Call for management scheme for restaurants
Industry experts and catering business owners are calling for a centralized management scheme for restaurants to respond to the rising demand for takeaway food.
The revenue from food delivery services has been catching up with dine-in revenue and it is estimated that third-party delivery services will account for about 15 percent of the overall dining business in the near future, according to WeChat-based CRM solution provider WeiMob.
Takeaway orders have been rising at the rate of 50 percent a year while the income from dine-in business only has single-digit growth, according to WeiMob payment data.
Zhou Menghai, the founder of Mind Up Capital, called for more sophisticated thinking for catering businesses instead of just leveraging livestreaming to sell products.
"More product and strategy planning are needed before catering businesses are to shift toward online channels," he added.
Shen Siming, former director of the Shanghai Restaurant Cuisine Association said: "Previously most business decisions were made based on experience or gut feelings but nowadays data analyzing becomes essential."
Social media-based marketing and digital infrastructure has become crucial for catering businesses as people turned to online platforms to read reviews and order food.
They are being advised to combine digital storefronts, food delivery and dine-in services into one integrated membership system to optimize their revenue structure.
Bai Yu, president of WeiMob's smart catering business unit, suggested that in this way companies can save costs instead of relying on third-party platforms, which usually charge commission on every order.
Zheng Mengwu, president of Feng Shou Ri Catering Group, pointed out the data inconsistency of online and offline operations as a major obstacle for restaurants to pursue restructuring.