Takeaway ordering applications are nothing new, but as the food industry advances at a pandemic-accelerated rate, they are harder to ignore than ever before.

Ordering a takeaway is a weekend tradition for many, and over the years the habit has shifted from dial-in to tap-in thanks to mobile phone apps.


Founded in 2001, one of the UK’s most recognisable takeaway apps is Just Eat – although the delivery giant was originally established in Denmark, only relocating upon realising Brits were responsible for 50% of the food delivery market in the whole of Europe.


And more recently, the brand has been joined by the likes of Uber Eats (2014) and Deliveroo (2013), as well as a plethora of others, including restaurant’s and takeaway’s own curated apps.


A predictable shift to digital, the demand for ordering food online has no doubt been enhanced by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Just Eat said its orders jumped by 79% in the first quarter of the year, nearly double its projected growth rate – a success they aren’t expecting to ease-off once lockdown restrictions do either.


And, in 2020, more than 6 million people ordered from 115,000 restaurants through Deliveroo every month.


There’s no disputing the popularity of food ordering apps, but what exactly are the benefits for restaurants and takeaways?


The pros

One of the main attractions of food ordering apps for the customer, and therefore the restaurant or takeaway, is the ease of the transaction.


It is noted a hungry customer is not a patient one, and applications have streamlined the process of ordering food.


Using an app removes the middleman – and this means customers aren’t lost through busy lines and phone queues.


What’s more, previous orders from loyal customers can also be ‘reordered’, again providing an unparalleled simplicity to the user experience.


Customers are also able to pay for the order in multiple ways, from card payments to third party sites such as PayPal, or cash upon receipt.


Using established apps also means smaller, busier businesses can piggy-back off the marketing of the apps themselves, saving time and money in the meantime.


Eateries can also maximise their demographic through apps appealing to a much wider audience, especially if they are located away from the footfall of city and town centres.


The cons

When partnering with delivery giants such as Just Eat, Uber Eats, and Deliveroo, it is well-known restaurants will have to pay a commission for the honour.


What is less well-known is the fee of that commission, which is currently stated to be 30% of each order made through Uber Eats and Deliveroo.


Restaurants and takeaways can pay less commission opting for local apps such as Sunderland Eats, a Wearside-based service offering smaller businesses lower rates.


Recent concerns over the ethics of apps that hire their own delivery drivers like Uber Eats and Deliveroo can also be a concern to businesses.


In April, hundreds of Deliveroo couriers protested as the firm was floated on the London stock market amidst claims of pay below the national minimum wage.


And, reviews left for the business can often reflect the efficacy of the drivers – some of whom are not employed by the restaurants and takeaways themselves.


The decision

Ultimately, the final decision will vary from business to business, with the pros and cons weighted differently for each individual eatery.


With a lot to consider, the undeniable factor is the move to digital, and its hastened pace due to the coronavirus pandemic.


If you are a business owner looking to become card payment ready, get in touch for friendly advice or a free quote today.