The new normal will increasingly rely on digital. Do you already have a plan?
2020 has meant a challenge for restaurants and businesses, who saw in home delivery applications an option to continue with their business; However, the solution led -in many cases- a new headache, when entering a totally different cost structure, with commission payments of up to 30%, without having access to data that would allow them to strengthen loyalty programs and knowledge of customers, thus losing control of the business.
If in the first months of the pandemic, the main obstacle for 85% of the restaurant sector was the lack of digitization , which affected -especially- providing home service, according to figures from Deloitte and the National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry and Seasoned Foods ( Canirac ), the challenge facing the sector is to go further: more and more restaurants consider that their profitability lies in facilitating the digitization of order and payment management, logistics service and profitable investment in marketing strategies that ensure the sales and future profitability.
Against this background, Rodrigo Segal and Nicolás López, founders of the Chilean startup Justo that helps restaurants take control of their business by enabling their digital independence by creating their own Internet page with an online sales point and delivery service. , share five recommendations that will help them not only survive, but also generate a business model that creates new bases for the evolution of the entire sector.
1. Commitment to comprehensive digitization services
Be clear about what you expect from your digitization process according to the needs of your business, this will make it easier for you to reduce the number of providers you require, facilitating your path to digital adoption. Choose providers with comprehensive solutions that offer several key services for your business in the same package: from designing your website with an online point of sale, the home delivery service -if you require it-, even a business accelerator with focus on digital marketing, which helps you position your brand and increase your sales.
2. Allocate as little starting capital as possible
Your digitization does not have to be detrimental to the profitability of your business. Choose platforms that offer you accessible technology tools with low commissions, especially when you start on the path to digital adoption, all with the aim of obtaining greater benefits and better responding to the needs of your customers at a low cost. Do not settle for the best known solutions, explore and hire those that best suit your economic needs and your productive capacity.
3. Be wise in your investment
The digitization of your company must be aimed at strengthening it, so you must choose those service providers that are your ally, in the broadest sense: who understand that you are their main customer and provide you with the necessary tools to help you grow. . Choose solutions that, in addition to offering services that help you solve your immediate technological problems – such as online sales or a delivery service -, accompany you to implement digital marketing strategies that allow you to have real growth. The ideal is to seek a week-by-week growth of at least 10% on collected sales.
4. Make community
The success of technology adoption does not end with the digitization of your processes, so that technology allows you to continue and grow your business, it is necessary that you invite your customers to consume through your digital channels . Let your diners know that by ordering directly on your website they support the entire value chain: the business, the collaborators, delivery people and the end customer himself, because since there are no intermediaries, the collection of commissions reduces and your profits increase. for the benefit of all.
5. Remember that evolution is important
The new digital environment requires a reassessment of the way of doing business and thinking of new ways to connect with your customers to respond to their needs. Undoubtedly, technology is a fundamental element that, with correct use, will help you regain control of your business, maintain its continuity and promote its long-term growth.
The new normal will increasingly rely on digital. Only by 2021, two out of 10 businesses and brands expect online consumption to represent more than 30% of their total sales, according to figures from the Mexican Association for Online Sales ( AMVO ). The restaurant industry and home delivery services do not escape this trend.
Both for traditional restaurants, family ones and those that are still planning to open, the important thing is to take actions that benefit the entire industry, which means stopping considering digital tools to “attend while all this happens”, because it is the reality in which the business will unfold in the coming months. The important thing is to bet on comprehensive digital services that accompany them throughout the process and support their digital independence so that they can continue to grow.
by Rodrigo Segal