10 Advantages of An Online Ordering Solution For Restaurants
Taking orders over the phone has worked well for restaurants for past several decades. Although taking orders over the phone in the middle of a bustling restaurant wasn’t always easy! And, then dealing with customer complaints about busy phone lines and inaccurate orders interfered with the in-store experience. Inspite of understanding the advantages of an online ordering solution for restaurants, restaurant owners had little choice as getting onboard an online ordering paltform was not easy or cheap.
Over the last decade, the restaurant industry witnessed a paradigm shift in customer habits and demands. Customers have come to expect the ability to view menus, and place their order online. The good news is that the rapid advances in technology have now made online ordering available to even small mom-and pop stores at nominal or zero costs. Besides providing a superior customer experience, getting onboard an online ordering platform helps you hold your own in the competitive restaurant industry.
If you are still contemplating whether or not to opt for online ordering, here’a a list of 10 distinct advantages of an online ordering solution for restaurants.
Advantages of An Online Ordering Solution For Restaurants
- Wider Reach
- Higher Average Order Value
- online Orders Drive Revenue
- Superior Customer Experience
- Reduces Wastages
- Efficient Order Management
- Stay Ahead Of The Competition
- Own Your Customer Data
- Build Brand Loyalty
1. Wider Reach:
As people look for a faster and convenient method of food ordering; getting onboard an online ordering solution, makes you available at their fingertips. It helps you reach customers who otherwise may not have heard of your restaurant. With integrated online ordering solution in place, the number of customers you can serve at any given time is no longer by the seating available at your restaurant. You can even manage the increased demand on weekends or during rush hours by encouraging more guests to order online.
2. Higher Order Value
The average order value of online orders is 30% higher than in-store orders. Now, you may be wondering if that is just another meaningless statistic, but then think of all the times you have actually ordered a pizza after looking at a delectable picture of a pizza. Customers on your online ordering platform are savoring all the drool-worthy images that you have put up there and that is making them hungry.
When customers are ordering from your online ordering platform, they have plenty of time to check out your menu, read descriptions, consider items they have never ordered before, or go through your specials and combo deals. This makes them more likely to try new items and order more.
Further, there is also a general tendency to order more when placing an order for pick-up or delivery as the customer is well-aware that he cannot order seconds and it is better to have left-overs than fall short.
3. Online Ordering Drives Revenue
Your online ordering platform provides you with an excellent opportunity to drive up-sell and cross-sells to boost order sizes. You can assist the customer through their online ordering by offering helpful tips such as “frequently ordered together” or recommend side dishes, appetizers, wine pairing, and desserts. These recommendations popped up at the right moments during the ordering process not only assist the customers but also help you sell more!
Putting your restaurant in front of more people allows you to reach a much wider market and enable customers to oder from you on-the-go via your website or social media. The additional revenue stream and higher than average order value can help you generate incremental revenues.
Restaurant owners often decide to get onboard a third-party delivery service to keep up with the changing demand. However, most of these services charge a hefty commission that eats up into their revenues. With your own online ordering integrated with your PoS, you get to keep all the profits.
4. Superior Customer Experience.
Traditionally, every restaurant allows its patrons to place orders over the phone for pick-up and delivery. Now, if that is the only way to place to-go orders, imagine the wait on your phone lines. It is often difficult to jot down an order correctly or miss out on finer details of the order, especially, during the rush hours when the restaurant is teeming with guests.
An online ordering solution can free up your phone lines and improve order accuracy. You will no longer lose orders during rush hours/ weekends due to busy phone lines. Customers can easily place an order, add special instructions or details and even pay for the order on-the go. Most online ordering platforms offer a final confirmation page where users can verify their order before paying for it. Another sore point for customers placing orders over the phone is the uncertain wait time for to-go orders. An online ordering solution effectively resolves this problem by providing an accurate estimates of pick-up and delivery times.
With the system taking care of online orders, your staff is better available to focus on the in-store customers and deliver stellar experiences.
5. Reduce Wastages
Now, this one is something we have all experienced; oftentimes at the time of pick-up the customer complains that the order is incorrect and we have had to reimburse or re-prepare the order to avoid unpleasantness. These costs could add up over time. But, when taking orders over the phone, such occurrences are more or less inevitable in the long run.
With an online ordering solution, incorrect orders or missing details are no longer your problem, the onus is now on the customer. And, even better, you no longer have to deal with losses resulting from customers failing to show up to pick up their orders. As the customer has already paid for the order, he is more likely to collect it and even if they don’t, you are covered.
6. Efficient Order Management
With an online ordering solution, a dedicated staff member is no longer required to manage phone calls. With pos integrations, you no longer have to transcribe orders manually as your online orders appear along with other orders on your POS.
Whenever customers place an order, the online ordering system sends notifications via email or SMS to the restaurant’s kitchen printer. If you are using a KDS the orders simply appears in the kitchen display system with no manual intervention.
7. Stay Ahead Of The Competition
If you have been in the restaurant space for any amount of time, you are already aware of the importance of keeping up with the trends and catering to any change in customer demand. Customers are looking for easier and faster ways to place their orders and if you are not providing the service, they are likely to look elsewhere.
8. Own Your Customer Data
All customer data from your online ordering solution is available to you. This data can help you analyze and understand customer preferences, or discover your best performing menu items, special offers or combos. You can also use this data to create customized promotions to target your customers and keep them coming back.
9. Build Customer Loyalty
With an online ordering solution, you are in complete control of the online ordering, pick-up or delivery experience. As a restaurant owner/manager you can ensure that your customers get the same consistent experience that they come to expect from your brand. The automated feedback mechanism, which is inbuilt in most modern online ordering solutions helps you collect feedback from customers to continuously improve on your services.
Engaging with your customers on a regular basis with targeted promotions and messaging helps you build loyalty towards your brand. You can also use the online data to invite customers to join your loyalty program and build a loyal customer base that visits more often and buys more.
As we navigate this pandemic, many customers are still vary of venturing out to eat. Having an online ordering solution provides both your customers and staff an efficient way to maintain safety and hygiene requirements during this time.
Now, that we have discussed the advantages of an online ordering solution for restaurants, the next question that obviously comes to mind is that wouldn’t it be easier to hop onto third-party delivery instead of building your own native platform. The short answer is no. Now, you can build your own online ordering platform with little or no assistance at zero costs and you get to keep all the profits and use the customer data to build a loyal customer base.