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A Bigger Truth About Restaurant Food Delivery

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Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

I was listening to Dan Primack’s podcast on Pro Rata and he was interviewing Senator Klobucher who is now publicly and vocally speaking out against Uber purchasing Grubhub and has tried to mobilize against this.

Her argument is that if Uber buys Grubhub (which itself once merged with Seamless) it would mean that Uber Eats / Grubhub would control half the market and that with DoorDash the two together would control 90% of the market. I think that’s a largely flawed fight to be picking and of all the uses of Senator Klobuchar’s I could think of some much more productive fights to be having.

For starters Uber itself has had to lay off 27% of its workforce due to the pandemic and has been severely impacted financially from the crisis with no immediate respite in sight. Its core business was already struggling to become profitable, so having tertiary businesses like food delivery that can deliver needed profits would be welcome to their financial stability. And the market would still have DoorDash and PostMates duking it out as well as the potential that players like Instacart broaden their business one day or Amazon gets into food delivery.

Even more likely is eventual technology disruption where drones deliver foods and make it hard for existing car delivery services to compete. It won’t happen right away but I’ve seen some innovative companies doing exactly this in places like Australia where they are taking a more liberal approach to allowing drone deliveries. Therein lies the advantages of free markets and competition and if we really believed it were that easy to buy off your largest competitor and be a monopolist we’d all be surfing on AOL TimeWarner portals.

But the broader issue that hasn’t garnered much press attention is how the restaurant industry itself is being transformed and what tools a modern restaurant will need to compete. What is the Shopify of the restaurant industry? I have some compelling data that suggests it may just become ChowNow.

We know that the restaurant business already operates on thin margins and many struggle to survive. So when delivery services came along many were willing to pay the fee to try and increase business. It was only about 10–15% of their actual total revenue per month so for many it wasn’t a battle worth fighting — they just put up with the food delivery company fees. Customers were happy and restaurants focused on their in-store business.

The problem for the restaurants is that the more successful the “aggregators” of customer demand become over time, the less power the restaurants themselves have individually. This will largely be true whether you have 2 strong competitors or 5 because unless a delivery company can make a profit it won’t continue to stay in business.

The delivery companies own the customer relationship and can drive traffic to the most profitable restaurants for them. Obviously if you have a great restaurant brand with differentiated food people search for you by name but for many people looking for pizza, sushi, Mexican food, Thai food, whatever, you might go with the choice put in front of you if it’s being recommended or delivered more quickly. The delivery companies also own many of the assets like the photography so they can make certain options look much more attractive.

So just like when Groupon came out many small merchants welcomed the uptick in traffic, without owning the customer you lose the most valuable asset — the ability to re-market to your customer base and encourage them to become more loyal and more frequent customers. You lose the ability to up-sell and cross-sell products. And just like with Groupon the small businesses ended up having many unprofitable customers.

At Upfront we always took the approach that we wanted to back startups that enabled merchants to own the customer relationship and to increase profits by becoming excellent at marketing and serving ones most loyal customers.

So several years ago we backed a company called ChowNow that enables restaurants to offer self-service ordering for pick-up or delivery and the restaurant owns all of the customer information and relationship — ChowNow is simply a SaaS enablement product.

The company has done well over the past several year but never really captured the same press mindshare as the food delivery companies because when a company shows up at your house you get to know that brand rather than the tech that enables restaurants.

Covid-19 has changed all of that. Whereas pickup & delivery may have been 10–15% of a restaurant’s business before it’s currently 100% and when it’s your entire business the thought of paying huge commissions to a third-party delivery service becomes much less attractive. So while many restaurants knew they eventually needed to invest in better order management software, many had been putting it off.

But just as many product or apparel companies were happy selling at Amazon, Walmart or Nordstrom in the past and have lately realized the importance of Shopify and serving customers directly — so, too, are restaurants. Enter ChowNow.

What data do I have to make the case?

  • ChowNow now has 17,000 restaurants using its SaaS platform for take-out and delivery and is adding more than 2,000 / month right now (and trending up)
  • 10 million diners now use the ChowNow ordering platform vs. 24 million for GrubHub, so like Shopify while they built the customer base slowly and with capital efficiency they are now rivaling the bigger players in footprint
  • Last year they were serving 50,000 customers / day through their platform and did approximately $500 million in GMV (the value of the orders placed), this year they are on track to do $3 billion (with a B) and expect to end the year at a revenue run rate that may top $100 million (yes, I asked for permission to publish these numbers).

If you want to see a short spot that outlines the importance of the restaurant industry arming itself with better software tools to serve and market to their customers you may enjoy this 60-second video that makes it clear why it matters. It speaks volumes to why we all love our local restauranteurs and want to see them survive …

https://medium.com/media/dab8c9b98b12a45a4b06435888cc7fc0/href

Or if you want to see the argument laid out clearly by a customer, look no further than Motorino Pizza in NYC who posted this note that appears before you enter their website:


A Bigger Truth About Restaurant Food Delivery was originally published in Both Sides of the Table on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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6 Ways To Incorporate SEO While Building A Business in 2020

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There’s no quick fix, or “one and done” solution when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). You have to be prepared to play the long game to see the full advantages of SEO when developing a site — and it’s worth it to see your site rank highly on search engine result pages.

That said, there are some methods that will give you a quick boost. Shift more attention to the most significant ranking factors and tactics that will give your site the ability to rise to the top of the search results this year.

Choose a Responsive Design

User experience is a big deal these days. Google loves to serve its users the best results possible. If your website isn’t easy to use on a mobile device, you’re going to suffer a setback in ranking. Think about it, have you ever landed on a site where you had to zoom in to read the text and scroll side-to-side to read all of the content? This was most likely the desktop version of a website. It was made for larger screens and doesn’t reformat to fit on different screen sizes.

Responsive sites will resize images and reorganize the blocks of content according to the size of the screen. If you want to test whether a website is responsive, open up a web page on a desktop or laptop. From the full screen, shrink the window by clicking and dragging, and you’ll see the sidebars move, the navigation and header will take on new positions and the content and images will line up differently. 

Mobile search volume accounts for more than half of the total searches made online (see chart below). A responsive, mobile friendly site is no longer an option, but a necessity, when it comes to providing an enjoyable user experience.

Create Keyword Clusters

Making a list of keywords that your ideal audience would use to find the content you’re offering will also boost your SEO ranking. Plug each keyword into a keyword tool to generate additional ideas. Assess the best options for keywords to include in your content strategy by grouping them into pools based on search intent. You’ll notice that many of those keyword options will be subtopics large enough to write an entire blog post about, in which you can provide more detailed content optimized for a related keyword.

For example, if you own a home improvement business, a central page on your site would be kitchen renovation. And because there are so many choices to make when renovating a kitchen, you could then go into depth and create a new page for every option, from counter tops and backsplash tile to faucets and refrigerators. When you’re planning your content, structure the website to feature central pages that are optimized for the most central, competitive keywords and most important aspects of your business.

Publish articles on the related subtopics in full detail in order to provide as much information on those major keyword topics, to show your expertise in your field, and to demonstrate authority within the content of your site. Google looks for this as partial evidence of your status as an expert in your niche.

Google also loves when there is a distinct organizational structure. By linking the subtopic posts to your major product pages, you signal what pages are most important to your site by creating a keyword cluster.

Image source: https://webstyleguide.com/wsg3/3-information-architecture/3-site-structure.html

Optimize Your Content

On-page optimization enhances the likelihood of your page being ranked for your target keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing and place your keywords strategically. For instance, use your target keywords in the front end of your titles, and keep your titles under 60 characters or they will get cut off in the search display.

Place your keyword in your URL. The most effective URLs are those that are under 5 words and summarize the title or content on the page. Keywords should also be included in the meta description. Using your keyword in the beginning of the meta description will improve the click-through rate for users. As will placing your keyword within the first 100 words in the first paragraph of your content, and using keywords and keyword synonyms in the subtitles.

Use structured data markup whenever possible. If you can provide a rich snippet, you may get a boost in the position your site is displayed.

Make Your Pages Quick and Nimble

With a heavy emphasis on user experience, page speed can make a huge difference in how your site performs. If you’re an ecommerce site, it becomes extremely important because every second your page takes to load will cost your business money from lower conversions.

 graph-seo-png

 mPulse Mobile Case Study on Page Speed Vs Conversion Rates, Image source: https://digitalducats.com/page-speed/

Test your mobile page speed here. You can improve your site speed by reducing image file sizes, using plugins, and using a content delivery network to give your website additional page speed.

  • To reduce the size of your images use Kraken or Smush.
  • W3 Cache is one of the most popular WordPress plugins that increase page speed, but you can decide for yourself by choosing one from this list.
  • Choose a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to reduce your pages load time from a list of options here.

Get Other Sites to Link to You

Establishing credibility and authority is a necessity to be competitive in search results. Backlinks are a powerful way to prove that your content is credible and authoritative because essentially it is being endorsed by the websites that link to you. But stay away from paid links, or any link scheme used to manipulate ranking in an underhanded way. Unnatural linking will lead to penalties and should be avoided altogether.

One approved method of link building is to become a guest author. There are guest posting sites in every niche and having knowledge about your business is all you need to create an article that can be submitted to a site for publication. It may take a few weeks to get a response, and you may need a few submissions before receiving acceptance. Get into a routine for guest posting to build backlinks as fast as possible.

Ask People to Share Your Content

A social network is a priceless asset for expanding your audience and getting more traffic to your website. Build your network by being active on the social media site that has the most impact on your business.

Install social sharing icons on your site and include a call to action to get the most shares. A retweet study revealed that content with share icons received 4 times as many retweets with the phrase “Please RT”.

Conclusion

Although there is a lot to put together to achieve a first page result, it’s a long-term game plan. Start building your website with SEO in mind to give your site the best chance at the top positions in search results.

 



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9 tips on how to reach your goals

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Most successful entrepreneurs, athletes, and other high-achievers need to have some sort of goals set out to know where to aim. Pursuing a goal is something everybody does, some people talk about it and some people don't even think about it. Some say that you shouldn't tell anyone about your goals, but that's another story.

9 tips on how to reach your goals

First of all, you got to have goals to be able to reach them. The second step is going after them, and this part is something that many people miss even if it seems obvious. Here's a list with tips to use:

1. Start now

So many people want to do things but never start. I understand if you have several big goals that are hard to pursue at the same time, but if you haven't started with any of your goals then do it today, now! Most of us have around 16 hours awake, most of us have something that gives us food on the table and roof over our head, also knows as a job. The job usually takes around 8 hours a day depending on how and what you work with. But then it's 8 hours left. If you have a goal use at least 2 of those 8 hrs of free time to start pursuing your goal. 2 hrs every day is 14 hrs per week and around 60 hrs per month. A pretty good amount of work can be done during that time without even quitting your job.

2. Don't quit your job if you don't have to.

This is something I did, and I don't regret it. But if I knew what I know now I would have at least had a halftime job in the beginning. Of course, you maybe don't have a goal or a dream of starting your own company or what have you. But if your goal takes a lot of time I know your thoughts will go that way. Before you quit your job to free up more time, save up for a decent "runway" if things take longer than you thought.

3. Be prepared that it won't be easy.

As the famous quote from Art William says: "I'm not telling you it's going to be easy – I'm telling you it's going to be worth it" For example to build a successful company, or to get healthier or learn how to code, or whatever your goals are. It's not going to be easy, and it's better to be prepared for a lot of hard work than a dance on roses. But if it's your goal and it is what makes you happy, then you won't notice the hard things because you know where you're going and you love the thing you do. That brings us into the 4:th bullet.

4. Don't pursue goals that aren't yours.

If you go after a goal and you're not sure why then it's going to be hard to reach that goal, and maybe not even worth the time you spend doing it. You have to be able to find a good enough reason for yourself even if you are pursuing it with someone else.

5. Track and measure your goals.

Use an app, journal, or notebook to track and measure your progress. It's easy to just keep going and miss the goal, which maybe is your goal, to go further(?). To have a point to measure is good just to know where you are on the journey and it's easy to set up. Always begin with breaking down your goal into smaller parts that seem more manageable. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, but if you read this post you'll get a good picture of how I do it. When you have smaller parts of your goal you can start setting those as timed goals, as for an example: "I'm going to make this part in one month". It will be both rewarding and "easier" to get small wins along the way.

6. Can you reach your goal today?

If one of your goals is something you want to buy or maybe something you want to do that costs money, then it's possible you can do it today even if you don't have all the money, without taking a stupid loan.
What you could do instead of taking a stupid loan is to break up the cost and pay it over a short period, just make sure you count everything in so you don't end up making a bad decision. But sometimes your goal is closer than you think.

7. Work hard.

This point can't be said in another way. Don't skip sleep and don't forget to sometimes take a break, but no one has succeeded without working hard. No one. And if they haven't worked hard, have they succeeded then? Or have they just finished what they set up to do?
"Working hard" for me isn't just sitting and working 18 hours in a row. Working hard can be so many things, like doing the hard things that bring you closer to where you want to go. Here's a tool for goal-tracking and daily prioritization.

8. Have patience.

Things take time. So don't expect things to happen overnight (it can but don't expect it), and don't forget the journey and the adventure on the way reaching your goal. There's a good saying about it: "They are worried about their years while wasting their days." And here's another quote: "You don't want to hear the story about how it felt when they reached the goal, you want to hear the story about how they reached the goal."

9. Don't listen to much what others say.

This one is hard. Especially today when it's so incredibly easy to get overwhelmed with information. But it's more about don't listen to what others think about what you do. If your goal is what truly makes you happy, then you should pursue it whatever others think. Taking advice from others is another thing, but you should not just listen blindly and make your decisions out of that. Try talking to different people and then take every answer you get and mix it into your own decision (if that makes any sense).

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Breaking through the resistance and into success: My 5 top tips for getting unstuck and feeling unstoppable

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It’s one thing to have an idea or a dream of starting a business… but it’s something completely different to have the courage to turn that dream into a successful and profitable business that you love.

The truth is that we all experience resistance when we have an idea to try something new. And it’s not just something we struggle with at the beginning…

I’ve experienced periods of this struggle throughout my entire entrepreneurial journey – whenever I come up with a new idea or have a new dream to get to another level, that resistance creeps back in and gets in my way!

As entrepreneurs, we need to become masters of overcoming resistance, even when it feels like there’s no option but to stay stuck.

So in this episode, I wanted to share with you my 5 top tips for doing exactly this. These are the powerful strategies I always turn to whenever doubts, fears and worries flood my brain and cloud my willingness to keep pushing through.

I’m sharing with you:

  • Why it took me 3 years from coming up with the idea for the Female Entrepreneur Association to actually launching it.
  • The most common resistance we all face when it comes to putting ourselves and our ideas out there and the #1 thing we need to do to overcome this.
  • The self-coaching exercise I use every time resistance comes up that helps me uncover the truth behind what’s really going on in my head.
  • How to rewire your brain and flood yourself with positivity and motivation.
  • How to tap into the foresight of your future self to guide the decisions you make today.
  • How to stop letting everyday distractions hold you back.
  • How to manifest more of what you want into your life

If you’re dreaming of taking your life or your business to the next level right now, but you’re feeling weighed down by resistance – I know that these powerful strategies will help you break through to the other side.

After you’ve tuned into the episode, drop me a comment below and let me know what’s the number one belief you have that you feel has been holding you back. Learning from each other’s struggles makes us realise that we’re never alone, so share below and let’s get this discussion going!

Also make sure you subscribe to the She Means Business podcast and to our newsletter so that you can get notified when we drop our upcoming episodes (we have some INCREDIBLE interviews coming your way soon!)

The post Breaking through the resistance and into success: My 5 top tips for getting unstuck and feeling unstoppable appeared first on Female Entrepreneur Association.



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