What do Taco Bell & Starbucks have in common?
a) Internationally recognizable brands.
b) Spent millions of dollars building out their own online ordering solutions.
c) Guilty pleasures for millions of Americans on a regular basis.
d) All of the above.
If you guessed (d), you’d be right.
The key differentiation is that Starbucks has a wildly successful mobile ordering solution, while Taco Bell has been somewhat less successful. Did they hire the wrong team? Is their software inherently flawed? Not necessarily. There are market forces outside of the scope of good planning. It’s really hard to say why things turn out the way they do. The best you can do is mitigate your risk.
Restaurants are increasingly connected to their customers in this digital age. If you aren’t already using or at least considering use of Order Online/Ahead solutions, you are losing the battle. Let’s explore your three options: Build, Buy, or Rent.
If there’s one advantage franchises have, it’s access to resources, but even for the major tech companies of the world, hiring great engineers is a pretty tall task. Your restaurant franchise is no different. You certainly won’t out bid them on top tech talent.
More important than the asking price is the vision. It’s certainly possible to scope out an entire software build perfectly ahead of a project, hire the right team for the job, and manage them effectively. It’s certainly possible that you can integrate POS systems, merchant services and store services without major setbacks.
But how long will that take? 18 months? 2 years? You’ve just invested millions of dollars into a product that you built based on 2 year old trends within an industry that evolves daily.
Maybe you get it right. Your solution is wildly successful, your franchisees are very happy and you get a promotion and a bonus.
Perhaps you get it wrong, the product never hits production and you get fired.
If you value your sleep, the sanity of your friends & family, and the health and wealth of your co-workers, this hardly seems like a worthy risk.
Instead, you decide to acquire a working online ordering solution. Let’s explore that. You find a team that has built something really smart, something you’re genuinely excited about. You decide to purchase them, because you have the money. You’ve saved time, and you have a great product. Great! Well….
While the founders may stay on long enough to make sure the transition is smooth, it is unlikely that they’ll remain as an employee of the franchise indefinitely. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in start up founders.
Once you lose the visionaries, you lose the future of the product. You just purchased a car that needs to be maintained and continues to lose value with time. Mismanaging the transition from acquisition to integration is equally troubling for the franchise.
Continuing with the automotive analogy: what if I told you, you can drive the newest, most beautiful, efficient car, and it will only get better, stronger and more valuable with time?
This is the core value of SaaS (Software as a Service). Hiring a team that shares your vision and values to maintain and iterate on a product that will be an integral part of your franchise’s future success is truly the safest & best bet.
Working with thought leaders and innovators within a given field saves both time and money. It’s the easiest way to start and stay on top in an ever evolving industry.
Only you know what direction is right for your business, but we believe that working with JoinMunch is one of the best decisions you can make. We’re passionate about helping restaurants succeed in the digital age. Ask us about our APIs, and learn how you can easily build the precise online ordering experience that your restaurant needs.
The choice is yours. Well, really your board’s, but that’s a conversation for another day.
One last piece of advice: when there’s a fork in the road, take it!