Japan's Telecom and Delivery Industries Collide

The increased market value of take out food delivery is a result of more businesses offering as much convenience as possible to stand out from the competition. Online ordering using new restaurant tech has made it easier than ever to start adapting to the new landscape of food service. One of the fastest moving markets for delivery is Japan, with nearly every food chain already offering delivery and needing to transition to being fully digital.

Food Delivery Meets Ghost Kitchens

One of the largest chains in Japan is 7 Eleven, with 99% of Japan's Tokyo residents being within 500 meters of one of the convenience store giant's locations. While the corner store has partnered with multiple delivery apps to increase their delivery capabilities, there are growing concerns that the chain won't be able to keep up with the quality and speed of ghost kitchens.

These kitchens, also referred to as ghost kitchens, operate without a storefront. Each one relies solely on online ordering and food delivery apps to gain customers and fulfill orders. The common practice of multiple ghost kitchens renting the same commercial cooking space has proven to decrease overhead costs and even open up the door for different brands to work together and create new menus under a different name.

Although the up-front costs can be lower, ghost kitchens often struggle even more with order management compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. It's important to have a platform that can handle all orders under one dashboard, no matter how many apps you work with. Cuboh answered this call with the creation of its own order management software, integrating seamless delivery directly into existing POS and order systems.

Delivering Value Through More Than Food

Keeping up with the current restaurant revolution has been a challenge as food tech has to evolve right alongside it. Many restaurants keep track of how long orders take to be prepared after being submitted, but now there are more variables that need tracked. Owners and investors are keen to start analyzing the data that is slowly trickling in.

Being able to target problem areas of having delivery as an option makes it much simpler to decide the next steps towards higher productivity and efficiency. Not only are in-house orders tracked, but analytics covering delivery times, time spent waiting by drivers and time from order placement to driver arrival at the restaurant are now all measured and reported.

Owners that have their own delivery teams will get the most benefit from this data, but it still serves a purpose when using third-party delivery apps. Being able to see which app performs the best can help focus efforts on gaining more popularity on that platform. Never underestimate the value of both customer and employee performance data as it often finds holes in the process that go unnoticed.

Where Japan's Telecom Industry Comes In

Japan's KDDI is moving forward with a substantial investment of 5 billion yen ($45.6 million) in the country's third-largest food delivery service, Menu. This investment will give KDDI a 20% stake in the company as well as access to the analytics being tracked by Menu's internal systems. The telecom giant is looking to use this information to expand their business to the Menu clientele.

The growth is mutual though, with Menu now able to start aggressively expanding with the backing of KDDI's industry knowledge and existing infrastructure. Mutual customers will be able to use KDDI's mobile payment processor, au Pay, to place food orders more conveniently than ever before.

KDDI has over 30 million active users, paving the way for Menu's monthly userbase of just under 1 million to skyrocket. In order to help speed things along, KDDI will combine their existing consumer data with Menu's analytic insights to better target advertisements seen on the phones of customers. Discounts, special events and early access to restaurant offerings are a few other ways KDDI plans on leveraging the affiliation with Menu.

Growing Concerns

There are some concerns about the mingling of telecommunication companies and other consumer data-driven industries as the lines begin to blur regarding who owns your private information. While always something to stay up-to-date on, the presence of telecommunication partnerships isn't new. SoftBank's company Line has a 30% stake in Demae-can, the second-largest food delivery service in Japan after UberEats.

The current restaurant revolution also has traditional establishments wondering what it means for them. At the end of the day, these restaurants will need to adapt to the new food tech and get on board. Cuboh understands this need and the passion to keep a thriving business going no matter what. Whether you're looking to start a new ghost kitchen or need to integrate modern restaurant tech into your business model, Cuboh's platform makes the transition seamless with tutorials and support every step of the way.

Continue Reading