Meta seeks to gain a share of restaurant sales with WhatsApp

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As tech vendors compete to enable the smoothest restaurant ordering, Meta throws its hat in the ring and seeks to seize revenue opportunities from rising digital food sales. The tech giant has invested in Take App, a Singapore-based startup that offers conversational commerce solutions for restaurants and other businesses selling through the Meta-owned messaging service WhatsApp, according to a TechCrunch report on Monday (August 15).

The startup was founded by former Meta employee Youmin Kim, who previously worked as a partner engineering manager at Facebook, and it offers an order form for sellers accompanied by order management and analytics tools. . In addition to investment from Meta, the company also received seed funding from Y Combinator and others for a total of $1 million.

“In Southeast Asia, WhatsApp is the most common way to talk to businesses, but it comes with heavy operating costs because employees have to respond to a number of conversations,” Kim told the outlet. “There are ‘Western’ CRM solutions that make this more efficient, but they are either too expensive or too difficult for our merchants. We focus on traditional businesses with a digital divide.

Meta’s participation in this seed funding round suggests the tech giant is looking to increase the number of restaurant sales made through its platforms, similar to how Google leverages its search and maps platforms. to generate restaurant orders by integrating an order button.

The news comes as conversational commerce is gradually becoming more mainstream in the restaurant industry, both in terms of chat ordering solutions such as Take App and in terms of voice ordering. Regarding the former, major restaurant company Yum Brands, parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and The Habit Burger Grill, has rolled out messaging-based ordering tools through Tictuk, an online ordering and shopping platform. marketing that Yum! Brands acquired last year.

In a recent call with analysts, Yum! Brands CFO Chris Turner noted that Pizza Hut Germany launched a Tictuk-powered site earlier this year, which resulted in a “15% increase in conversion rate and a €2 increase in average ticket compared to previous performance on market aggregation platforms”. He added that other markets in which the company leverages the company’s conversational commerce tools are seeing similarly positive results.

Voice control offers similar potential to remove friction from the experience and reduce restaurant labor requirements, both when it comes to consumers making purchases through their own smart home devices or in-vehicle voice assistants and when it comes to restaurants integrating drive-thru voice command technology. However, the implementation of the technology is still in its infancy.

According to the results of the 2022 edition of the PYMNTS Restaurant Readiness Index, created in collaboration with Paytronix, which is based on a survey of more than 500 managers of quick service restaurants (QSRs) and restaurants full-service (FSR) across the country, only 10% of restaurants offered voice-activated device ordering capabilities, as of April. This share is up from 7% in September 2021.

Read more: More than half of restaurants rely on digital sales, despite rise in on-site orders

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NEW PYMNTS SURVEY FINDS 3 IN 4 CONSUMERS HAVING HIGH DEMAND FOR SUPER APPS

About: Results from PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, UK and USA. and showed strong demand for one super multi-functional app rather than using dozens of individual apps.

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