In the past, keys to a successful restaurant might have just included the basics: fresh ingredients, a skilled staff, and appealing ambiance. To flourish as a modern restaurant, however, you need to add digital capabilities to your business. You need online ordering.
The restaurant industry is becoming more and more about providing convenience to consumers. Guests are seeking options–customizable orders, pick up on demand, fast delivery–and they want it all at the click of a button. Online ordering helps you meet those expectations.
Online ordering has benefits for you as well as your guests—from customer database development to operational efficiency—and in the end it’s critical for improving your bottom line.
1. Database Development and Growth
Think back to the last time you placed an online order for any service or product. What data did you have to enter? You entered information including your address, email address, phone number and more–as opposed to only providing a phone number when ordering by phone. When customers order online, it’s a big opportunity to collect guest info that you can use to encourage repeat business and improve customer loyalty. Data on the menu items customers ordered, for example, can play into future targeted marketing campaigns, automatically populate suggested items for upselling, and can offer valuable insight into what’s selling and what isn’t.
With email and physical addresses, you can widen marketing campaigns to include emailing or mailing coupons, information on restaurant events, or notifications of new menu items.
Online ordering also appeals to a wider audience, which will broaden your pool of customers. Consider the customer base you are missing out on because they don’t have a car to get to your restaurant or don’t have the time in their busy schedules to sit at a restaurant table to eat. Online ordering also overcomes the objection that many people have to providing a credit card number over the phone when placing an order.
2. Feed Customers’ Craving for Convenience
There’s no doubt that technology is changing customer expectations for convenience. In fact, over 55% of millennials say convenience is a top driver when purchasing food and meals, according to Food Insight. In addition, time saving is especially valuable to many people. They don’t want to wait for their orders. Instead, they are looking to be a few clicks away from having dinner ready to be picked up on their way home—prepared and ready to go exactly when they need it. Improving customer satisfaction is a great way to improve your bottom line —so the convenience of online ordering can be a worthy investment.
3. Larger Average Check Sizes
Did you know the average online pizza order is 18% higher than orders by phone? Online ordering makes it easy to implement attractive add-on food items to complement customers’ purchases. This includes both upselling—like adding bacon to a cheeseburger for a higher fee—and cross selling—like suggesting soda or a side.
4. Improved Efficiency
Having customers choose their orders visually instead of requiring them to communicate them verbally eliminates common errors that can lead to wasted food. In a loud restaurant, it’s common to have difficultly hearing customers over the phone. With online ordering, guests can see their order and verify it prior to checkout, and make corrections, if needed, before payment. Online ordering also frees up staff to assist customers in house and reduces wait times for everyone.
Online ordering really is a win-win for both you and your guests. It can be intimidating to take the leap an deploy an online ordering platform, but your point of sale provider provide you with a solution that will integrate well with your system and allow you to offer the conveniences your customers are looking for.