Commission-Free Online Ordering App for your Restaurant
There was a time, not too long ago, when your takeout business was just icing on the cake. Your main revenue stream was your dining room, with weekends and holidays making up the bulk of your income.
Takeout and delivery business was a nice sideline, but it was meant more for the convenience of your customers than a way to make money. Even though the online ordering apps took too big a slice of the pie, it was only a small pie.
But things changed in the age of COVID-19, and even after the worst of the current pandemic is over, it seems there will be new variants for the foreseeable future; and we may be facing an extended period when dine-in service just won’t be as lucrative as it once was.
Now that your entire business is relying on takeout and delivery, can you really afford to be spending so much on the commissions demanded by the big-name dining apps?
There is a better way…
Since early 2018, JEM Software has been offering restaurant clients in the Windsor area an alternative to the high-priced national brands. The app we install is not as well known here in Canada as the expensive national brands. But it is used in tens of thousands of restaurants around the world, including a fair number right here in Windsor and Essex County. Because the app company spends NOTHING on advertising, there is no need for them to ask very much of the restaurants that use it.
JEM Software is a partner of the app builder, responsible for installing the app, training restaurant staff, and supporting the restaurants who use it. From the beginning, there has never been any commission to use the app; and the vast majority of restaurants who use it never pay any fee.
As of August 31, 2021, the top 7 local users of our app have sold in excess of $1.37M through the app – with no commission paid to anyone.
Three price points, one goal: Saving you as much money as possible
Unlimited free orders
The basic online ordering app is completely free, and fully featured. It offers unlimited orders, dine-in, takeout, and delivery, and support for payment by credit card, debit card, cash and even e-transfers at the point of pickup or delivery. It even offers one “promotional deal” (such as free delivery, or a discount with minimum purchase) as part of the free package. For many restaurants, that’s enough.
But, for those who want more flexibility and capability, there are TWO paid options. They are still commission-free, but there is a fixed, monthly fee charged for each enhanced service.
Unlimited promotional deals
Above, I mentioned two examples of “promotions” (free delivery, and discount with minimum purchase). With the free plan, you could choose one promotion or the other, but not both. For only $19US/month, you can create as many promotions as you wish, from a selection of 13 different promotion types. Did you want to offer a buy-one-get-one promotion (otherwise known as BOGO)? Or perhaps a choice of entrees, side dishes and dessert all for a fixed price? Or how about a discount for cash payment, and a different discount for credit card payment with a minimum purchase? With a little imagination and planning, there’s virtually no limit to the number of promotions you can create. Maybe you want to send special gift certificates to your best customers? It’s all there.
Unlimited Prepaid orders
Although even the free plan allows your customers to use virtually any method of payment, they can only pay at the time of pickup or delivery. With the prepaid order option, you guarantee that orders are paid for before they are cooked, reducing losses due to fraud or prank orders. For only $29US/month, you get access to a payment gateway, where you link your own merchant account to your online app. Every time you accept a prepaid order, money is routed directly to your merchant account. As with every merchant account, your payment processor will charge you a per-transaction fee and possibly a monthly administrative fee; but this is between you and your payment processor – there is no per-transaction fee charged by the app provider.
You want data? You’ve got data!
The administrative area within the app provides a wealth of information to the restaurant management. Do you want to know the revenue mix between dine-in, takeout, and delivery? How about cash business vs. credit card? Or a report of how many customers in a given period are new vs. repeat customers? Would you like to see a map of the city, with indicators of where your delivery orders come from (and how many are in each area)? Just look at the “heat map” report and get a feel for where your customers are. Do you want to know how much of every dish is ordered over a given time period? No problem! And wouldn’t it be nice to know which of your customers are your most loyal, so that you might want to reward them for their patronage? It’s all there, and all yours.
So, what’s the catch?
All this sounds too good to be true, right? So, what’s the catch?
Because this app isn’t being provided as part of a value-added service, it doesn’t come with equipment – otherwise, there would need to be a monthly maintenance fee. So, you need to provide your own in-store wifi connection and an order receiving device. While we recommend Android tablets for their lower cost and better general purpose performance, the app also works with Apple iPads. If you don’t mind working with a smaller screen, you can use an Android phone or Apple iPhone instead, but really, you should save your eyesight and invest in a tablet.
If you want to really streamline your operation, you might consider investing in a specialized thermal Point-of-Sale printer (only specific models that include an Ethernet port are supported), but that’s a luxury you can decide to use or not as your volume dictates.
The biggest catch is for those who offer delivery. With no national network behind this app, there is no built-in delivery infrastructure. That means you either have to hire your own drivers, or sign up with one of several available independent delivery companies servicing the Windsor market.
How does JEM Software make money?
JEM Software got into the business of distributing this app because we’re local, and we wanted to do what we could to save the restaurants we love to frequent. But, we need to eat too. So, here’s what we offer for a fee:
- We charge restaurants to convert their printed or electronic menus to the form necessary for use with this app. The charge is based on an hourly rate. We enter into a contract which explains exactly what we deliver and what we expect from you.
- When the menu is ready to go online, we work with your existing website designer to integrate the app into your website, your Facebook page (business account only) and Google search profile. This service is included in the fee to get your restaurant app going.
- If you don’t have a website and want to have one created for you, we can create a simple site – meant to be linked to your Google profile – or something more elaborate, if that’s what you want. We have designed many restaurant sites, and can also provide website hosting if you don’t have hosting of your own.
- Although we teach you how to use the app and the administrative console that sits “behind the scenes”, we know that many restaurant owners don’t have the time to do nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes work (such as adding items, updating prices, etc.). Once a menu is in place, we offer a discounted hourly rate to do simple price updates.
Ready to take the next step?
Call 519-252-4357 and ask for an appointment. We’ll come out to your restaurant, get some background information and come back to you with a proposal. Once you accept our proposal, put down your deposit and provide the artwork and photos of your dishes, we will deliver a finished app, ready to go, within ONE WEEK. You may need more time than that on your end to buy your tablet, make arrangements with your website designer to do the integration, and do whatever else needs to be done to launch on your end, but I promise it won’t be us holding back your scheduled launch.