Preoday aims to build 5,000 free mobile apps for London’s independent takeaway restaurants

Preoday has announced it has begun building free mobile apps for every one of London’s 5,000 independent takeaway restaurants.

The apps let consumers place orders directly with their favourite takeaways via their smartphones. Unlike the big portals, Preoday takes no commission on orders, meaning restaurants cut out middleman fees and keep costs down for consumers, the company reports. Once their app is built, all a takeaway owner needs to do is register their bank account to receive customer payments and press the “go live” button  – meaning they can ‘go mobile’ in just 60 seconds.

Averaging 20 a day, Preoday said it will complete all 5,000 apps by the end of 2015, but consumers can help their favourite restaurant leapfrog the queue by nominating them at www.preoday/nominate. Restaurant owners can also ask to be prioritised at the same link. Preoday will build free apps for those restaurants with the most requests first.

Andrew White, CEO of Preoday, said: “This is our gift to the people of London and the owners of the takeaways they love. We’re doing this because it is easy and inexpensive to do. The technology we’ve built automates the process, and we can complete branded apps in under 60 minutes. Those restaurants with the most loyal and passionate customers have most to gain by cutting out the middleman and taking mobile orders direct – that’s why we’re inviting consumers to tell us which of their favourite takeaways should be prioritised.”

According to Preoday, smartphone penetration in the UK is now at 71% and phones are fast becoming the most popular way for Brits to order the £30bn of takeaways they consume every year and 73% of takeaways owners say mobile apps are imperative to their growth.

But because most takeaways are independently owned and run, without the know-how or IT budget to build their own-brand app, they are forced to use aggregators like JUST EAT that charge commissions of up to 13%, Preoday claims. This hurts the takeaway’s bottom line and independent research shows they are often forced to pass on the cost to end consumers, resulting in higher prices.

In a recent study, a third of takeaways bought from JUST EAT were more expensive than if the customer had bought them directly, said Preoday. With the average Brit spending £1,320 on takeaways each year this can add up, the company adds.

White said: “It’s wrong that hardworking takeaway owners lose up to 13% of revenue each time a regular customer orders via an app provided by a portal. We’re offering a simpler, fairer model that keeps cost down for consumers and boost the restaurant’s bottom line.”

Preoday said it already supports hundreds of UK food-service venues with free apps and plans to extend the free app giveaway to other cities in 2015.