5 Reasons Why Online Food Ordering Portals Are Harmful to Your Restaurant

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Currently, more and more restaurants decide to cooperate with online food ordering portals. They are popular, easy-to-use, and promise a lot of orders with almost no effort. It looks like the perfect solution, does it not? Unfortunately, it may not be such a good idea as it seems at first sight. Look at five unobvious and unpleasant consequences of cooperation with a food ordering portal.

  1. Constantly rising costs Let’s say that your restaurant improves and gets more and more orders. Although it seems great, there is a problem with the food portal which you cooperate with. The more orders you get, the more money they demand from you. Moreover, online food ordering portals may ask for more commission practically whenever they want to. On the other hand, if your customers make orders through your restaurant’s website, the costs are lower and always on the same level.
  2. The lack of your own customer base When it comes to any business, the base of customers has a crucial meaning. Unfortunately, you are not able to build and maintain one when you use online food ordering portals. They communicate directly with all of the customers and often advertise different restaurants to them. If customers make orders from your website, you are totally independent. You can send them your special offers through newsletter or SMS. Their loyalty is being built for your brand only.
  3. Lack of control over order numbers you cannot influence the number of orders which you get from online food ordering portals. They decide whether they will promote your restaurant to encourage more customers to choose it. You have no control so, you will not be able to develop your business in the long term. Thanks to direct sales, you can do whatever you want to make your restaurant more and more famous. And, what is more important, all the benefits from it come to you.
  4. You are forced to always rely on a food ordering portal Do you trust the food ordering portal enough to rely on it completely? Think about what would happen if you resigned from the cooperation or if the portal went bankrupt. Your restaurant would stay with nothing. No online orders at all. What about when you sell directly from your website? You do not depend on the decisions of a separate company. You can make changes and manage online orders entirely for yourself. 5. Giant competition There are a lot of different restaurants available on online ordering portals.

Customers may go for one of many attractive offers so the chances that they pick your restaurant are not very high. However, if customers visit your website to make an order, they choose only from your menu. You do not have to compete with anyone. How to manage online orders better? You see clearly now that cooperation with other ordering portals causes a lot of harm to your business. What are some effective food portal alternatives?

  • Find several different sources of online orders; sell online from your own restaurant website, mobile app, facebook.
  • Treat cooperation with online food ordering portals as an extra source of online orders – it should never be the only source.
  • Never send the customers from your website to other online food ordering portals. It’s like escorting customers from the restaurant out through the back door. You advertise the same portal, not your own restaurant. On the portal, the client can also order from someone else, not from you.
  • Invite the customers from these portals to your own page. You may, for example, offer them some special discounts if they decide to order directly from you. Thanks to this, you will limit the commission for portals and you will earn more!


The cooperation with online food ordering portals is not really effective for your restaurant. You do not control anything, you cannot build your own base of loyal customers, and you have to deal with the big competition. You should use this kind of cooperation only as an additional source of online orders. Focus mostly on an online food ordering portal alternative, which would be inviting more customers to order directly from your website. UpMenu system can help you become independent from online food ordering portals.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.