According to a survey, 57% of guests order from a restaurant’s website online daily, weekly, or monthly.
What does this mean for your restaurant? It means that if you want to increase sales, online ordering is an important avenue.
In this article, we look at online ordering and the latest trends.
Now that you know the majority of diners order online, it is only logical that online ordering has surpassed phone ordering.
Today’s consumers spend more and more time on their mobile phones, making it fast and easy to place an order at your restaurant.
Online ordering makes take-out simpler for people. Often, they order online and simply drive up to a special door at restaurants to pick up their food.
Restaurants who provide online ordering are meeting the demands of a new generation that “wants what they want when they want it.”
The increase in online ordering over phone ordering is good for you, too. It eliminates the middle man on the phone and virtually eliminates staff errors.
Expect online ordering to increase for the delivery and take-out customer.
Along with online ordering through your website, another trend to watch out for is the use of mobile apps.
Restaurants who have their own mobile apps are providing yet another simple and easy way for customers to place their orders.
Apps allow customers to create accounts and even re-order their favorite meals.
Mobile apps for ordering are still in a growth stage, but watch their progress in the coming year.
With online ordering comes an increase in delivery orders.
For restaurants who offer delivery, they are seeing their orders increase when offering online ordering.
Many of today’s diners prefer the ease of ordering online and waiting for someone to deliver their food so they can eat in the comfort of their own homes.
Delivery allows you to grow your business so you can now serve in-house diners, take-out customers and delivery customers.
Also worth noting is that signing up for delivery online through your website also eliminates human error when it comes to delivery addresses.
Many restaurants see as much as a 25% increase in their mobile orders compared to their in-restaurant orders.
Online ordering allows customers to take their time with their order. (tweet this) They can order exactly what they want without feeling the need to hurry up and please their server.
Plus, when ordering online, customers are more likely to over order because they know they can stick their leftovers right into the refrigerator for the next day.
Restaurants are continually competing for business, and another way to fight the competition is through online ordering.
One way restaurants can beat the competition is by offering online coupons and specials to customers to entice them to order online.
The online arena allows restaurants to offer instant discounts to grab their customers. This in turn creates loyalty.
Diners on the fence can even be brought back to abandoned carts through automated emails.
This provides the perfect opportunity to offer a coupon to encourage them to complete their order.
Expect the online competition to heat up as we move through the year. This could inspire even more customers to order online.
You can use your social media accounts to drive online ordering.
This trend can only grow as more and more restaurants leverage their social media platforms to promote online ordering.
Social media ads can also drive traffic to your website to increase your online orders.
You’ll find that customers are pleased with your online ordering system. Whether they are dropping by to pick up their take-out, or you are delivering their food, customers are relaxed and more likely to enjoy their food.
Because they have less interaction with staff, there are less opportunities for mistakes to happen.
Worth noting is that you want to provide your customers’ food hot and on time. They will be unhappy with late, cold food.
Consider training your take-out and delivery staff in customer service.
Because the interactions with your staff are fewer when online ordering is involved, you do want the one interaction customers have to be the best possible.
When a diner comes into your restaurant, they usually eat, pay and leave. You aren’t left with any of their contact information.
With online ordering, you get the best marketing tool – your customers’ email addresses. (tweet this)
This is just another reason online ordering is a hot trend.
By getting your customers’ email addresses, you now have access to re-market to them at any time.
You can thank them for their business, invite them to re-order their last meal or try something different. You can send promotions or special event notices.
Online ordering has established a relationship with your restaurant and your customer. If you continue to build and nurture that relationship, you’ll have the added benefit of a repeat customer.
Finally, into the future you can expect the following trends: delivery without a driver and delivery by drone.
As retailers begin to experiment with drone delivery, you might see similar options for food delivery.
You might also see delivery options with driver-less cars. The customer orders online, people prepare the food and send it off in a driver-less car for delivery.
Just imagine…your phone beeps alerting you that your food is outside, and you can pick it up on your porch through drone delivery or at the driver-less car waiting at the curb.
If you aren’t harnessing the power of online ordering, it’s time to get started.
Online ordering is a trend that’s here to stay because it not only benefits you, but it benefits the customer.
Your customers experience convenience and simplicity because they can order on their own time frame and without any pressure.
You experience increased revenue and a broader customer base because you are meeting the needs of a wide variety of people – those who want to dine in your restaurant and those who want to eat at home.
Bottom line – your customers are happy when they get to order online, and you’re happy because they’re spending more money than they would in person.
Online ordering is a win-win for everyone, and it’s a good idea to get on-board this trend.
Do you have a great website with an online menu for ordering? Is it user-friendly and enticing to your website visitors? If not, or you’d like a website tune-up and refresh, contact us for your free website consultation. We’ll make sure your website works for your site visitors and is the centerpiece of your marketing.