Sunday, 19 February 2017

Online Ordering at The Menu Pile: EXPLAINED!


OnlineOrderingOur ‘big news’ post on our Facebook Page a week or so ago, was that we’re getting into doing online food ordering via The Menu Pile website, and whilst this might sound like an obvious thing to have said, this wasn’t actually part of the original plan for the site itself.

Back in the day, the idea was to simply have a couple of menus on a web server somewhere that my family and I could access the food menu for our favourite takeaways, purely for laziness.  But recently, we’ve been exploring the possibility of helping takeaway restaurants to process food orders online, but without charging a small fortune.

As we’re getting many thousands of people each month visit The Menu Pile website in order to find their favourite/local takeaway, whether it’s to:

  • get the phone number
  • find out the hygiene rating
  • or view an online menu

…it made logical sense to us to move onto the next (big) step; ordering.

We’ve thought long and hard about this; the team at The Menu Pile are all professional software developers (in the finance sector) as our day jobs, and so the process of building a top-notch web-based food ordering database and website application is almost second nature.  The application to the food industry, is where we feel we’ve learnt a lot, and want to put this into practise.

Our aim was to create a quick and easy-to-use service that will allow people to select, order and pay for food via the website. And we feel we’ve done that, although you’ll have to take our word for it, as we don’t (yet) have a takeaway restaurant to fully complete the process, but we’re working on it: READ ON!!

Other online food ordering sites charge a lot of money for their services, which is something we wanted to steer away from. But then there are other websites that charge a simple, flat monthly fee, but are not affected by the amount of custom a takeaway restaurant will have.  We wanted to be different. And fair.

We wanted to help a takeaway restaurant to take more orders through the online website and have the order appear without needing to answer a (single) telephone and manually jot down the order.  We wanted to be able to help them take money online, when they currently may not even accept credit/debit cards over the counter.

Our aim was not to fleece a small number of restaurants and profit from it; our aim is still to earn a small amount of money from each place that choose to work with us, and work on the scale of the UK’s takeaway industry to help make The Menu Pile bloom into being the absolute best it can be.  If everyone is able to profit and profit fairly for the amount of work put in, then that sounds pretty good to us.

So, to be clear, here’s what our online food ordering service can currently do:

  • Allow people to easily find the dish that they like.
  • Suggest dishes that others have liked.
  • Compile a food order.
  • Take credit/debit card payments.
  • Send all details onto the restaurant to confirm.
  • Update all parties as to the progress of the order.
  • Stay online when being bombarded by thousands of incoming requests per second (which is actually quite important!!)

This is all relatively simple stuff, but the interesting part is getting people to use it.  Where we’d like to go, is to help you choose your meal, and then suggest places that are local to you that can provide those meals, possibly based on price, hygiene ratings, or recommendations from your friends.  We’ve got so many ideas on how we’re going to make The Menu Pile website fantastic, we’re holding ourselves back until we’re able to convince a takeaway restaurant to come on board with us.

And that’s where we currently are. We need a takeaway restaurant to be the first. 

We need a takeaway restaurant to be the first in the country to offer their customers a new method to order food, namely via The Menu Pile website.  Yes, there’ll be bumps in the road, and we’re ready to make any necessary changes to make it as brilliant for everyone, so with that in mind, here’s what we’re offering to that first restaurant for their bravery in being the very first:

A YEAR of FREE online ordering!

Yes, a year. 12 whole months.  No commission, no monthly charges, nothing.

You help us and we’ll reward you. All food orders will be processed as normally, except instead of us charging you our planned commission rate (of just 6%), we’ll charge you exactly 0%.

But to explain that 6% figure a little more, (and why the 0% rate is so good):

  • Card charges
    Credit/debit card charges by banks can be as much as 4% in themselves.  Our planned commission rate will include this charge.  There’s no extra to pay for the service.
  • Centralised payments
    If The Menu Pile website is able to accept and process orders for many takeaways across the UK, we can arrange a lower banking fee with the banks, and then pass this saving onto our restaurants, meaning that our 6% rate could quite easily drop.
  • Maintenance of the website itself
    Although we’ve been running since December 2014 without Adverts, and without actually making a single penny from the website, this isn’t feasible going forward, and it’s not sensible to pretend that it is. The Menu Pile website has to start earning money, to justify it’s own existence as the main place to find takeaway restaurant details online.

QUESTION: Do you work at a takeaway restaurant
that would like to take us up on this amazing offer? 


It’s definitely not a competition, but we’re certainly not going to offer a year of 0% commission to many places, so call (01223 969456) or email ([email protected]) NOW!

We would love to kick-start the online ordering at The Menu Pile. Please help us.  :-)