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ChowNow Business Model and Strategy


The unique business model ChowNow restaurants enjoy gives them an edge over their customers. 

Several food delivery apps can charge up to a 30% fee on food delivery to restaurants.  

So, wouldn’t it be awesome for restaurants if they could save themselves from paying a hefty commission to third-party food ordering apps? Well, ChowNow has answered your prayers!  

ChowNow – a food ordering app is famous among restaurants, and rightly so. Unlike other apps, it does not receive a commission on orders. Instead, restaurants have to pay for the monthly service, and restaurants get a dedicated marketing team to set up a website, an app, and other features.  

The business model saves a huge chunk of profits for food establishments as they don’t have to pay heavy commissions to the app.  It is hugely popular in the United States and was founded by Christopher Webb and Eric Jaffe in 2011, with headquarters in Los Angeles, California.  For customers, the ChowNow app is just like Grubhub or UberEats

Why ChowNow Restaurants Choose This Delivery App Over Others  

In the times of pandemic, when restaurants found it hard to survive and provide commission to delivery apps, ChowNow was specially mentioned by Forbes in an article for helping restaurants make it through the crisis. The slogan of ChowNow is “Helping local restaurants thrive.”   

If one is in the food business, having an association with DoorDash or UberEats seems ubiquitous. These apps allow companies to get in touch with users and increase revenue. However, the problem for food businesses with these apps is that they demand a high commission, which becomes a problem for businesses as a significant chunk of profits goes into commissions- anywhere between 20% to 30%.  

Business Model of ChowNow: The Work Flow  

The vision of ChowNow is to ensure that small, local restaurants don’t go out of business because of high commissions. They decided to do something about it by bringing ChowNow to reality. It is available on Android and iOS.  

ChowNow doesn’t offer a delivery service. Restaurants that don’t wish to hire dedicated drivers are not out of luck. ChowNow has partnered with delivery services, such as DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates, etc., in different areas. The aim of ChowNow isn’t to give these companies a run for their money but to make it affordable for different restaurants- big or small. 

How does ChowNow work?  

ChowNow is more than just a food delivery application. It goes above and beyond to help local restaurants succeed. To start, they do not hire delivery agents. Instead, they rely on already existing delivery agents to pick up orders. It saves them the overhead cost while getting better rates for delivery.  

For the initial setup, they charge a nominal amount. Here, they help create an alluring online presence for your brand. Then, you can leverage your online footprint to get more customers on your website. It includes creating an application and website for your brand, among other features.  

The application is available on Android and iOS so users can find their business online.   

How Does ChowNow Make Money?  

While many food ordering apps rely on commissions to gain profits, the ChowNow business model does not come with the same complexities. They offer a paid monthly subscription with transparent pricing. It charges restaurants $199/month and a one-time $399 setup fee per location. If the ChowNow restaurants opt for an annual plan, it costs $139/month, and the setup fee goes down to $199. A 2-year plan costs $129 monthly and a setup fee of @199. Other services include comprehensive training, an ongoing marketing strategy, an iPad to consolidate orders, and 24/7 support.    

Moreover, the company also charges 2.95% + $0.15 for every order that incurs interchange fees by Visa and Mastercard. 

Additional Services for ChowNow Restaurants  

Currently, they also offer add-ons for restaurants interested in getting more business.  

Photoshoots: The company offers professional photoshoots to help make your food pop and bring more customers to your page.  

POS Integrations: Get easy POS solutions through our trusted partners. We also have special provisions for specific integrations. The monthly subscription for POS starts at $40 per month or is free with the Direct plan.   

Order Better Network: We help you create a positive presence on popular online ordering hubs. It helps expand your network and increase orders.  

ChowNow Marketplace: Get your business listed on our application. It will help you meet local diners without worrying about commissions and other fees. 

How ChowNow App Works for Customers   

ChowNow app is more or less the same for customers as any other online food delivery app. When you download the app, you have to enter the location, and it shows the available ChowNow restaurants from where you can order. Add items to the cart and checkout. The app is beneficial for users as not only do they help small businesses by using the ChowNow app, but they also save themselves from the heavy price. To offset the high commission on other apps, many restaurants increase their prices on the app to compensate, which affects customers as they have to pay from their pockets.   

How does ChowNow App work for Restaurants? 

ChowNow for Restaurants has an interface that offers information like current orders, completed orders, etc. It is the ultimate portal to keep track of every business that comes through the application. Moreover, take advantage of the fact that you get your users’ data. Leverage the information for retargeting clients for repeat business and customer retention. 

ChowNow restaurants also receive comprehensive information on every order, including payments, order details, taxes, etc., to keep tabs on business improvements through the application. 

Chownow - Market stats and Revenue 

In 2021, market stats depict that ChowNow stands at #3 in food online ordering system and delivery and is becoming a much sought-after option for restaurants. The market share of ChowNow is 15.62%, with more than 6854 companies using this software.  The company makes $93.1 million a year.    

Benefits of Choosing an Online Ordering System Like ChowNow   

1. Increase in Revenue   

The first and foremost benefit of using the application for ChowNow Restaurants is the increase in revenue. It’s not as expensive as other apps, and a flat monthly fee means more money back in your restaurant. One can keep more of the revenue from every online sale rather than having to shed it to third-party vendors in the form of commission.   

2. Capture Customer Data   

Data is crucial as it drives the business. The more information you get about your customers, the better. Customer data helps you know the preferences of your customers, which in turn helps you provide a better experience for your users. It is a great way to devise marketing strategies that actually work in your favor.   

3. Increase Customer Engagement   

Online platforms are a great way for your business to increase customer engagement. More and more customers get to know about a restaurant when there is a provision to order from it online. Platforms like ChowNow act as your marketing agents that bring more customers.   

4. Boost Customer Loyalty   

Apps like ChowNow are a great way to boost customer loyalty. Customers not only get to know about a business that’s listed on the food ordering app, but they start trusting the business, which helps the restaurant increase revenue and has a good reputation.   

5. Uninterrupted Sales   

It’s a dream of every restaurant to have uninterrupted sales, and that comes to reality with an online ordering system. No matter if the weather is harsh or there are some other reasons, your restaurants never have any interruption when it comes to sales.    

6. Electronic Invoicing   

Receiving orders over the phone is outdated; also, it’s susceptible to errors. An electronic invoice avoids any confusion, and the customer is charged for what he/she has ordered. It offers utmost transparency as the customer can see what he has been charged and how much corresponds to every item.   

7. Real-time Metrics   

Real-time metrics such as the number of orders completed, pending orders, revenue generated, best-selling products, etc., are important for any business, and this data is a great source to help ChowNow restaurants devise strategies to improve their business in the future.   

8. Online Payment Gateway   

Customers demand convenience and providing them a provision to order food from the comfort of their homes and pay it through multiple payment modes, such as debit cards, credit cards, e-wallets, etc., is the ultimate convenience which is provided by online ordering systems like ChowNow.   

9. Tailored Experiences   

Apps like ChowNow are known for providing a personalized experience to customers. It takes care of the preferences of customers and provides them with choices that are best suited for them. This way, food establishments can take care of the likes and dislikes of their customers.   

ChowNow Support for Restaurants and Customers 

ChowNow Support is available for both US food online ordering individuals and restaurants.  

The ChowNow delivery service users can contact their executive to address any issue. It ensures that their customers are satisfied and hence gives them repeat business. And if these users stay on their application, you will also receive repeat business.   

ChowNow customer service for restaurants is also top-notch. If you are having any issues with the payment, or the interface, get in touch with the experts. They will guide you on how to set everything right for your business. 

Final Thoughts: ChowNow – The Ultimate Restaurant Delivery Software   

The noble thought of helping small and local restaurants survive, combined with the company’s willingness to offer the best services for every client, makes ChowNow restaurants more profitable businesses.   

Their willingness to help create an environment that does not allow big corporations to swallow the small business is reason enough to rally behind them and order your food delivery on the application. 

And from the business point of view, the user of the ChowNow application is only rational. 


How much does it cost to build an app like ChowNow?   

To create a custom app like ChowNow, the budget is around $15,000 to $ 25,000. The cost might vary depending on your feature requirements. A ready made grocery app may cost you approximately $10,000.   

How Much does ChowNow Make?  

ChowNow’s revenue is $93.1 million a year.  

How much is ChowNow Delivery Fees?  

The delivery fee is calculated before the user confirms the order. Usually, it is $3 per pick up plus $3 per mile inclusive of the tip.  

Is ChowNow Reliable?  

ChowNow is trusted by millions across the globe and is highly reliable.  

Is it possible to develop an app like ChowNow?   

Sure, we would love to transform your dream app into reality. At Cerebrum Infotech, we offer customized products that are robust and scalable. You can get it customized exactly how you want, and we will deliver it to you at the earliest. 

How much does chownow charge restaurants    

Ans. ChowNow restaurants have to pay a subscription fee to the company, and there is no per-delivery commission. The subscription fee starts from $129 per month, with a one-time initial setup cost. 

Is ChowNow the same as DoorDash? 

ChowNow and DoorDash offer the same service to the buyers, but have a widely different payment plan for the restaurants. While DoorDash makes commission on every delivery, ChowNow has a monthly, annual, or 2-year subscription plan for users. Hence, ChowNow is the better option for restaurants that want to spend less on their average delivery. 

Jeevanjot Kaur

Jeevanjot firmly believes in the power of putting together words and the impact it creates on a reader’s mind. She loves writing about technology and trends that shape the industry. In her free time, you will find her admiring nature and its creator.

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