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How is Chownow different from GrubHub, Doordash, and UberEats? Let us find out in this blog!
FoodTech has been on the rise, especially since the Covid19 pandemic. Owing to several reasons like social distancing, health issues, cooking fatigue, and so on, people started ordering food online… more than ever. This gave a huge boost to the FoodTech industry and has given rise to Online Food Ordering platforms.
From UberEats to GrubHub and ChowNow, several Online Food Ordering platforms are competing with each other.
In this article, we will discuss the SaaS Tech solution ChowNow. We will also discuss the factors that differentiate it from platforms like UberEats, GrubHub and Doordash.
But before talking about ChowNow, let us discuss the current status of the food and restaurant industry.
The food and restaurant industries together have seen a lot of changes happening in the last few years. Innovation has taken over the world. Food and grocery deliveries became commonplace. This has led to an explosion of food and grocery delivery platforms.
The following are some current trends that would help you understand the change better –
As online food delivery gained traction, restaurant owners have been facing challenges w.r.t. to digital transformation. For one, the restaurant infrastructure’s failure to handle incoming orders. 71% of restaurants in America face this issue (Forbes, Wall Streat Research).
The other challenges that restaurants have been facing include –
Considering the difficulties, restaurants were compelled to opt for services from 3rd party applications to deliver food to the customers. However, restaurants face challenges here too.
80% of customers in the US blame restaurants for faulty food delivery experiences.
Quality of food (cases where delivery agents eat food).
Restaurants must pay high commissions to 3rd party apps for online food delivery.
While 3rd party delivery apps have made it convenient, they also cause several problems for restaurant owners. So what is the solution?
Found in 2011 by Christopher Webb and Eric Jaffe, ChowNow is an online food application. At the same time, it also offers subscription-based service that helps restaurants serve their customers. Headquartered in Playa Vista, California, ChowNow’s peak revenue in 2021 was $42.0M.
The SaaS platform succeeded in standing out in the already crowded restaurant tech market, and that too with its presence only in the main cities, including –
What makes it unique from the existing apps like DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats is that it is commission-free.
To better understand, you must understand that the application is more than just an online food delivery platform! Rather, it is primarily a mobile ordering head platform.
ChowNow’s primary objective is to support local restaurants’ expansion in the market while avoiding unscrupulous third-party commissions.
ChowNow supports the growth of neighborhood eateries. While hungry diners may find nearby eateries and their menus, the platform enables restaurants to attract more people using technology.
So at its core, ChowNow promotes restaurants by offering them capabilities such as:
Branded online ordering platforms accessible through independent restaurants’ websites.
Google and Facebook pages.
The ChowNow apps and websites provide marketing assistance to restaurants.
Let us understand it in detail –
Unlike the 3rd party applications, which charge a high commission from restaurants, ChowNow enables restaurants to have their online food delivery platform. This way, the restaurant not only gets visibility on the online platform but can also serve the customers directly.
Using ChowNow, restaurants can take unlimited orders for delivery, in-store pickup, and contactless dine-in. Additionally, ChowNow also helps restaurants grow their business and customer base in two –
In addition to all this, ChowNow also provides restaurants with complete access to customer data. Using this data, restaurants can –
ChowNow, as a SaaS platform, is quite innovative. While being profitable to the restaurants, it also helps them serve the customers directly, thus boosting customer satisfaction. To understand it better, it is important to understand how it works.
Customers/eaters can place an order from their favorite restaurant using ChowNow’s app or by going to the website chownow.com. Simple right?
Well, the platform has another benefit – as the customers interact directly with the restaurants, they get to pay less (only the exact amount). This does save them a lot on food.
ChowNow is a boon to restaurants! It not only boosts its digital presence by putting it on the platform but also allows restaurants to connect with their customers directly.
Most restaurants do not have the resources required to handle digital operations – to manage the incoming orders and address them, handle payments, and the customer service resources. ChowNow addresses this problem by letting restaurants create a digital storefront where they can upload photos and have organized menus. So restaurants can have their mobile app without having to write a single line of code. This way, ChowNow makes it possible to interact with restaurants in the way they want to.
The simplest way to understand this is to think of ChowNow like Shopify, but for restaurants.
And the best part about ChowNow is that it does not take a commission per order. Thus, restaurants do not have to worry about spending a huge chunk of their revenue on commissions for online capabilities.
But if it does not charge any commissions, how does ChowNow make money? Well, let us discuss how –
Though ChowNow is completely commission-free, restaurants should pay a fee to use its services. Like most SaaS products, ChowNow, too, has subscription-based pricing.
There are three pricing options available –
$149/mo + $399 set up fee – for a monthly plan
$119/mo + $199 set up fee – for an annual plan
$99/mo + $199 set up fee – for a two-year plan
What more? Restaurant owners can also avail themselves of a free demo to understand how the product works and how it can boost their business. The free trial helps them experience ChowNow’s key features before subscribing.
Now, before drawing comparisons between ChowNow and the 3rd party apps, let us discuss the top three online food delivery platforms in the USA.
DoorDash is one of the most popular 3rd party food delivery platforms in the USA. The main focus of the platform is to connect restaurants and their customers through food delivery. Launched in 2013, the platform offers its food delivery service to over 800 cities in America. The user-friendly platform and the use of AI are among the best features of the application.
The platform has three different applications – one for the restaurant, one for the customers/ users, and one for the driver.
GrubHub is among the top on-demand food delivery services in the USA. It is a mobile platform that facilitates both delivery and pick-up of restaurant orders. Apart from serving regular customers who wish to order restaurant food, GrubHub also provides corporate plans to facilitate large orders and corporate usage. GrubHub, which merged with Seamless Food Delivery App in 2013, has its presence in over 3000 cities across London and USA.
Like DoorDash, GrubHub also has three applications – one for the restaurant, one for the customers/ users, and one for the driver.
We have all been familiar with the on-demand taxi/ cab booking application. It did make an enormous difference in the Transportation Industry. Encouraged by the same, the company started its on-demand food delivery division. UberEats offers full menus from restaurants and food outlets. With its presence in more than 24 countries globally, UberEats has a global reach.
UberEats also has three apps – for the restaurant, for the customers, and one for the driver, respectively.
All three applications work on a commission basis. Restaurants have to pay huge commissions to the app for letting them use the services. This is one of the main reasons concerning restaurants.
Now that we have a brief understanding of the individual platforms let us try to draw comparisons and understand what makes ChowNow different.
Note: The comparison is from the perspective of restaurants (not eaters/ customers)
Let us now compare the features
To sum it up, food delivery has become inevitable for restaurants to stay ahead of the competition and gain visibility. However, availing of the services of 3rd party applications has proven to be expensive for restaurants.
Apart from selling out huge money in the name of commissions, restaurants also have to suffer bad ratings due to poor delivery experience or customer service.
Considering this, many restaurants are choosing to have their digital storefront on SaaS applications like ChowNow.58
ChowNow has been a significant advancement in the FoodTech industry. By providing a direct window between food outlets and customers/ eaters, ChowNow has also taken a step to improve customer satisfaction.
Rohan has over 11 years of experience in client services, marketing and hospitality field. Previously, he was head of digital marketing for a hi-tech mobile application. Rohan is driven by new challenges and the possibility of making an impact on individuals and businesses.
Published August 12, 2022, Updated August 10, 2022
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