Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten today announced that it would launch the new takeout support service Rakuten Realtime Takeout on May 7, 2020.
The service makes it possible for customers to pre-order and pay for products from restaurants, cafes, and other eateries, according to the firm.
Starting today, Rakuten will begin accepting applications to introduce this service from business customers nationwide.
The company announced that in response to the spread of COVID-19, initial fees and monthly usage fees for this service would be made free of charge for a limited time, until October 31, excluding credit card transaction and related fees.
Rakuten Realtime Takeout enables users to select products available for takeout from eateries in their neighborhoods via their smartphone or computer website, and complete pre-order and payment using their Rakuten ID. They can now pick up orders in real-time without waiting inside the restaurant.
Users will also be able to earn Rakuten Points according to the purchase amount and use earned points when paying. For the launch, this service will be available at 187 eateries in Tokyo located near Shibuya Station and Gotanda Station, with plans to expand to eateries nationwide.
Increased demand for takeout services due to COVID-19
This service provides business owners with a simple solution for introducing takeout services at their establishments. The restaurant industry has experienced a marked increase in demand for eateries to provide takeout services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In response to this new societal need, Rakuten will make initial fees and usage fees for this service free of charge until October 31, 2020 (excluding credit card transaction and related fees), as well as lend smartphones for registering products and managing orders free of charge to interested business owners starting in mid-May,” the firm said.
Based on the financial condition of the restaurant, Rakuten will also provide the revenue earned via Rakuten Realtime Takeout to the business as early as the week following the customer transaction, until October 31. The US-based Rakuten Ready launched a similar service, known as “Rakuten Takeout,” in April of this year to restaurant chains in San Mateo, California.