Posted on Wednesday, 22nd April, 2020
At the time of writing, New Zealand is planning to ease its lockdown restrictions to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from Monday 27 April. Information in this article is designed to help businesses get ready to re-open for delivery at that time.
With New Zealand set to ease its lockdown restrictions, the hospitality industry is able to start transitioning back to some kind of normality with the change permitting the resumption of delivery and takeaway services.
As many businesses are starting to operate through third-party online delivery platforms such as Menulog and Delivereasy for the first time, we have reviewed some popular platforms to help you make a decision that is best for your business.
It’s important to note that while the leading delivery platforms demand a significant commission, there are varying ways to interact with them.
For example, some offer customer pick-up as an option at greatly reduced commission rates. Some also give venues the choice to deliver food ordered via the platform themselves. While this option does carry a commission, it is lower than that offered for third party delivery.
Sign-up fee: Waived (usually $500)
Ongoing fees: 20-35% of each order that’s delivered, depending on negotiated terms. Zero fees for pick-up until 30 June.
An UberEats spokesperson told us that its app is currently paused in New Zealand but will be switched back on at the appropriate time and in consultation with health experts and the general community.
"We are always working to help keep everyone who uses the Uber platform safe and will continue to share advice from public health authorities with those who use the app,” the spokesperson said. “Once up and running, all UberEats orders will be contactless.”
Prior to restrictions, UberEats was available in six cities across New Zealand: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. UberEats confirmed to us that it is its intention to be operational in those locations once more. It claims to have more than 2,000 restaurant partners serving in excess of 100,000 dishes in New Zealand.
UberEats recently announced a restaurant relief package for restaurants:
- The option to receive daily rather than weekly payments.
- Waiving of activation fees to help new providers wanting to join the platform, and reducing wait times to less than 24 hours for new sign-ups.
- An expansion of the platform’s capabilities to include caterers.
Once signed up
UberEats’ pricing traditionally has two parts: a $500 one-time activation fee with a welcome kit, tablet, restaurant software and professional photo shoot, which has been waived during the current crisis; and its commission, which is calculated as a percentage of each order made through the app.
The Uber platform connects restaurants and cafes with independent drivers, riders and walkers who deliver to your customers, meaning restaurants don’t need their own delivery staff. But if you do have your own staff, Uber can use them too.
The Uber dashboard allows you to keep track of new orders and manage deliveries. Its software provides deeper access to menus, payments, sales data and customer insight. You also have access to a tech support team.
According to UberEats the platform collects a service fee, calculated as a percentage of a restaurant’s sales on the app. Various sources state the service fee to be a commission of up to 35%, while drivers pay a service fee of 30-35%.
Here’s where to sign up: Uber Eats
Consolidated with the EatNow brand.
Sign-up fee: Free
Ongoing fees: 14% of each order. Commission on pickup orders has been halved.
According to the commercial director of Menulog NZ, Paul Dodds, the Menulog platform is purely one-sided. “We don’t have our own drivers. We work with restaurants who do their own delivery instead,” he told website The Spinoff.
Due to it not operating a logistics service in New Zealand, all commissions are a flat 14%. Menulog says it retains in excess of 800 restaurant partners across the country, connecting more than 150,000 customers to restaurants serving 50-plus cuisines.
In response to the impact of COVID-19, Menulog says it will halve commission on pickup orders across all restaurants to help stimulate in-store business as well as delivery. It says it has invested more funds in marketing to promote local restaurants when they re-open for pickup and delivery.
Menulog is matching UberEats in waiving establishment costs for hospitality venues wanting to take advantage of its pickup and delivery platform over the coming months. The company claims its platform helps keep venue staff in jobs as they can be redeployed as delivery drivers.
Once signed up
Menulog installed an order terminal for receiving and managing orders that are placed by customers at the Menulog website or app, which are then delivered by your driver to the customer.
Menulog claims to have recently invested additional resources that allow it to quickly provide ordering and delivery solutions to hospitality businesses.
Menulog takes a 14% commission for each order placed on its platform and delivered by the restaurant itself. This fee has currently been halved for pickup orders. It charges no service fees nor mandates a lock-in contract.
A restaurant can opt for an “order now” button for its website at a reduced rate, and can set their own minimum order amount and delivery fee, which is paid directly to the restaurant.
Here’s where to sign up: Menulog
Sign-up fee: $300, including a tablet and photographic shoot ($150 without photography)
Ongoing fees: 20-35% per order depending on exclusivity arrangement.
Delivereasy is a 100% locally owned and operated food delivery service. It was established in Wellington and has gradually spread its wings across the country. It can now be found in 12 cities across New Zealand including Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Upper Hutt, Dunedin and Palmerston North.
Director Nick Foster says the platform is fielding many more enquiries than is typical due to the circumstances around COVID-19 restrictions.
“At present, we’re inundated with potential clients and expanding fast,” he says. This has meant the sign up process with Delivereasy is taking longer than usual. “From first contact, [it’s] at least five days,” says Foster.
In terms of other assistance for partners at this time, Foster says Delivereasy simply relies on what it believes to be its competitive advantage for partners.
“At this stage there won't be any specific extra benefits for restaurants other than our ability to provide high quality service at comparatively low commission rates.”
Once signed up
Delivereasy strongly encourages its partner restaurants to use the same prices for delivery as they do in store. Meal payments through the Delivereasy platform can only be made by credit or debit card.
Delivereasy charges a commission per order. For its exclusive partner restaurants, that commission fee can be as low as 20%. For non-exclusive agreements, the commission varies between 30-35%.
Delivery fees paid by customers start at $7 and are based on delivery distance.
Here’s where to sign up: Delivereasy
Sign-up fee: Free
Ongoing fees: Not disclosed but believed to be less than 20% per order.
Food Ninja is the brainchild of two Wellington entrepreneurs. While it is still very much a Wellington-based business, it is expanding across the country and already has a large delivery footprint in Porirua.
The Food Ninja delivery fee, payable by the diner, starts at $6.90. The further the restaurant is from the delivery address, the higher the fee.
The platform allows users to order from both partnered and non-partnered restaurants. The effect of this is that menu prices for partnered restaurants are identical to the dine-in prices, while higher menu prices for food ordered from non-partnered restaurants is a way for Food Ninja to offset its administration and transaction costs.
Food Ninja says the processing time for the signing up of a new partner depends on the restaurant owner but that it usually takes about a week after contracts are signed and the menu is submitted by the restaurant to the platform.
Once signed up
The platform is software based, allowing partners to manage their business, take orders and monitor sales performance with a real-time dashboard tool. Food Ninja can provide a tablet device if required.
Food Ninja says it provides various value-added services to its partner restaurants, including marketing advice, to help build their delivery business.
Like other platforms, Food Ninja charges a commission per order, and claims to be cheaper than its competitors. The fee charged is dependent on order volumes; the more sales through the platform, the lower the commission. There are no upfront or monthly fixed costs to pay.
Delivery fees paid by customers start at $6.90 and are based on delivery distance. At this stage, food ordered through Food Ninja is delivery only, but the company says it intends to offer order pickup functionality in time.
Here’s where to sign up: FoodNinja