
No more phone-calls to establishments to read off a menu what we want, thanks to apps. The takeaway now represents an eighth of the whole food services sector and apps can take a lot of the credit for this boom. There are currently over 36,000 dedicated takeaways and in 2016 alone we spent £9.9 billion as a nation on takeaway food; up 34% since 2009. This figure is expected to keep rising, with the projected size of the takeaway sector by 2021 being £11.2 billion.
Just Eat is one of the most popular takeaway apps. In a recent survey, the takeaway company found that 39% of restaurants had noticed an increase in orders outside of the regular mealtimes, with 72% of businesses claiming apps had been a positive addition for their business.
Many restaurants would say that apps like Just Eat puts their company before an audience who might not have heard about them otherwise. By allowing customers to rate the service and food, your business may rank highly outside of your immediate area, meaning more consumers from further afield would be willing to give your service a try.
Straight to the door
Will the next upgrade to takeaway services be for delivery drivers? The Ford Transit Connect has excellent storage space and the automotive manufacturer is planning on cashing in on this by creating an automatic delivery service that will drop off your ordered food and drink — and it is closer than you think!
Using a van’s space like supermarkets do for home deliveries, heated containers can keep orders nice and hot for the duration of the drive. The vehicle would automatically send users a text on arrival and you’d need to type in a unique code to be granted access. It also helps to avoid payment issues, with Just Eat noting that nearly half of all in-person payments are now contactless.
Driverless deliveries could be happening very soon too! Ford intends to deploy a fully self-driving delivery service by 2021 in which your coffee or takeaway meal would be delivered directly to your door by a driverless vehicle. The service, in conjunction with Deliveroo-style food courier service Postmates, is set to be trialled in the United States, but could be a game changer if it’s a success.
This sort of technology has the scope to change many industries, not just the takeaway sector. Alongside all the benefits for the customer and advertising, larger businesses can take advantage of facilities, such as scheduling the workforce and it appears that the sector is only going to continue to grow.
New advertising opportunities
A steady stream of new customers is, in theory, a given if your product is good and constantly in the public eye. It’s a cheap (free if you don’t promote your posts) and productive tool which will help you advertise your product and any offers you may have. A strong social media presence can also go a long way in getting your name out there. However, be sure to use it correctly as any misuse can have the opposite effect and be detrimental to your business.
Word of mouth is no longer enough. Nowadays, without a functioning website, you are running a huge risk of your business faltering. Customers want to know what they’re getting without leaving the house and a quick search on the internet should give them this opportunity. Similarly to the app, having a well-presented website will provide your audience with a platform to make a well-informed decision. If they are able to do this, then they are likely to gain confidence in your service.
This article was researched and created by Ford Transit Custom dealership, Lookers.