Are You Cell Phone Ready? A Look Into Online Ordering Habits

Are You Cell Phone Ready? A Look Into Online Ordering Habits

The cell phone revolution affects your restaurant.

You can’t ignore it. In fact, you can’t even brush it to the side anymore.

The digital revolution has arrived, and cell phones are here to stay. Are you cell phone ready?

In this article, we take a look into online ordering habits of your restaurant customers.

They are using cell phones, and they’re using them in increasing numbers. Here’s why adding online ordering is so important for your restaurant.

Online Ordering Statistics

First, let’s look at some online ordering stats so we know where the state of the industry stands today. According to a RetailMeNot study, mobile is vital to the restaurant industry, and here’s why:

  • One in four customers have at least one restaurant-specific mobile app on their cell phone.
  • For people who dine out eight to 10 times per week, more than two-thirds of them use a restaurant-specific mobile app.
  • More than 35% of consumers have placed an online food order using their phones.
  • Customers ages 25-34 are the biggest group searching for restaurants on their phones.

Now let’s look at an important demographic – the Millennial generation and their online ordering habits.

Millennials Demand Online Ordering

Millennials are worth an estimated $600 billion in spending power.

And, seventy-three percent of Millennials report making a purchase from their smartphone. This means this generation of people demands online ordering options.

Millennials have high expectations when it comes to your restaurant’s online presence. If they don’t find what they want immediately, you can bet they’ll take their business elsewhere. (tweet this)

This means if Millennials want to place an online order, and they can’t do it from their cell phones, then they will find a restaurant who caters to their needs.

Think about the experience your restaurant offers Millennials online. If it isn’t seamless tying from your restaurant to your website, and Millennials find it difficult, again, they’ll go elsewhere.

Bottom line – your online menu matters, and it should be easy to order from it when users are on any device, including their cell phones.

It’s vital to make online ordering easy for Millennials as well as the rest of your customers. After all, the baby boomers (group older than the Millennials) also use computers and cell phones for online restaurant searches and ordering.

To help you meet your customers’ needs, let’s look at some ways to use online ordering and how it can help grow your restaurant business.

Online Ordering Offers Insights

Many online ordering systems offer a way for you to predict a customer’s order. This makes it easy for the customer because your system is “guessing” what the customer will want based on past orders.

This meets the Millennial need of fast, efficient and uncomplicated.

Social Media Ordering

In addition to their website and mobile app, many restaurants are offering ordering through their social media platforms.

For example, you can add this function to your Facebook page as a way to grab hungry diners browsing the platform.

Online Ordering Beats the Phone

No one wants to wait on hold for you to take their order. They want to visit your restaurant website, pick their items and hit order.

Online ordering will most often take less time than waiting for someone to take your order and process your information.

You’ll find that your takeout process is significantly simplified through online ordering. It’s easier on your customers and on your staff.

When you add an online ordering option, you should start to see your takeout orders increase because you’ve made it easy and efficient.

Online ordering is increasingly popular, and your customers will be happy to find it. You’ll also gain new customers especially once word gets out that they can eat their favorite food in their pajamas at home.

You’ll expand your business with online ordering by entering more and more target markets in your hometown.

Value of Repeat Customers

You’ll also find that online ordering creates a habit of repeat orders.

This is a terrific benefit for your restaurant.

Your online ordering customers have a superior lifetime value because they are more likely to reorder from your restaurant than a traditional customer. (tweet this)

Why? Because you’ve made it so easy for them to order their favorite dish on a recurring basis.

Online Ordering Habits

Cell phones can help drive your restaurant business.

Apps for Online Ordering

Not only can you offer online ordering on your website, but you can extend it to a dedicated mobile app and even to your social media platform.

Apps allow your customers to create accounts, storing their contact information and even their favorite orders. You can make ordering easy for your customers by allowing one-click repeat orders.

Mobile Pay Enhances Online Orders

We also want to touch on mobile pay options for your restaurant. This includes ordering, checkout and payment.

You’ll find a huge potential with mobile pay, especially among Millennials and those they influence.

Online Ordering Drives Loyalty

Online ordering allows you to instantly and easily offer a rewards/loyalty program to your restaurant customers.

Loyalty programs drive business and keep your customers coming back week after week.

By combining mobile pay and mobile ordering options with your restaurant’s loyalty program, you’ll watch sales rise and customer happiness increase.

Final Thoughts

Is your restaurant website mobile-friendly and responsive to device size?

Your customers live on their cell phones. They text, read email, use apps and search the web.

If your website isn’t mobile-ready, it’s time you revised it, added an online menu and ordering system. Your website must be mobile-optimized. It’s also time to take a look at a dedicated mobile app and online ordering.

You might know that restaurants are the number one thing cell phone users are searching for on their mobile devices. They are most often looking for several things: your location, phone number, hours, menu and online ordering options.

Miss any of these things on your mobile-friendly website, and you lose business.

Consider revamping and revising your current website and look into adding a mobile app.

Online orders are the wave of the future, and your restaurant needs to be cell phone ready today.

Do you have an online menu? Your restaurant needs a responsive, mobile-friendly website with an interactive online menu. It’s the ideal way to highlight your food as well as encourage online ordering.

At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites. Contact us today for your free website consultation. We are here to help you update your website and stand out in the crowd so you can stay ahead of your competition.

Images: Rikki Chan and



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