Online Ordering: A Bandwagon Restaurants Should Get On

online ordering

Posted: Sep. 08, 2015

In this day and age, it is nearly essential for a restaurant to have an online presence in order to have (and keep) customers. For this reason, many restaurants have allocated time and money into high-quality websites and social media activity. In addition to these activities, recently many restaurants have recently added online ordering functions to their websites.

If you currently offer take-out services, but do not offer online ordering, you may want to consider doing so. Increasingly, customers are demanding the ability to order online, and if you do not meet this demand, you risk your customers going elsewhere. Moreover, allowing your customers to order online can lead to better customer communication, easier upselling, fewer mistakes and higher profits.

Below are further in-depth reasons why restaurants should offer online ordering to their customers.

Customer Communication

Online ordering can enable restaurants to better communicate with their customers. Not so long ago the only way to notify patrons of restaurant specials and discounts was either in store or through paid advertising. However, the rise of technology over the last few decades has brought with it many new ways to promote a restaurant. Online ordering forces a customer to view a restaurant’s website prior to ordering. While on the website, the customer may see a new promotion or coupon, and be enticed to order again soon. In addition to promoting specials and discounts, with online ordering you are able to create a database of customer information. This data can in turn be used for marketing purposes. For example, if you have a 10% food discount for next month, you could use your data to send out email blasts to your customers about the promotion. Using your customer data in marketing objectives like this helps build lasting relationships, and turn a one-time visitor into a regular.

Easy Up-selling

It’s Sunday night, you are tired and don’t feel like cooking dinner (and haven’t even thought about tomorrow’s lunch). As a result, you decide to order not one, but two entrees to serve as tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. Situations like these are very frequent with takeout orders, particularly with those done online. When customers order online, they tend to order more food than they would in-house. In fact, some industry reports claim subtotals are up to 20% higher with to-go orders. For of this reason, upselling can be particularly powerful in the online format. To effectively upsell online, make sure that add-ons, like desserts and sides are easily seen throughout the ordering process. In addition, consider adding a pop-up (containing further menu options) that opens when the patron clicks to checkout. Following these tips should generate more revenue for your restaurant.

Fewer Ordering Mistakes

Noisy restaurants, distracted servers and other deterrents can lead to mistakes with in-house ordering. In contrast, the customers are essentially the waiters with online ordering. They can easily place an order online and the order is given to the chefs to create. As a result, the middle-man (in this case the server) is removed from the equation, leading to far less errors in communication. Unlike with phone orders which can easily be misheard, with online orders the customer simply needs to click on the items they want and purchase. The information is then sent electronically to the restaurant – in a typed (not handwritten) format.

Customers Want It

Finally, customers love online ordering for the convenience and ease of use. If you do not offer online ordering, you risk losing business to other restaurants that do. Consider making the jump to online ordering now to avoid losing business and missing out on potential revenue.

Posted: Sep. 08, 2015 | Written By: Brad Endres

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