COVID-19 and social distancing regulations have forced consumers into isolation. Naturally, consumers have been eager to find ways to feel normal and relieve the stress caused by living through a pandemic. Many have looked to the restaurant industry, keen to get their hands on their favorite dishes from the safety of their homes.
This increased demand for online ordering and delivery, paired with various social distancing regulations, caused a massive shift in the restaurant industry. Restaurateurs struggling to stay afloat without patrons in the dining room turned to online ordering to keep revenue trickling in. Online ordering provided a way for restaurateurs to reach customers within the comfort and safety of their own homes, shifting online ordering functionality from a nice-to-have feature to an absolute necessity.
Choosing an online ordering system can be complicated and costly. Restaurateurs need to invest in a system that will improve operational efficiency while also meeting customer demand. Fortunately, choosing an innovative and intuitive online ordering system that integrates with your point of sale doesn’t have to be complicated.
Ask These Four Questions to Spend Less Time Working & More Time Making Money
When deciding on which online ordering solution to choose, restaurateurs should ask these four questions:
- Can it improve efficiency?
- Is it ultra-easy and intuitive for customer use?
- Does it provide valuable insights?
- Can it help generate additional revenue?
Can it improve efficiency?
When looking for an online ordering solution, you want one that will streamline your operations, not hold them up. Most restaurant owners and managers are not technology experts, ruling out clunky systems that are difficult to use. If you’re spending more time troubleshooting issues than making sales, you need a simplified solution.
An online ordering solution that improves efficiency should be intuitive, allowing restaurant managers to update menu items and prices easily. In addition to ease-of-use for managers and owners, it should also be easy for your staff to use. The last thing you need is a confusing system that hinders the quality of service during peak hours. With an efficient, easy-to-use system, you and your staff can provide service that is guaranteed to improve customer experience.
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Is it ultra-easy and intuitive for customer use?
Customers must find your online ordering experience effortless. Don’t sour customer satisfaction with a poor online ordering experience. After one or two negative experiences with your online ordering service, your customers will be unhappy, leading you to lose their business to your competition.
Your online ordering solution of choice should meet customer needs with every transaction, allowing them to conveniently and securely order from their mobile device or computer. While online orders are often associated with delivery, they can also be for takeout or dine-in. Choosing a flexible online ordering solution that allows you to provide different fulfillment options to your customers will ultimately improve customer satisfaction and encourage customer retention.
Does it provide valuable insights?
Data is everything. Data allows restaurateurs to identify money-makers (popular menu items) and money-suckers (menu items that aren’t selling). It is crucial to choose an online ordering solution that offers these valuable insights. Insights like these will empower you to decide what items to push and what items to cut. This data will also hand you better control over your inventory, reducing ingredient waste, and saving you dollars.
Can it help generate additional revenue?
An online ordering solution should be able to do more than move your operations online; it should provide an additional revenue stream. When customers can take their time browsing your menu from their mobile app or computer, they tend to spend more and are more likely to take advantage of upsell and cross-sell offers. Choosing an online ordering solution with this capability will allow you to upsell the most profitable menu items and suggest additional options such as sides, dressings, drinks, and more. You can also implement a loyalty program that rewards your customers for choosing your business, encouraging them to keep coming back.
Online ordering is the perfect solution for improving the customer experience and growing your customer base, especially amid social distancing regulations. There are many different solutions for restaurants to choose from; however, it is crucial to ask the right questions before settling for a solution that won’t help you succeed. A worthwhile online ordering solution will help you spend less time troubleshooting problems and more time focusing on what matters, your business, and your customers.
Here at Focus, we support restaurant owners with a full restaurant management technology ecosystem. If you’re interested in maximizing efficiency, sales, and customer satisfaction in your online ordering operations, contact us today.