A Calgary tech company is providing local restaurants with a more profitable alternative to food delivery apps by offering an easy-to-use platform that allows businesses to keep their revenue.
Helcim, a payments company, has developed and launched an Online Food Ordering platform to provide restaurant owners with the ability to quickly and easily accept online orders.
“We were tired of seeing restaurant owners exploited during this incredibly trying time,” said Helcim CEO Nicolas Beique. “The restaurant industry has slim margins as it is and with takeout orders nearing 100 percent of their business through the pandemic, I knew this model wasn’t sustainable. We knew we had to do something to help.
“We’ve just opened the gates and now we’re actively looking at working with local merchants and we’re now communicating to all of our customers across both Canada and the U.S., saying this is now ready, it’s successful and we invite you to come and consider it so that you can take back control and save on fees from the delivery apps.”
The Online Food Ordering Platform Helps Restaurants to Quickly and Easily Accept Online Orders
Helcim has been in business for about 10 years with about 7,000 customers across Canada and the United States. The company is a payments company that allows small and medium size businesses to accept credit and debit card payments.
“When everything happened with COVID, the feedback we were getting from our restaurant owners was about how they were getting squeezed from delivery apps for the 30 percent commissions plus taking all the tips. We’re a payments first company but we have a focus on software. We realized we could do something about this to help them out,” said Beique.
“So we put together this pilot program to launch online food ordering that would allow them to drive traffic away from those apps towards this platform and keep control of their customer’s experience. That was the big focus. We piloted it with Kinjo Sushi to help us work out the bugs and make sure they were happy with it and now we’re starting to roll it out to more and more customers.”
Online food ordering is automatically included with every Helcim account for no additional fee. Helcim is currently waiving its $20 monthly fee for six months to help businesses get back on their feet in the wake of COVID-19.
“Essentially the idea is they create a link on their website where they primarily direct pickup orders and curbside orders and the customers can either go to that website or use it on their mobile phone. It feels similar to other delivery apps where you see the full menu and you quickly add items to your cart,” said Beique. “But they keep full control. It’s really keeping the full control over the customer experience. So they see all the customer’s contact information, they can build that relationship with their customers and really maintain control which is important.”
He said Kinjo rolled the initiative out to all six of its Calgary locations on Father’s Day. They did more than 1,200 orders on Father’s Day weekend through the system and just one location alone did $8,000 in sales.
“If you do some quick math on that at would typically be 30 percent commission, that means that just on one day alone that’s $2,400 back in their pocket on top of that tip. Restaurant owners work really hard. They deserve to keep their revenue. They deserve to keep their own tips. And that’s the impact of them being able to retain that control and not give all that business to the delivery apps,” said Beique.
“We're so happy to be working with Helcim. Every day means hundreds of dollars saved, and tips that go back to our hardworking staff,” said Mark Wang, Vice President & Co-Owner of Kinjo. “By having our own food ordering website, we get to directly create lasting relationships with our customers.”