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How is technology shaping the takeaway sector?

We love a takeaway in Britain, don’t we? It doesn’t matter if it’s pizza, Indian cuisine or a Chinese dish, we all enjoy diving into our food of choice in the comfort of our own home. Luckily, we have an abundance of takeaways to choose from in the UK.

Here, we consider how the takeaway industry is evolving due to technological advances, including deliveries, and look at how the sector can continue to go from strength to strength.

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Advertising

Nowadays, you need more than word of mouth if you want to make your takeaway business into a huge success. 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. 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.

Another way to get your name out there is by having a strong social media presence. By having a good product that’s regularly in the public eye, your company should be constantly gaining new customers. 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. However, be sure to use it correctly as any misuse can have the opposite effect and be detrimental to your business.

Apps to order your food

An eighth of the food services sector is now represented by takeaways. The introduction of 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 £9.9bn 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 £11.2bn.

Apps allow us to speed up and simplify our food ordering process as it means that it’s no longer a requirement to physically call in to the establishment or give them a call to place your order. One such service is the extremely popular Just Eat. 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 can now reach a larger audience they previously haven’t been able to due to being present on an app. 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.

Delivery service

Metaphorically speaking, the death of the delivery driver may be near. The range of new Ford Transit vans have an 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!
Ford has announced plans to deploy a fully self-driving delivery service by 2021; this driverless vehicle would be able to deliver coffee or a takeaway meal directly to your door. 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.

By making use of the space a van offers in a similar way to the way your supermarket does when delivering goods, a company can have heated containers which would mean the vehicle could be out for longer without the risk of the order getting cold. 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.

It’s noticeable that any industry can benefit from advances in technology, but the takeaway sector appears to have wholly embraced the advances. 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.


by Jake Holyoak, senior outreach coordinator at digital marketing agency Mediaworks, on behalf of Lookers Ford CV

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