Does Online Ordering Help Boost Business?
The future of the restaurant business lies squarely with online ordering. With new meal delivery services popping up each year, restaurants are going to have to find a way to compete.
Because online ordering is also a way to increase your restaurant’s revenue, it’s time to add it to your services if you haven’t already.
In this article, we ask the question, “Does online ordering help boost business?” Not only do we answer the question, but we’ll give you some tips for doing online ordering more efficiently.
Online Ordering Increases Order Size
When you’re ready to start taking online orders, you are likely to see an increase in the average order size?
This is because people often order more when ordering online for a variety of reasons including:
- They don’t have to “take” leftovers home, they’re already home.
- Customers may order extra for lunch the next day.
- There is no pressure. They can explore add-ons without worrying about lines or taking up a table.
- Diners aren’t embarrassed to order extra because they’re ordering privately, and your server doesn’t know how many people are eating.
Online Ordering Increases Customer Loyalty
As we mentioned earlier, your diners can order ready-made meals and ready-to-eat meals online from a variety of sources. This proves that your diners want the convenience of eating at home.
Increase their loyalty to you, their favorite restaurant, by offering them choices, most especially online ordering.
Digital ordering makes it easy for your customers to order from you whether they feel like staying in or going out.
Offering online ordering lets customers know you care and in turn increases their loyalty.
You can even offer loyalty programs and online-only coupons to incentivize customers further.
Online Ordering Makes You More Efficient
In the “old” days of take-out and delivery, you had to have a person on-staff answering phones and managing orders.
When you offer online ordering, your customers and your staff benefit from the increased efficiency. (tweet this)
- You don’t have to pay extra staff.
- Your customers can order right from their smartphones.
- Diners don’t have to wait on the telephone on hold for a person to talk to and then try to hear them over the loud restaurant noise.
- Customers bypass a person, so there is little room for error, and you put out orders with a higher rate of accuracy.
Online Ordering Builds a Database
If you’re like many restaurant owners, you’re building an email database of your customers.
This lets you market to them and communicate with them in the future by sending specials, loyalty information, coupons, links to blog posts, and interesting tips and videos.
You rarely get an email address from your in-house diners. And, you almost never get an email address from a phone order. But, you always get an email address from your online orders.
This gives you the chance to capture their information and continue to market to them for a long time.
Online Ordering Provides Analytics
Do you know how many times Bob Smith dined in your restaurant this quarter? Probably not. But, you do know how many times Smith ordered from you online.
Not only do you know his rate of ordering, but you know what he ordered every time.
Using information such as what people are ordering lets you know which of your menu items are the most popular and which are duds.
You can then adjust, add or remove menu items based solely on what your customers are eating.
You can also tailor your promotions to your online ordering customers because you know very detailed information about them. (tweet this)
For example, let’s say Bob Smith ordered from you once in January, but from your analytics you know he hasn’t ordered in six months. You might send him a targeted promotion to get him to come back.
You might also send him a survey to find out why he hasn’t returned. This can provide you valuable marketing data.
Online Ordering Increases Order Accuracy
Phone orders are hard in a busy restaurant. This leaves room for multiple chances for mistakes.
Online ordering lets your customers order exactly what they want in a quiet room. They can modify their order as many times as they want before placing it, so there’s no chance for error on your part.
The order is sent straight to your kitchen, where it can be handled efficiently. Avoiding mistakes is a great way to make your customers happy.
Your Customers Demand Online Ordering
It’s not just Millennials who are demanding online ordering, it’s age groups both above and below that want it, too.
They want to eat at restaurants who believe in convenience and accessibility.
The statistics back this up:
- For the last four years, at least 30% of diners ages 18-54 have ordered food online from their phone or tablet.
- Digital restaurant ordering is growing 300% faster than dine-in traffic.
Adding online ordering not only increases the number of pickup or delivery orders you receive, but it increases your average order size and customer loyalty, too.
Online ordering is the wave of the future. Your customers want the ease of take-out and delivery. They don’t want to leave the comfort of their own homes, so it’s up to you to satisfy their need for convenience with online ordering.
You’re probably accustomed to take-out orders, so the move to digital online ordering shouldn’t be too hard. It will also save you time and money when it comes to labor costs.
You don’t have to have staff answering the phones, because the ordering is done online.
Bottom line – as a restaurant in the 21st century, you want to maximize the experience for every customer. You want to encourage not only walk-in traffic but online ordering as well.
Your goal is to meet the needs of every customer, whether it’s those that want to dine-in or those that want to eat from the comfort of their sofa.
Lastly, if all of this information isn’t reason enough to begin online ordering, here’s another tidbit: mobile online ordering is expected to be $38 billion industry by 2020, accounting for 10.7% of total QSR industry sales.
That is also expected to spill over into the restaurant industry as a whole. Great news for your restaurant if you’re ready to begin today.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to all your restaurants and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!