For shops that want to offer online ordering but aren’t ready to do delivery, Pete Calvert explains how a click and collect service can bridge that gap
We have been offering a click & collect service at Mister C’s for just over a year and, in that time, it has become a very popular tool for customers to use as it offers a faster, easier way to enjoy our high quality fish and chips.
The initial setup phase was relatively simple, we hired an external company to create and programme the software, all we had to do was install a laptop and printer into the shop. As with all new ideas, there are teething problems at first, but our customers were very patient and helpful and the feedback we’ve had from them has allowed us to improve it so it has now become much faster and an easier process throughout the shop.
The way it works is very similar to other takeaway websites, we have a complete list of our menu uploaded on to the website and app along with a special instruction box which the customer can type in any preferences, for example gluten free, salt and vinegar or scraps. Customers can then choose to either pay on collection or online and choose what time they would like to collect the order (or have it delivered now that we’ve rolled out a delivery service).
The success of Mister C's click and collect service has lead to the chippy rolling out a delivery service
The order is then sent through to the laptop in the shop, which alerts us so we can print off a receipt containing the details and what time it will be collected. Then it’s a similar process to our phone order of wrapping it up just before the customer arrives, making sure it’s fresh for them as they enter the shop.
With the idea being that customers don’t need to queue, we have a separate area to the right of the counter for customers who have ordered online. We simply ask for their name to make sure it is their order, repeat the order back to ensure everything is correct and take payment if they haven’t paid online.
It’s certainly an idea for other shops to explore. At, first it took a bit of time for the customer to use our click and collect feature simply because for many of them it was a new concept for a fish and chip shop to have its own online ordering system. And, naturally, we had a few problems, like people arriving late, however, to use the online ordering system customers have to create an account which provides us with a phone number so we have the option to ring if they haven’t arrived. To be honest, we haven’t had this problem many times as customers tend to be in the shop a little bit earlier if anything.
Click and collect has proved a really simple system not just for the customer, who can pick up a freshly cooked meal and be back out in a few minutes, but also for us. For example, we’ve found it easier to place orders taken over the phone into the laptop so we have uniformed receipts and don’t have to write them down on paper. Not only that, but it’s kept us up with new technology, technology that people are using and that can help keep fish and chips going as the nation’s favourite dish.