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Digitally Transforming A Takeaway Food Business In The UK: A Recommendation

Background

Having scanned the environment where Peng’s takeaway food business operates and also considered the options available to ensure the business remains competitive and grows, getting enlisted on an existing platform-to-home food delivery will be the ideal strategy to adopt.


A Case for Adopting Platform-to-Home Food Delivery Business Models

The key reason for adopting an app such as Just Eat or Deliveroo is that Peng’s business can tap into existing customers who frequent these apps daily.


In addition, since the apps typically supply restaurants’ offerings to users based on their location, Peng’s outfit will benefit significantly as they target residents in Northumberland, Devon, Durham, and their environs.


Secondly, Peng will not need to spend money upfront building a new system by paying developers to create a virtual counter system or anything similar. In other words, the platform-to-home food delivery app that is finally chosen out of the lot would not be paid any fees or commissions until Peng records actual sales.


Further to that, Peng will not require the services of many new hands to run the ten restaurants. Cutting down the number of human resources necessary to operate means securing more revenue, thus meeting the business’s primary objective – making a profit.


Additionally, the profit saved from not having to hire so many new staff means Peng can scale further by swiftly expanding to more neighbourhoods by replicating the same business model repeatedly as new restaurants open in new locations.


The business process model below highlights what Peng’s operations for individual restaurants will look like when they adopt the platform-to-home food delivery strategy.


Figure 2. Recommended Takeaway Food Business Process Model. Source: Own Creation


When considered vis-à-vis figure 1 earlier, the most striking difference is that figure 2 does not have any decision points. This is a significant difference in the sense that the proposed business model is designed to run automatically without many, if any, human interventions. In other words, other than the kitchen, every other decision and touchpoint has been automated.


From the moment the customer logs onto the app and up until the food is delivered, Peng’s kitchen staff only need to intervene once: by receiving the order on a device supplied by the platform-to-home food delivery service, preparing the meal, packaging it, and then handing it over to the dispatch rider who eventually takes the meal to the customer.


In effect, Peng will not be responsible for, yet take full advantage of, the food ordering system, the card processing system, and the dispatch rider. For a small commission on each sale, the value Peng is getting from the collaboration between both parties is positive.


Furthermore, Peng will enjoy access to more potential customers who, if satisfied with the meal and overall experience, are likely to leave good reviews and ratings on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and dedicated review sites like Foursquare or Yelp.


Said otherwise, the collaboration with the platform-to-home food delivery service will yield more than just sales and revenue, it will also provide an opportunity for brand awareness, brand loyalty, and word-of-mouth adverts or recommendations to others who might require such meals (Keller and Fay, 2012).


Citing Pal, Funilkul, Eamsinvattana and Siyal, (2021), getting listed on platform-to-home food delivery apps is a worthy investment as it brings more return on investment that goes beyond cash in the bank.


Some Potential Challenges in the Adopting of a Platform-to-Home Food Delivery Business Model

As with almost any business, there are some drawbacks that must be considered when such strategic decisions are being made.


For example, will Peng be comfortable relying on the services of the platform-to-home food delivery app perpetually; what if something goes wrong with the company, or when there is a catastrophic malware attack on the software?


Similarly, how will Peng respond to potential lawsuits filed with the aim to receive compensation if their customers’ data are stolen by cybercriminals and utilised maliciously?


Malware attacks, privacy issues, and a total collapse of the platform-to-home food delivery system are just a few of the potential challenges that can arise if Peng opts for this kind of strategy. In effect, Peng should have a backup plan.


Key Takeaway: Go Hybrid!

To conclude, the best idea will be a hybrid strategy where Peng immediately gets enlisted on the current platform-to-home food delivery app while, on the other hand, committing funds to build their own in-house home food delivery systems and applications.


This is the same model big takeaway food chains adopt presently. The McDelivery app from McDonald's and the KFC app from KFC are good examples in this instance. Both are self-sustaining internally built apps through which customers can order meals.


Concurrently, other customers can also access the same McDonalds or KFC meals from Just Eat and Uber Eats, among others.


Suppose Peng adopts this hybrid style, and in the event that the vendor’s app crashes or something catastrophic hampers it from listing restaurants and providing customers with the platform-to-home food delivery service, the takeaway food business will continue running online and offline unhindered.


References

Keller, E. and Fay, B., 2012. Word-of-Mouth Advocacy. Journal of Advertising Research, [online] 52(4), pp.459-464. Available at: http://www.journalofadvertisingresearch.com/content/52/4/459.full.pdf+html [Accessed 17 December 2021].


Pal, D., Funilkul, S., Eamsinvattana, W. and Siyal, S., 2021. Using online food delivery applications during the COVID-19 lockdown period: What drives University Students’ satisfaction and loyalty? Journal of Foodservice Business Research, [online] pp.1-45. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15378020.2021.1964419?scroll=top&needAccess=true [Accessed 17 December 2021].

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