Why ordering food online for the office is the future

Monday, 31 July, 2017

Why ordering food online for the office is the future

The boom of food home delivery services is spreading to the corporate world, and canny caterers can cash in.

Ordering food online is a multibillion-dollar industry in Australia alone. With at least 50% of people having already purchased meals via online delivery services for convenience, it’s only natural that businesses are also looking for ease when it comes to their catering options.

The managing director of corporate catering service Order-In, Jonathan Rowley, said, “When I launched the company in 2000, Order-In was the first-of-its-kind innovative online platform where businesses could easily order food for all occasions.

“Australians greatly appreciate convenience, ease of ordering and choice. Consumers who are familiar with shopping online, via mobile apps and websites, are expecting a similar experience when ordering catering or takeaway food.”

This trend has seen a boom of food home delivery services. The concept of ordering food online has become increasingly popular. There are now numerous consumer-targeted takeaway delivery companies being used by thousands of Australians every day, and this has paved the way for the corporate catering industry.

“The time is ripe now for online platforms such as Order-In. In June 2017 alone, we saw a year-on-year growth of 82% increase in our website traffic,” said Rowley.

Further, Order-In’s partnerships are accumulating rapidly and sales have grown 29% in the last quarter alone. This month the company is celebrating its 300th catering partner, having increased the number of caterers by 64% in a single year.

Rowley explained further, “Digital technology is reshaping the corporate catering industry and ordering food to the office is now easier than ever. The Australian food tech space tends to be a bit of a ‘winner takes all’ space. Australians live in a very technology driven era and, as we start to rely more and more on innovative online services to help make our lives more efficient, the company that meets the demands of the business sector and makes it convenient will win.”

Key trends the company is seeing within the industry stand to benefit both business and caterers. In terms of businesses, they seek:

  • Convenience — Online platforms help ease some of the stress from our increasingly fast-paced lives, buying caterers time, with less effort and stress.
  • Choice — Australian companies want more creative catering than sausage rolls or party pies. One of the benefits of living in a multicultural country is the huge variety of cuisines available. Order-In has about 87% more caterers nationally than its nearest competitor. As well as the traditional catering options, numerous other suppliers offer options such as Mexican street food, South American tapas, donuts, healthy options and Indigenous Australian catering.
  • Increased efficiency — Order-In in particular offers businesses the simplicity and transparency of a single integrated solution for catering nationwide, with service-level guarantees; streamlined billing, payment and expense reporting; and a range of savings.

In terms of caterers, this disruption to the old model will benefit those who see it is as an opportunity to garner:

  • Support — Platforms such as Order-In (currently the largest B2B catering hub) offer caterers wide market exposure through mass marketing, customer service and IT resources, of which many could not afford to have dedicated staff within these roles.
  • Sales — The platform sales team has access to a very large segment of Corporate Australia, which many caterers could not access on their own.
  • Sales results — The average order size through the platform is $309, which offers a high return on a nominal fee.
  • Increased efficiency — Caterers are able to focus on their core function of catering whilst the platform interfaces with the customer, performing backend duties such as generating invoices and collecting payments. This allows the caterer’s administration and accounting processes to be streamlined.

Rowley concluded, “We believe convenience and choice is the key to a superior online model. This, coupled with changing behaviours and technological advances, will certainly mean that digital marketplaces will absolutely be the way of the future.”


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