The COVID-19 pandemic had widespread impacts across all industries over the past three years. The outbreak significantly subsided by 2023, allowing Hong Kong people to finally take off their masks, resume their social lives, and dine out normally. However, the impacts brought by the pandemic are still lingering in the F&B industry. In addition to the difficulties of hiring staff and changes in customer consumption habits, the F&B industry must readjust its marketing strategies to respond to these changes.
Restaurants have started to handle more takeout orders to increase revenue due to restricted evening dine-in services during the pandemic. People dining out less frequently has indirectly led to the development of online ordering and delivery platforms. According to data analysis from the third-party platform Data.ai, the two major delivery platforms in Hong Kong, foodpanda and Deliveroo, had 1.27 million and 62.5 thousand active users respectively in April 2021. Both had exceeded 6,500 partner restaurants 1. A user consumption survey conducted by Deliveroo in 2022 pointed out that there had been a sharp increase in Hong Kong's demand for food delivery and daily necessities. The proportion of respondents spending over HKD 2,000 per month on food delivery services increased from 12% in 2019 to 23% in 2022. Around 76% of these respondents believe that delivery platforms allow them to try more new foods. Food delivery service has become a new consumption trends.
After returning to pre-pandemic normalcy, restaurants that streamlined their staff may face the new challenge of a shortage of manpower. Even if many restaurants have adopted mobile ordering solutions to reduce waiters' workload, the waiters still have no time to manage all the restaurant's tasks accurately and quickly. Choosing an F&B point-of-sale system with a takeaway order management function becomes an important task to increase operational efficiency.
1. Save on Additional Space
Machines are scattered on the front counter because each food delivery platform requires an additional order-taking machine. Integration with an order management system allows orders to be taken directly on the F&B point-of-sale system, reducing clutter and saving on maintenance costs.
2. All-in-One System to Manage Delivery Orders
If restaurants use more than one food delivery platform, the staff may become confused due to too many order-taking machines. After integrating with an order management system, the staff are able to easily manage takeaway orders in a single machine, and send orders to the kitchen printer or kitchen display system in one go.
3. Prevent Missing Orders
Restaurants usually receive many orders during rush hours. Customers may cancel their orders if staff cannot confirm them quickly. The POS system, integrated with an order management system, can show new order notifications in real-time, allowing staff to process delivery orders efficiently.
4. Minimize Mistakes, Maximize Efficiency
As a standard process, staff must re-enter all takeaway orders from food delivery platforms, which not only increases their workload but also results in avoidable manual errors. With an order management system, takeaway orders are shown in one screen on the POS system, eliminating time-consuming tasks and increasing work efficiency. No matter how many food delivery platforms a restaurant integrates with, staff can confirm the order with a single click.
With the significant growth of food delivery platforms, the new normal lets customers spend money without leaving their home, while restaurants can expand their customer base through more channels. The market expansion of HKTVExpress and Meituan in Hong Kong has increased competition among delivery platforms and the food delivery market becomes even more active. Therefore, the order management system is one of the key considerations for restaurants to improve their operational efficiency and service quality.
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1 Data AI (formerly App Annie), https://www.data.ai/
2 戶戶送2022 年 《「知」味香港》 報告 - Deliveroo (2022). “The Share of Stomach Report”