Who doesn’t love an extra opportunity to gain more business? According to the National Restaurant Association, 42% of consumers say the ability to order online would make them choose one restaurant over another. Even though that percentage is huge, some restaurants are still on the fence of implementing an online ordering system. They think things like, “Is my restaurant right for online ordering?” and “Are these numbers 100% accurate?” With today’s technology advancements, customers can take their time, review their order, and be precise with what they want to order. As an added bonus, some restaurants allow people have the opportunity of getting their online orders delivered to their home without having to pick up the phone or travel to the restaurant’s location. Let’s face it; the convenience alone is a strong selling point for potential consumers. Here are eight other reasons why your restaurant should implement an online ordering system.
1. Online Ordering Systems Increase Revenue
Online ordering allows customers to explore all that a restaurant has to offer, without the feeling of a time constraint that offline dining requires. When people don’t feel pressured or stressed on time, they might have the potential to spend more any, and even order more menu items. With online ordering, you are giving people more opportunity to order your food. With more opportunity comes more revenue. You can even give customers the potential to order 24/7 while your restaurant sleeps. That way, the customer can plan what they want ahead of time, and stop by your restaurant to pick up their order at their convenience.
2. Online Ordering Systems Improve the In-store Experience
When you don’t need employees manning the phones taking phone orders, you can use them for inside restaurant duties. Online ordering improves several factors of the customer experience in restaurants. Restaurants productivity increases when they are able to dedicate more people to the interior of a restaurant. For example, running food when no one is around or helping fellow employees clean a table quicker when a big party just walked in the door. Even as a lower level employee, a restaurant’s environment can be high pressured. Having more people help with day-to-day duties can also alleviate a lot of your employees stress. Other factors contributing to improved customer experience are faster service, less mistakes, and improved customer feedback.
3. Online Ordering Systems Enhance Marketing Efforts
Online ordering systems are the perfect place to advertise any promotions or maximize your marketing efforts. Dominos is a good example of this concept. They allow you to choose any of their current coupons to apply to your order online before you checkout. Having an online ordering system is great for capturing emails, and after the capture process you can remarket these individuals with seasonal specials, events, and creating buzz for particular promotions.
4. Online Ordering Systems Get Ahead of Competition
Some middleman host sites for online ordering create bidding wars between restaurants. Websites like GrubHub charge restaurants certain commissions on a per order basis. GrubHub allows restaurants to even pick the commission they want to attribute. There are many restaurants that are still stuck in the dark ages and have been slow at adopting new technology. Every new adoption allows you to slowly inch past competitors. By staying on top of these online ordering advances, you have the opportunity to attract new customers away from the competition.
5. Online Ordering Systems Track Customer Data Easier
In business that is all about the customer, knowing the most you can about the people that come into your restaurant can be an extreme advantage. can be a lot harder to track online menu items from phone orders then directly on an online ordering platform. If you have a POS system you can easily integrate your online ordering system. With that integration, you can pull reports that analyze customer data on which menu items sold more, and even which menu items that people spent the most time on, but didn’t purchase.
6. Online Ordering Systems Improve Order Accuracy
With phone orders, there is a much higher likely hood that orders can be inaccurate. People talk at different volume levels, and with loud background noise things can be easily missed or misheard. Language barriers can also be a problem with phone order accuracy. If you put an employee on the phone who is new to areas language, your customers and your staff could get frustrated.
7. Online Ordering Systems Expand Customer Base
One thing about online ordering is that it becomes a habit with people. You find an amazing Chinese restaurant that allows you to easily order online. How likely are you to try a new place? Not very! Implementing an online ordering system is a great way to turn curious online searchers to regulars. If you are already getting a lot of organic traffic from your restaurant website, why not give these visitors an extra opportunity to convert directly on your website. Internet searchers are always looking for good food, but when you mix that with convenience you easily get an increase in customers.
8. Online Ordering Systems Save Money
Every second at a restaurant is money spent. When a customer comes into a restaurant to order, they have the potential to take a long time, especially if they are new to the restaurant and are not familiar with your menu. Switching your concentration to a focused online ordering concept will be less of a hassle on your staff to deal with undecided phone and in person customers. This diminished hassle will also alleviate any lost time that staff might experience.