4. 724 E-BUSINESS A REPORT ON THE CYBERMEDIARIES OF THE NEW ZEALAND RESTAURANT INDUSTRY The use of the information systems and applications to drive and support the processes of a business, mainly using the web technology is known as E-Business. This helps the companies to connect their processes (Internal and External) much more effectively and efficiently. This also allows them to have a much more closed interaction with their suppliers and partners, which leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction and overall business performance (The National B2B Centre). The business process which lies in between the ends of a value chain is known as Intermediation.
These businesses have a much classified role of being the entities that serve the market by connecting multiple buyers and sellers. The core essence of the intermediary is mainly a content provider (service based on information). Hence when these kinds of businesses take place using the web is known as Cybermediation. In the present business world, all the companies are trying to develop their virtual image with the help of the internet. The restaurant industry is one of the major industries contributing to the New Zealand economy. Hence the development of cybermediaries in the NZ restaurant industry is very obvious.
There are lots of different websites which work as cybermediaries for the NZ restaurant industry, but in this report we specifically concentrate on two of them, and they are 1) www. menumania. co. nz 2) www. menus. co. nz 1|P ag e 2. 0 SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES Cybermediaries 1: www. menumania. co. nz Menu Mania is a community based guide for restaurants in New Zealand founded in 2006 by Cristian Rosescu. The primary aim of the Menu Mania is to connect the people with great local restaurants or eating places. It provides a platform for the passionate and influencing people to share their experiences about various eating places.
It provides a great channel for local businesses to market themselves at no extra cost. Menu mania knows that recommendation of friends is the best and the most reliable way of finding restaurants, so it collects and organizes the recommendations and suggestion of people in one place. Thus www. menumania. co. nz is a site where people find where and what to eat on the basis of the real reviews given by the real people. Cybermediaries 2: www. menus. co. nz Menus is considered to be one of the oldest websites in New Zealand related to restaurants. The website has on an 2|P ag e average of more than 64,000 visitors every month (Menus).
Menus can be considered as the easiest mode for the local businesses that are related to food industry to create or increase their internet exposure, as they have partnerships and associations with reputed companies. The website basically provides a basic free listing for the local businesses, it provides free coupons to their registered customers at specific occasions, the go extra mile to provide reservation facilities to their customers, they provide personalized list of menu according to the preference of the member and also gives a map featuring the location of the restaurant. Thus www. menus. co. z wants the people to comment and give reviews of the restaurants that are listed on their site. They appreciate both the positive and negative comments and feedback, while expect the customers to give their suggestions on positive improvements. Thus both the cybermediaries namely www. menumania. co. nz and www. menus. co. nz have their own market importance. Customers and businesses use them as a guiding factor for either the selection of the restaurant or menu from customer’s perception while the businesses use the comments, reviews or suggestions of the customers in order to improve themselves and create their image in the market.
Both the websites have similarities and differences in the service they provide, which are discussed as under. 3|P ag e 2. 1 Similarities The selected cybermediaries of the Restaurant Industry have certain similarities which can be considered as the basic features of the cybermediaries, which are as under: Reviews and Comments: Both the cybermediaries have lists of restaurants from all over New Zealand and these websites give people a chance to give their personal reviews about different restaurants they have visited. It also allows them to give a negative feedback if they had a bad experience and asks for suggestions. Mobile Application: These websites have developed a specific application for I-Phone users in order to make it much more convenient to their customers, as the trend is shifting from using computers to mobiles for internet access. – Search Options: Both the cybermediaries have a search option which helps the consumers to find their required restaurant much more easily. In the given search option the consumers can search restaurants on the basis of location, cuisine, kind of restaurant, categories and key words. 4|P ag e –
Member Login: These websites have a special login facility for the members; this is kind of a loyalty program for the frequent visitors of the website. They send newsletters, articles, reviews, deals and special offers of different restaurants. – Featured Restaurants: These websites have an especially dedicated portion of their website for the featured restaurants or businesses, which display some of the best and the finest restaurants of the selected place. – Best for Occasion: These websites have a special search option in which the customers can search and choose the restaurants that are best for the particular occasion.
They have options of restaurants for the occasions like Private Functions, Business dinners, wedding functions, private parties, romantic dinners, group outings, kids friendly, kids parties, outdoor catering and many more. Thus these are some of the similarities in the two chosen cybermediaries of the New Zealand Restaurant Industry. 5|P ag e 2. 1 Differences The selected websites are for a particular restaurant industry and thus needs to differentiate from each other in order to create their own reputation and market image. Menu Mania: What’s New: The website gives the information about the new things happening in the particular area.
This section gives information about the new menus, the new photos of the restaurants that the customers have uploaded and the reviews about the two. Browse by Price: This is an extra feature provided in order to help the customers to differentiate or categorize the restaurants according to the price of the food they sell. They categorize the restaurants as Cheap (Under $15), Moderate ($15 – $25), Spendy ($25 – $35) and Splurge (Above $35). Hot in City: This section of the website gives the information about the latest restaurants in the particular area.
It gives the information about the good restaurants for different cuisines like Japanese, Asian, A La Carte, Middle Eastern, Fast Food and many more. 6|P ag e – Latest News: This section of the website gives the latest information about the new updates on the website, restaurants, cuisines, culture and others. It also gives the information about the various competitions and awards happening in the restaurant industry. – Special Offers: The special offer section of the website gives the special deals to their customers from the restaurants that offer them. –
Browse by more features: This section of the website gives the customers to browse the restaurants on other features like the restaurants Good for Groups, Outdoor Seating, Wifi Access, BYO and Wheelchair Accessible restaurants. Menus: Categories of Venues: This website gives the option to the customers to choose venues more easily by categorizing the restaurants as Bars & Bistros, Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants, Takeaway Foods, Wine Bars and Wineries & Vineyards. 7|P ag e – Craving Something? This is a special section of the website that helps the customers to view some of the best restaurants for the particular food item they wish to eat. Reservation Facilities This website gives the option to the customers to do reservation for the restaurants they wish to go. This is very beneficial for the customers, as they view the comments or feedback for the restaurant and then do the reservation for the same. – Competitions They organize competitions for the customers who visit their website. They give away prices for the winners in the form of gift vouchers or coupons for the various restaurants. – Menu Articles This section of the website gives the customers an option for reading articles for different sections like General Interest, Where to Eat, Best for and Spotlight Recipes This section of the website gives the recipes for different cuisines. These recipes are uploaded by the different customers. 8|P ag e 3. 0 CONSUMER BENEFITS The selected cybermediaries of the New Zealand Restaurant Industry have several benefits for the customers, who visit their websites. ? These websites provide the customers or the food lovers with a platform to give their opinion or review about their experience of a particular restaurant or a local eating place so it can be positive or negative.
For Example if a person had some very good experience about a particular restaurant, then he can come to the website, and write about his experience on the listing of that restaurant. ? Based on the reviews or comments of other people, its gives a fair idea about the restaurants or eating places to the other customers. Hence it becomes much easier for them to choose good restaurants from the list. For Example if a person is searching restaurant for Japanese food, then it becomes easy for him to decide which one to go in, on the basis of the reviews and comments of the other customers who had already visited the restaurant. These websites also categorize the different eating places into different types such as Bars, Cafes, Restaurants, Takeaways and many more. ? They also provide the customers with the different search options, which make it easy for them to choose the restaurants or other places according to the type of the cuisine, location, occasion, price and other features. 9|P ag e ? These websites have special sections in which they provide the special offers or deals of the different restaurants that use this medium as a mode of marketing themselves. ?
They also make use of the latest technologies like the Mobile Applications, which makes it more convenient for the customers to access the information. For example if a customer wants to suddenly find a restaurant providing the best Chinese food, while he is driving he can check on his mobile application for the best Chinese restaurant/takeaway in the particular location. ? These websites also provide a lot of extra information to their viewers in the form of articles related to the restaurant industry, award functions, competitions and others. ? These are also a very good platform for the food lovers and the ones who try making new dishes.
The people can upload their own recipes and others can learn new recipes and comment on these recipes. ? These websites along with finding the proper restaurant also provide the customers with the details of restaurant like the menu, contact details and timings. Some of them also provide them with the extra facility of reservation or booking a table at their chosen restaurant. For Example the customer can find a good place for eating Thai food from the lists, now they can use the reservation facilities provided and can book a table for the numbers of prop 10 | P a g e 4. REVENUE MODEL The revenue model of any E-business is the model which shows how the company generates revenue for the particular period of time. The cybermediaries identified for the New Zealand Restaurant industry also have some particular revenue models which helps the companies to make revenue from the services they provide. The revenue model for the identified cybermediaries www. menumania. co. nz can be considered to be consisting of one major way and that is the Advertisement Charges. 4. 1 Advertising Charges Menu Mania website offers two different kinds of advertising options.
The first option is ‘Restaurant Advertising’ where in businesses related to the restaurant industry can give their ads on the website and the second option is ‘Banner/Display Advertising’ where companies other than the restaurant industry can give their ads. 4. 1. 1 Restaurant Advertising In the first option of advertising the restaurants or the eating places give their ads. These ads are featured at two places in the website namely on the top of the search result for that particular category in which the restaurants falls and in between the other restaurant pages. 1 | P a g e On the Top of the Search Result Between the page of other Restaurant 12 | P a g e They have weekly charges for giving advertisements, they charge $12/week if the customer pays for one whole year or they charge $13/week for one month. They also have option of pay the whole amount at one go that is $600 + GST for one year or $55 + GST for one month. They also give their customers a special option of 30 days free trial and if customer wants to continue advertising they charge $15. 92 + GST/ Week or $69 per month.
They also provide 20% discount to the members of the Restaurant Association or the Hospitality Association (Menu Mania). 4. 1. 2 Banner / Display Advertising In the second option of advertising, any company can give ads on the website of Menu Mania at the fixed location. The advertising banners are on the right side of the website. 13 | P a g e 5. 0 CONCLUSION Thus it can be concluded that with the development of the internet, there is development of different businesses which are only virtually present on the web. These cybermediaries are helpful to both the customers as well as the businesses.
The businesses get a better way to promote their business to the particular targeted audience and in the same way the customers get the benefits of the price comparison, product comparison, get to know news products and services. Hence the cybermediaries are main source of information for the customers irrespective of the industry the customer is looking for. 14 | P a g e REFERENCES Chaffey, D. E-Business & E-Commerce Management. Prentice Hall – Pearson Education Limited. Menu Mania. (n. d. ). Retrieved Nov 2012, from Menu Mania: http://www. menumania. co. nz/restaurants/browse/auckland-city Menu Mania. n. d. ). Advertising on MenuMania. Retrieved Nov 2012, from Menu Mania: http://www. menumania. co. nz/restaurant/advertising. php Menus. (n. d. ). Retrieved Nov, from Menus: http://www. menus. co. nz/ Menus. (n. d. ). Why should I list my business on Menus? Retrieved Nov 2012, from Menus: http://www. menus. co. nz/help/list-business/ The National B2B Centre. (n. d. ). What is E-Business? Retrieved November 2012, from http://www. nb2bc. co. uk/what_is_ebusiness/ Vidal, D. (2012). E-Business. Lecture Notes / Module Slides . Auckland, New Zealand. 15 | P a g e