The convenience of enjoying your favorite food from the comfort of your home is undeniable. In the digital era where everything is available at the fingertips, customers have come to expect the ability to order food online. On weekdays, many customers prefer to place an order on-the-go and pick up their orders during the commute. Online ordering also provides customers the luxury of perusing the menu at length and trying out new dishes. This could be the reason why the order value of online orders is higher than that of in-store orders on average.
By adopting an online ordering solution, you don’t just simplify the lives of your customers, but also ensure that your business is able to hold its own in the competitive restaurant industry.
Here are the advantages of having an online ordering solution for your restaurant
- Online Ordering drives revenue: You can reach more customers online. The average order value of online orders is higher than in-store orders
- Free up your Employees to provide a superior customer experience. Taking orders over the phone interferes with in-store services especially during rush hours and over the weekends. With an online ordering solution, employees do not waste time taking orders over the phone.
- Improves Order Accuracy: Disturbances while taking orders over the phone, can result in incorrect orders. On an online ordering solution, customers can easily enter the orders to the last detail improving order accuracy.
- Losing customers: You will no longer lose orders during rush hours/ weekends due to busy phone lines.
- No need to manually transcribe orders: An online ordering solution integrated with your POS does away with the need for manually entering incoming online orders, transferring inventory, adding product images/descriptions, or combining reports from one system to another.
- Accurate estimates of pick-up and delivery times.
As a restaurant owner, you may already be convinced of the necessity of providing the convenience of online ordering to your customers. At this juncture, many restaurant owners decide to tie up with third-party aggregators. However, there are several distinct advantages to an in-house online ordering solution integrated into your point of sale system. In this article, we will discuss why do you need an in-house online ordering solution for your restaurant.
Advantages of In-House Online Ordering Solution For Your Restaurant
1. Full Control Over Customer Experience
Having an in-house online ordering solution provides you with complete control over the online ordering experience from the look and feel of your menu to the way the order is packed and delivered. An in-house online ordering platform is an extension of your brand and you can customize each aspect to reflect your brand identity.
Customers usually blame the restaurant for a delay in delivery or the state in which the food is delivered even if the order is placed via a third-party app. With an in-house solution, you can personalize the pick up the experience by training your staff adequately and ensuring that the food is packaged in proper containers and is handed over at the right temperatures.
With third-party aggregators, clients have no way of getting in touch with you which can be frustrating. When a client places an order via your in-house online ordering platform, they can reach you directly if there’s an issue with the order or the food. You can also receive feedback from customers for each order placed on your platform with an integrated feedback mechanism. This helps you in improving your services and providing a better dining experience.
Pick up orders provide an excellent opportunity to engage with your customers meaningfully and upsell your menu. To reinforce your brand, you add personalized thank you notes or coupons to takeaway packages of your regular customers.
If you choose to provide delivery, you have more control over the hiring and training of delivery riders and the time and state in which the food is delivered. By using a delivery app powered by real-time navigation, you can update customers in real-time with the order status and expected delivery time.
2. Fully Customizable Solution
When customers place an order via your online ordering solution, they are interacting with your brand directly which builds customer loyalty. You can customize your online ordering platform to align with your brand identity. Most in-house online ordering solutions allow you to upload food pictures, add specials and offers, make instant and real-time changes to your menu and provide accurate wait times to enhance the customer experience.
With an in house online ordering system integrated with the POS system, any updates made in the POS system are directly reflected on your online ordering solution in real-time.
3. Collect Crucial Customer Data
In the restaurant business, we already know that having access to customer data has several advantages. Most third-party aggregators do not share customer information with the partner restaurants. Customer data allows you to create customized experiences, and personalize your marketing messages. Without this data, you have no means of knowing your regular customers or the most popular items on your menu.
By having your own online ordering solution that is integrated with your POS system you’ll be able to save and access all your customer data. You can use this data to guide your menu decisions and craft your marketing strategy. This personalized approach to marketing helps you to retain customers and generate repeat orders.
4. Build Customer Loyalty
Customers ordering via a third party app owe their loyalty to the app instead of individual restaurants and easily switch between apps in search of better offers and deals. Your brand is vulnerable to competition as you are one of the many restaurants available on the app.
Another sore point for restaurants is that in spite of having better ratings and reviews they are often pushed down in searches on the app if they have not opted for the promotional package. There is no way to build loyalty towards your brand as there is no direct engagement between you and your customers.
With an in-house online ordering solution, you are engaging with your customers directly and can take measures to build customer loyalty such as offering a discount on their next online order through your own online system.
Customer data from the online ordering solution can be used to customize your marketing messages and encourage repeat visits. Further by integrating your loyalty program to your online ordering solution, you can ensure that your loyalty customers can redeem their offers and coupons on online orders.
5. You Keep the Profits
Most third-party aggregators charge hefty commissions between 20 to 28 percent for each order placed through their platforms, which is a huge drain on revenues. The increase in revenues due to the number of orders received via these apps is usually diluted by the commission.
By opting for an in-house solution, you can do away with charges on each order thereby boosting revenues and profits.
To succeed in the crowded restaurant space, you must keep up with the trends and cater to customer demand. Proving the convenience of online ordering to your customers is imperative and by going for an in-house online ordering solution for your restaurant, you can ensure that you provide a consistent experience across all channels that customers have come to expect from your brand while generating incremental revenues for your business