25 Mar Can My Restaurant Operate Online?
The global pandemic CoVid-19 is causing unprecedented disruptions to local businesses. In these difficult times we realise that many businesses such as shops and restaurants who rely heavily on footfall based sales, face a huge challenge and may be forced to change the way they work, moving more into delivery and online based sales. This post is the first of 3 where we we would like to share some information on doing business online including where to start. This weeks post is for restaurant owners.
Use Food Delivery Companies
You can sign up with services like JustEat and Deliveroo who continue to work delivering food during lockdown. They will set you up with an online menu and it is a fairly simple process to join. These companies make their money by taking a commission on orders you receive. For example Just Eat take 14% of each order plus an additional 50p charge per order and to set up with them it cost £295 + VAT. Deliveroo don’t have an initial set up fee but take 30% of each order.
Price: 14% – 30% of orders
Timescale: as little as 5 working days
Set up an informational website
A cheaper option is to set up a simple information website with your menu and a contact form to take orders through. When someone completes the form you will receive an email with what they want. It would be up to you to decide how payment can be taken, perhaps over telephone if you have a card machine that can handle over the phone payments. Our prices for a one page simple website with form are £395+VAT (for businesses affected by COVID19) and you would need hosting, a domain name and an SSL certificate. One benefit of this is that you don’t have any commissions or charges and this can act as a central point of information to display your menu and direct customers to.
Price: £395+VAT one off – £9.58+VAT per month hosting & SSL – £16.24+VAT for 2 years domain name subscription
Timescale: 1 week
Set up a full E-commerce website
This is the most comprehensive option but would incur a large up front fee and is potentially something you may not utilise as much once things go back to normal. To add every menu item to a website would take a considerable amount of time which would result in a large upfront cost. Our E-commerce websites start from £1200 (for business affected by COVID19) but the cost would increase depending on how many menu items you wanted to display. Once the website is set up however, the only fees taken off purchases would be that of the merchant (the likes of Paypal) and these usually sit around 2%. Unlike JustEat and Deliveroo, you would have full control over the style and look of the website. We would only reccomend this route if you were planning on making delivery a key part of your business after lockdown and social distancing is lifted as it is a large expense during a difficult time.
Price: £1200 + VAT – £14.91+VAT per month hosting & SSL – £16.24+VAT for 2 years domain name subscription
Timescale: 4 weeks
These are 3 options that could help you continue to trade during the lockdown phase. An important thing to note is the marketing for a delivery service has to revolve around safety, both for staff and customers. For example, Dominoes have recently introduced “contactless delivery” where payment is made online and food is left in a designated area (e.g outside the door). Whatever you decide to use, we realise that small businesses have to stick together and are happy to provide none bias and free advice.