COVID-19 and social distancing have changed consumer behaviour, bringing structural changes to the restaurant industry that could last long after a vaccine is found.
Digital and delivery penetration was already gaining momentum before the pandemic. Now, a transformation that was projected to take years is happening in just months because of the convenience where customers can order their favourite food from the couch while watching the latest Netflix show and having it delivered to their front door. The convenience attracts many different types of customers, not just millennials. Parents with no time to cook can utilize online food delivery and feed the whole family without turning on the oven.
The rise of restaurant dependence on delivery companies is threatening the future of the restaurant industry since most delivery companies charge restaurants up to 30% commission on each order. The commission charge has a devastating impact on restaurants being an industry with very small profit margins of an average of 0-15% and has forced many to shut down. Some Restaurant doesn’t include some of their menu items on delivery apps while some increase the price charged for their menu item on the delivery app in order to compensate for the high commission hence making them less competitive.
In the US, some restaurants print out a small note with a simple message: Grubhub delivery companies orders are killing our business to their customers in order to encourage them to book directly. In Estonia, many restaurants have shut down while others try to provide their customers with delivery services. Despite having their own delivery network, it is still difficult to succeed since they lack the marketing budget to reach their potential customer.
In the effort to support restaurants in Estonia reach their customers as well as manage their own independence delivery network TravelTube has recently launched a restaurant operation in Estonia where restaurants can attract new customers, manage their delivery independently or direct their customers to a cheaper delivery option like Nosi app that charges restaurants only 5% commission on each order, and more importantly, the restaurant can have a direct relationship with their customer while also having the opportunity to attract and engage more customers through video contents which is one of the most trending marketing strategies adopted by business across the globe.
TravelTube is now providing free video content creation to the first 50 restaurants in Tallinn to create engaging video contents about each menu item for the restaurants in Tallinn. TravelTube platform provides online delivery capabilities on its platform that let restaurants accept delivery and takeout orders from customers watching their content at 0% commission. TravelTube platform also provides each restaurant with a dynamic Menu QR code system that lets customers dining on restaurant premises can scan to access restaurant video menus instead of just looking at images, customers can watch the executive Chef prepare the menu items and also get an explanation on the various ingredient used in the menu preparation and even on how to eat certain dishes. In addition to that, TravelTube platform generates a widget where a restaurant can display their video menu items directly on their website for their website visitors. Finally, the TravelTube system provides restaurants with a booking and reservation system that allows restaurants to take table bookings. All restaurants need to have access to all these facilities is by subscribing to the service which costs 12.99 Euro/ month.
More than 15 Restaurants in Tallinn have already subscribed to the service and have received thousands of visitors watching their menu videos leading multiple direct orders. TravelTube has also partnered with more than 30 videographers and film producers in Tallinn to create a professional video for these restaurants while some restaurants are creating their own videos using their smartphones.
TravelTube let the user subscribe to their favourite restaurant which let restaurants to communicate with promotional offers, menu updates and more directly to their subscribers
Many restaurants are excited as they now have a platform where they can control their own future and reduce their dependence on delivery companies while also having the opportunity to enrich the customers’ experience by taking them behind the scene. TravelTube whose mission is to level the playing field and give power back to restaurant owners is working with restaurants to provide more features on its platform to help the restaurant industry to emerge even stronger post-covid-19.
Food delivery companies are not going anywhere, they are here to stay and it is up to every restaurant on how to have control of the relationship.