Restaurants have been hit particularly hard by the global pandemic. In the face of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, once-booming businesses are now struggling to survive. Amid these challenges, takeout has offered many business owners a chance to serve homebound customers safely and keep open their doors. Now, in an effort to support local eateries, Rakuten is applying its internet services expertise to roll out new digital takeout services on both sides of the Pacific.
Rakuten Takeout is open for business in the U.S.
In April, Rakuten Takeout launched in the San Francisco Bay Area as a simple, self-service platform that allows local restaurants to quickly build a custom website, offer online ordering and respond to the influx in demand for takeout orders. Powered by Rakuten Ready and hosted on Rakuten.com, the service is currently available to restaurants in the Bay Area and has plans to roll out nationally later this year. The platform will remain free of charge to businesses until November 1, 2020.
“COVID-19 really changed our business overnight, and it’s getting harder to rely on word-of-mouth to drive orders and visits. With Rakuten Takeout, we were able to set up online ordering quickly and easily – and the fact that it is free is so helpful in these hard times,” said Jeff Kim, owner of Totoro Ramen, a local ramen restaurant in San Mateo, Calif.
To incentivize takeout orders, Rakuten.com is also offering its members 20% cash back on every order, for a limited time.
Rakuten provides timely service in Japan with Rakuten Realtime Takeout
Mirroring its sister service in the U.S., Rakuten recently launched Rakuten Realtime Takeout in Japan. The service makes it possible for customers to pre-order and pay for products from restaurants, cafes and other eateries.
The service provides business owners with a simple solution for introducing takeout services at their establishment. In order to help local eateries get back on their feet, Rakuten is waiving initial fees and monthly usage fees for the platform through the end of October 2020. In addition to lending dedicated smartphones for registering products and managing orders to interested restauranteurs, Rakuten will also send revenue earned via Rakuten Realtime Takeout to businesses as early as one week following transactions, based on each establishment’s financial circumstances.
As of May 7, Rakuten Realtime Takeout is currently available at 187 establishments in the vicinity of Tokyo’s Shibuya and Gotanda Stations. Rakuten members that support the launch of Rakuten Realtime Takeout will also receive 10x the standard amount of Rakuten Points on their orders for a limited time. With restaurant sales in Japan having reached historic levels in recent years, demand for the service is sure to be high from both restaurants and consumers as it rolls out nationwide.
Follow the links below to learn more about Rakuten’s Takeout services in the U.S. and Japan.