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Why you need WhatsApp in your Restaurant Business

Tellephant

As a restaurant in 2021, you’re probably selling on a food delivery platform. Chances are, they started off by enticing you with a relatively low commission rate but have since then increased what they charge you over time. 

Additionally, you start to find that you have no idea who your end customers are. You prepare orders for which you probably make too little, and end up shipping out order numbers for which you have no data on who the end customers are.

A WhatsApp and/or Messenger food ordering bot, can help. We explore 5 reasons why your business must use WhatsApp as we move into 2021 and prepare for the new normal. But first, a quick look on how a WhatsApp ordering bot would actually work.

How It Works

The first step is getting an official WhatsApp For Business API or WABA. This process is free to apply and is the same technology that allows larger brands to get a green tick next to their name so your customers know you’re the real deal. 

We then build a bot and train it against your entire menu. This is part of our proprietary technology. 

Once this is done, a customer can simply message in and state their order. Our bot understands this and prepares an order accordingly. In terms of delivery location, you can use WhatsApp’s location feature to collect the user location which makes for a great user experience. Conversational experience and conversational commerce does have huge advantages over traditional e-commerce and an interesting article by LightSpeed Venture partners on conversational commerce can be found here

Finally, in order to pay, the bot integrates with stripe, razorpay, or any other payment gateway. WhatsApp now also has a native payments solution in India and Brazil though an API is not yet available. Once this happens, the value of your bots increase tenfold. 

Commission Rates And Better Profit Margins

You work hard to make some great food, only for a delivery aggregator to take away a healthy chunk ranging anywhere from 10% to 35% as a commission. 

By offering your own platform to people to order (all on a chat platform that they love, and are comfortable with) you cut out the middleman and are able to start selling directly to consumers.

There are also a range of hyperlocal delivery fleet companies that you can integrate with that take care of actual delivery. For example, Dunzo and Lalamove. 

What's important to note is that we offer a flat platform fee and not a per order fee so you always know how much you’ll pay.

New Customer Acquisition

Delivery platforms and aggregators do have the advantage of providing you new customers that are not yet decided on what restaurant to order from. However, in terms of a Peer 2 Peer referral strategy, I’m most likely to ask a friend of mine “Hey, what's the best Thai restaurant?” on WhatsApp or messenger. Once he/she replies, I’d search for that restaurant but what if they could directly share a bot number on WhatsApp with me, so I never had to even leave WhatsApp thereby reducing the drop off rate?

In essence, since a lot of discovery happens through referrals, you can own this space by being on the platform that the referrals themselves happen on.

Brand Loyalty 

By offering some level of discounts and cashbacks, you can build brand loyalty. Most famously , Starbucks loyalty program helped increase revenue by $2.65 Billion and by tying in customers to your ecosystem, you can build this loyalty directly with customers. 

Otherwise, customer loyalty is towards the app, and not your business. 

Customer Data

What adds immense value to your business is, having direct customer data. By offering the service directly to consumers on WhatsApp, as soon as they message you, you have their names and their phone number. What's more, is that these are real phone numbers as you are messaging them from WhatsApp. There is no way to fake a phone number and numbers are effectively “pre-vetted”. 

When a user then shares their location on WhatsApp, you as a business start to build a heat map of where your orders are coming from, and how you can tweak your menu or ordering strategy accordingly.

For example, you might find that you get a lot of orders in an office block in which case it may make sense to start offering a “working lunch” type of menu.

Contactless Dining

Contactless in-store dining is going to be more and more important. When a customer comes into your store, you can offer them a QR code to scan on their phones that opens up WhatsApp. 

On WhatsApp, you can share a menu and then start to take orders too. What's exciting here, is that unlike a web page that does the same thing, you also get targetable customer data each time a menu is opened.

You can test out a bot here to see what it feels like. You can sign up directly on Tellephant.com now and get started with your Food Delivery bot. We’d love to help!

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