4 ways to set up click and collect for your hospitality business
Setting up click and collect is definitely worth your time, and there are several ways you can do it! Have a read to find out more
In 2019, industry bodies were predicting that the click and collect market would grow by £10bn by 2023. And that was when no one had even heard of coronavirus.
If only they knew that the service long-associated with supermarkets and Argos would become a lifeline for pubs and restaurants forced to shut during the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, restaurants relied on delivery platforms including Just Eat and Deliveroo to start the takeaway side of the business.
And while collecting was certainly around, there was definitely no clicking as customers rolled out their favourite takeaway order to the person on the end of the phone line.
But since the first lockdown back in March 2020, a software product enabling businesses to better manage their ordering and payment processing has grown in popularity.
Aptly named order and pay apps, these are online platforms where businesses can upload their menus, customers can choose their order, pay, and select to collect it.
In addition to order and pay apps, online stores have evolved, with the likes of Squarespace and other ecommerce platforms either making click and collect an option at the checkout or integrating with order and pay platforms.
And don’t forget – if you have an electronic point of sale (EPOS) system, you may be able to set up click and collect through the technology you already have.
In this guide, we’ll focus on how businesses can use order and pay apps, online stores, or point of sale systems to set up click and collect for their customers.
Setting up click and collect using order and pay apps
If you’re looking to set up click and collect by using an order and pay app, you can choose from a native one – that is, one that your customers can download onto their mobile phone – or a web-based one that you can link to from your website or social media pages.
Native apps are accessible wherever your customers happen to be. They tend to be more expensive than web-based order and pay solutions because they offer you more features. For example, you can set up marketing campaigns and location-based technology.
You may have already looked into developing a native app from scratch – and yes, it is expensive – which is why third party app suppliers are proving popular. In fact, Fetch, which supplies several London restaurants with native app technology, comments:
Find out more about how native apps help you to set your business up for click and collect in the following section.
How do native order and pay apps work?
Native order and pay apps are platforms that you can use to host your digital menu. These platforms can either come white labelled with your own branding, or you can choose to upload your menu to a larger third party platform – where your business will appear alongside others (a bit like Deliveroo for click and collect).
You can set up your white labelled app so your restaurant logo appears as an icon on your customers' phone app menu. It's also a good idea to continue your branding throughout, alongside professional images of your food so customers feel connected to your business.
A white labelled native app will make your customer feel as though they’re using a click and collect service that is directly associated with your business. However, when they order and pay, their transaction is actually being processed through the provider’s system.
If you choose a larger third party platform as opposed to a white labelled native app supplier, your business will appear alongside other food businesses. They work a bit like Deliveroo; whereby a customer can search for your business, browse your menu, and pay all via the app.
Let’s have a look at a few examples.
Bear in mind that while a builder is one of the easiest ways to set up click and collect with your own branding, the level of freedom you have to customise your app is very low. For full creative control, you’d need to invest in the services of an app developer, which is extremely costly.
If you choose to set up click and collect through a white labelled platform, you’re usually charged an initial fee, then you’re charged an on-going percentage per transaction – usually around 5%.
Using a large digital platform – Fetch
Platforms like Fetch are completely hassle-free to use. Simply upload your menu from a spreadsheet, set your order prep times and go live. Fetch consists of two apps – Fetch and Fetch Pro – which work together to create a communication system between you and your customers.
All your customers need to do is download the Fetch app, type in your business, select their order, and then pay through Fetch’s payment processing system. Once they’ve made their order, your staff will receive a notification through the Fetch Pro app.
When they’re ready, staff can start preparing the order. You can update your customer as the order moves through the kitchen. That way, your customers know when their order is ready to collect.
Setting up click and collect through your website and social media
With 80% of local business searches on Google landing in a conversion (someone purchasing something), making sure your website is set up for click and collect is a sure-fire way to boost your revenue.
Thankfully, there are two ways to set up click and collect through your website – linking to a web-based app or upgrading your website to include an ecommerce store.
Instead of being hosted on a device, a web-based app is hosted on a browser, meaning customers don’t experience commitment fatigue – the failure to download the app because of the time it takes to do it.
Alternatively, you can integrate a third party click and collect tool into your website
So, how do they work?
How do web-based order and pay apps work?
Web-based apps are similar to native apps in the way they enable you to set up click and collect. Again, you create a digital version of your menu, and while some providers allow you to brand your app, others offer a ready-formatted platform on which to set up your store.
Customers access the app through a link on your website or social media page. The customer can then select the click and collect option and complete the order through the supplier’s payment system.
As is with native order and pay apps, providers usually charge you per transaction made through the app. Or in some cases, they charge you a set monthly fee. This is the case for Ritual One, which you can add to your Instagram account with an action button.
In addition to providing customers with the means to order and pay online, Ritual also allows you to run automated marketing campaigns and set up tableside ordering.
Instead of charging you per order, Ritual charges £39/month, while additional marketing features incur an additional charge.
Setting up click and collect through an online store
Website builders make it super-easy for you to build an attractive website for your hospitality business. And thankfully, most website builders offer an ecommerce section, which allows you to set up click and collect through your website.
Whether your choice of website builder is Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy or another, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of restaurant ecommerce templates, and pay as little as £16 per month for your website with little to no transaction fees.
You can design your ecommerce website so customers can select whether they want to pick up their order or have it delivered at the checkout (see image below). They’ll then pay for their order through your chosen payment gateway provider.
Bear in mind that you will be charged by your payment gateway provider. There are plenty of payment gateway providers to choose from, including Stripe, which charges 1.4% plus 20p to process transactions, and WorldPay, which charges £19/month.
Alternatively, your chosen website builder may integrate with a third party order and pay platform. Squarespace integrates with a range of low commission platforms, including FlipDish and Gloria Food, giving restaurants the option to find a provider that suits them.
Ecommerce website with click and collect – Squarespace
Squarespace is favoured by many businesses for its sleek template designs. This extends to its ecommerce templates which, when paired with professional imagery and quality copy, allow restaurant owners to create attractive websites that customers will want to buy from.
While it’s no secret that Squarespace’s intricate platform isn’t the easiest to use when it comes to building websites, its seamless integration with order and pay platforms mean restaurant owners can easily upload their menu, and display it in an attractive way to entice customers to make an order.
Because order and pay platforms integrate into your Squarespace website, customers aren’t taken to a separate page to make their order. And better still, many third party order and pay platforms don’t charge restaurant owners commission, meaning 100% of every order made through its platform goes to your restaurant.
Setting up click and collect through your point of sale system
Some electronic point of sale providers enable restaurants to set up click and collect through online platforms. While not technically a website, these online platforms play host to your menu, and integrate with the rest of your point of sale system so all of your orders are processed in the same place.
When you set up an online store through your point of sale system, it generates a link, which customers can then use to access your online store via your website or social media.
Because these online platforms aren’t websites, the web address usually incorporates your point of sale provider’s name. So, if you have a Square point of sale system, your address may look something like restaurantname.square.site.
And because of their simplicity, you won’t have access to the same marketing tools or use search engine optimisation features to help you get your online store appearing in the first few pages of Google.
You can usually set up your online store for no additional cost; although many providers usually charge more to process a transaction made through your online store than they do through a physical restaurant transaction.
Let’s use Square as an example.
Point of sale online store – Square Online
Square Online is the online store platform provided by Square point of sale. Restaurant owners can use Square Online to create an online ordering platform, meaning customers can browse menu items, then select to click and collect their items when it’s time to pay.
When it comes to creating your online store, a selection of dropdown menus and colour schemes allow you to create an attractive platform, meaning your online store could be up and running much quicker than if you were to build a website from scratch using a website builder.
Square doesn’t charge any monthly fees to set up click and collect through its online store, however it does charge 2.5% to process a transaction, rather than the 1.75% it charges for physical transactions.
While its online processing fees are slightly higher, Square Online enables you to set up click and collect and delivery, integrate with Instagram, offer discounts and promotions, and manage your inventory – all for free.
Choosing the best way to set up click and collect
In essence, there's no right or wrong way to set up click and collect for your hospitality business. It is – at the end of the day – all about convenience and weighing up the most cost-effective way for you.
If you already have an EPOS system, why not check to see what apps or online platforms your EPOS provider has on offer? There are lots of providers that offer a similar platform to Square Online, meaning you can easily monetise your Instagram and your website quickly and easily.
As a plus, these platforms often don’t cost you any extra to have, with the only drawback being that your POS provider will charge you a higher fee to process any transaction made through the platform.
If you'd rather have something more sophisticated – for example, a well-performing restaurant website with an integrated click and collect system – you may be better off checking out a website builder.
Make sure you compare ecommerce packages from a range of website builders, and check which third party order and pay platforms you can build into your website. This is because not all website builders offer click and collect through their own platforms, and some third party providers charge lower commission than others.
Lastly, there are order and pay apps. Web-based order and pay apps allow you to monetise your website and your social media with links or page integrations, while native apps give you the most freedom to enhance your customer’s experience with your own branding.
Order and pay apps aren’t the cheapest option, but they are often the most convenient if you’re looking to set up click and collect quickly. And with features including the options to run promotions and loyalty schemes, you’ll soon see that return on investment.