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By 6 May 2020 | Categories: Misc

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Under Level Four of the phased reopening of the economy, restaurants around the country will be able to operate once more, albeit only via the delivery of takeaways. Additionally, with the lockdown still essentially in place, although to a lesser extent, more brick and mortar retailers will require online ordering and delivery capabilities too. For many small businesses and those lacking the amenities to make deliveries, mainstream delivery solutions are often too expensive or simply out of geographical reach. To this end, V & S Innovation, a local business incubator, has developed the Place Order platform, a new and affordable online ordering and delivery solution for businesses wanting to get their operations back up and running.

Place Order is an all-in-one ordering, payment, delivery and loyalty solution  (and the only one of its kind) which allows businesses to upload their products to a personalised platform from which customers are able to browse, select, pay for and arrange delivery of their purchases, all from the comfort of their own homes.

The platform is compatible with a range of leading point-of-sale solutions, such as GAAP and Pilot POS. Plus, it can be fully operational within three to four working days, enabling outlets to become fully functioning faster and at a fraction of the cost of developing a solution for each enterprise. Establishments are given the option of managing deliveries themselves or using the platform’s tried and tested third party delivery solutions to deliver on a mass scale. Over and above the in-built loyalty solution offered, Place Order also allows outlets to integrate existing customer loyalty programmes - further incentivising patrons to order more often via the platform and ensuring the consistency in service they have come to expect.

Understandably, restaurants in small towns and underserviced areas do not have the urban marketplace apps and scale to warrant their own applications. The V&S Innovation team has therefore developed the MiTown app which equips outlets in these regions with all the features of the Place Order platform. All of the eateries within these regions are listed in one app and by enabling combined online ordering and delivery, they are afforded an economical solution. What’s more, customers only need to download one app to gain access to all these restaurants.

According to V & S Innovation Co-Founder, Tim Strang, solutions such as Place Order are a pressing necessity: “The reality is that COVID-19 is going to have a prolonged impact on the food and hospitality sectors. While certain restrictions may be lifted, it will most likely be a while before we see any sign of a return to normal operations for businesses in these areas. At the same time, these establishments are vital providers of food and act as a catalyst for job creation and economic development. The problem is that existing food delivery services charge restauranteurs rates that are not feasible in the current economic climate if they are to operate at all. For businesses in the food industry to operate and continue to contribute, they need a solution that works with their budget and they need to be able to work within the restrictions placed upon them by Government. In this case, that means ensuring they are able to service customers via a delivery service that is affordable.”

For  Dror Zur, owner of Stars Restaurant in Mossel Bay, Place Order, has been a lifesaver: “We  looked at creating a delivery app for a long time but found it very costly and complicated, that is until we got in contact with Place Order.  It is very cost effective, fast and simple. Now, we can finally grow our food delivery side!"

In addition to restaurants, Place Order is the ideal delivery solution for any business: “Our software is capable of handling vast amounts of data and a plethora of products, making it a viable solution for food outlets, retailers, offices, factories, and school canteens too. The benefit of using Place Order in these spaces is that it eliminates the need for queues which helps maintain physical distancing. To date, we have already successfully launched the platform in two Spar outlets in KwaZulu-Natal,” adds Strang.

Kyle Buckley of Winklespruit SuperSpar says: “With the huge demand of WhatsApp ordering, we decided to take it one step forward - online ordering. We believe online ordering is here to stay, and the Place Order system was able to get up and running quickly to enable click and collect as well as delivery for our store. It has been a huge help during the difficult times we are all facing."

To create a Place Order application for your business or for more information, go to https://www.vands.co.za/

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