Restaurant Online Ordering Revolution

Restaurant Online Ordering Revolution

Online Ordering Revolution - Massive Growth Potential

Online ordering makes frequenting your restaurant easy.

How many times a day do you actually use your mobile phone to make a call? Now, balance that with how many times a day you use your phone to do an Internet search?

If you’re like most people, you spend more time on your mobile device looking for information than using it as a telephone.

According to several studies, restaurants are the most-searched-for category on mobile phones today. This has helped spearhead the online ordering revolution.

Many restaurants worldwide have jumped on the bandwagon of online ordering. In this article, we look at the online ordering revolution and its massive growth potential.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of providing online ordering for your restaurant.

Increase Ticket Order Size

Mobile ordering allows you the flexibility of interactive menu design. Your online, digital menu can suggest add-ons such as salad, appetizer or dessert. You can prompt users to order a larger meal size for “leftovers tomorrow.”

Online ordering can result in as much as a 20% increase in the average ticket price for most restaurants. (tweet this)

By offering online ordering you recognize the need your customers have to take a long hard look at your menu without feeling the pressure to order quickly.

You let them order in the comfort of their own homes, and they’ll be more likely to order more because they have time to peruse your menu.

Here are a few ways you can encourage the up-sell when it comes to online ordering:

  • You can reward your big spenders. For example, you can encourage customers to buy a little bit more because you offer a discount or free delivery at certain price levels. Let’s say you offer free delivery at $50. This helps entice customers sitting in the $40 range to order more for the sake of convenience.
  • Online ordering allows you to offer suggestions to your customers as they build their order. You can suggest appetizers, drinks, desserts, specialty bread and more.
  • Suggesting add-ons is another bonus to online ordering. You can gently encourage a higher order total by highlighting inexpensive add-ons. For example, you serve Indian food. Add-ons could be naan bread and chutney. A few extra dollars spent by each customer adds up in the long run.
  • Online ordering lets you cater to groups. You can provide special offers and complete menus for these groups with appetizer and dessert add-ons as well as party platters. Offer special perks such as free drinks to encourage the larger order.

Restaurant Online Ordering Reduce Overhead

Another huge avenue for growth potential with online ordering is your ability to reduce staffing costs.

Phone orders in your restaurant take time. This means additional staff members available to answer the phones. In addition to phone orders eating up staff time, you’ll often find order taking errors.

What’s more, your staff members are likely to forget or be uncomfortable offering additional items, so you lose your shot at the up-sell.

Increase your daily revenue without having to change your dining room by adding additional seating. You don’t have to hire extra staff. You avoid ordering errors.

End up with happy customers who aren’t frustrated waiting for a staff member to answer the phone. Customers are also happier because they didn’t have to deal with a grumpy, time-crunched waitress picking up the call in-between tables.

Overall, online ordering reduces your overhead and leads to more content customers. (tweet this)

online restaurant ordering storepoint

Diners can order and eat at their convenience using online ordering.

Restaurant Online Ordering Give Your Customers Freedom

Millennials want to be free to do what they want when they want it. They are highly protective of their time and don’t want to waste it waiting for food.

It’s all about instant gratification, and your online ordering options provide that for Millennials.

This group of the population wants everything quickly. They don’t want to come into your restaurant, order and wait to take it home.

They relish the idea of online ordering and then dropping by when it’s convenient for them to quickly pick it up.

And, it’s not just Millennials who appreciate this kind of service. Young and old, millions of people feel the same way. Blame it on the digital age, but today’s diners want the convenience of online ordering and fast pick-up or delivery.

Leverage Email Marketing

Using email marketing in tandem with online ordering provides you with massive growth potential.

Before online ordering, you might send an email with or without a coupon and then wait for the customer to show up at your door.

Once you implement online ordering, you can send an email to your customers and include an order now call to action to encourage your customers to order from your restaurant.

Online ordering enables more people to enjoy your restaurant on their own time. And, it allows you the ability to leverage email marketing to reach your customers on their phones or computers where they are immediately able to order a meal.

Build Customer Loyalty

You’ll increase customer loyalty and trust through online ordering which in turn provides you with growth potential.

Giving your customers an easy to use online ordering service helps you meet their needs and keep them coming back more often.

Since your customers spend hours on their mobile phones, you can tap right into those customers through your website and online ordering system.

You build customer loyalty by allowing customers to order when they want and on whatever device they choose. This also helps keep your restaurant top of mind when the stomach begins to rumble.

Final Thoughts

Online ordering equals instant gratification.

Why? One study shows that more than two-thirds of customers order food online using their mobile device. It’s fast, it’s convenient, and it’s easy.

Many restaurants find that online ordering is becoming a big driver of revenue, and it’s responsible for an increase in sales.

This is because your customers will spend more and visit your restaurant more often when they can order your food online or on their mobile phones.

If you’d like to send your restaurant business into over-drive, add online ordering capabilities to your website today. Don’t forget to make a plan for how to handle the massive amounts of orders as they flow in.

You might find that a dedicated to-go door works well to move your traffic flow and provide an easy way for to-go customers to pick up their online orders while keeping your front doors free for dine-in guests.

Do you have a dynamic menu on your website that can handle online ordering? At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites that incorporate menus that intrigue and tantalize your online ordering customers.

Contact us today for your free website consultation. We’d are here to help you stand out in the crowd and stay ahead of your competition with your restaurant website.

Restaurant Online Ordering

5 reasons you should offer online ordering

Millennials, a.k.a. the largest generation in American history, eat out five times a week. Here are some other good reasons to offer online ordering.

  1. To compete with the big brands.
  2. Because customers crave convenience.
  3. To grow your bottom line.
  4. To improve restaurant operations.
  5. To collect valuable customer data.

Still not convinced that online ordering is critical to your restaurant’s success? Read on.

Benefits of an online food ordering system

Your customers are spending more and more time online — especially on their smartphones. Take advantage of the trend to see these benefits.

1. To compete with the big brands

With the growing consumer demand for faster, more convenient ways to order, independent restaurants are feeling pressure to compete with big brands that can afford to invest millions in takeout technology.

Domino’s Pizza introduced their online ordering system in 2010. At the time their stock price was $8 and the company was struggling to grow. In the last seven years, Domino’s has grown to the second-largest pizza chain in the world with a stock price at over $200 per share — that’s 25x growth!

Online Food Ordering System Dominos
Since introducing online ordering, Domino’s has grown into the second-largest pizza chain in the world. 

Domino’s has invested millions in building its own online ordering offering. Don’t have millions? Independent restaurants can compete by partnering with specialists like ChowNow which offers branded smartphone apps and website order for as little as $4 per day.

2. Because customers crave convenience

These days it seems like everyone is talking about the coveted millennial. Why should restaurant owners care about millennials? Because there are 50 million of them in the U.S., the largest generation in history. By next year, their collective purchasing power will exceed $3.39 trillion. Pleasing this demographic is a path to profits.

Last year, the percentage of restaurant orders placed online exceeded the quantity placed verbally over the phone.

My little sister interned in New York this summer, and I was shocked to learn that her morning routine consisted of a Starbucks run.

When I asked her “Why Starbucks? You live in Manhattan and work in Brooklyn, there is an incredible local coffee shop on every corner.” She explained she had the Starbucks app; she orders and pays for her coffee while getting on the subway, and it is waiting for her on the other side.

Online Food Ordering System Starbucks
Millennials love convenience almost as much as they love their phones.
Photo: madison bilsborough on Unsplash

She saves 10 to 15 minutes every morning — and her favourite coffee shop, Brooklyn Roasting Company, doesn’t offer the same convenience. Quality is paramount when consumers choose where to eat, but if you are close in quality AND offer an easier way to order than your competition, then you are going to win with millennials.

3. To grow your bottom line

Put yourself in your restaurant customer’s shoes for a minute. Imagine you are getting home on Friday night after a stressful week of work. You want nothing more than to catch up on the latest Netflix series in your PJs while enjoying your favorite ramen from down the street.

Online Food Ordering System Noodles
Adding an online ordering system can increase order size by as much as 20 percent.

Scenario 1: You give them a call

You look up the restaurant’s phone number and give them a call. On the other end is a hurried voice that asks “please hold.” The restaurant is obviously busy — it’s a Friday and what can you expect? Their ramen is worth the wait.

After a few minutes you wonder, “Did they forget about me? Maybe I should call back.” Just before you decide to hang up and redial, the same voice hops back on. It’s difficult to hear them.

Restaurant: “Pickup or delivery?”
You: “Pickup.”
Restaurant: “What do you want?”
You: “Slurpin’ ramen with chicken, spicy, no seaweed.”
Restaurant: “Anything else?”
You: “No.”
Restaurant: “30 minutes”… click.

Thirty minutes later you get to the restaurant, wait in line to pay and bring your food home.

When you begin plating your food, you are disappointed to discover seaweed in your ramen. Not the end of the world, but you will think twice the next time you are deciding where to order next time.

Scenario 2: You order online

You go to the restaurant’s website to find their phone number and see that you can now Order Online. You click “Order Online,” and are walked step by step through your order.

Online Food Ordering System Slurpin Ramen Bar
“Order Online” are two of the most glorious words in a hangry millennial’s vocabulary.

You add your ramen order and peruse the rest of the menu. You never realized they had dessert. You’re ready to treat yourself and decide to try the Macaron Ice Cream.

You review your order, add a tip and pay with your credit card. Within 60 seconds you get an email that your food will be ready in 30 minutes.

You arrive at the restaurant, and there is a long line. Luckily for you, your food is already paid for and waiting for you behind the counter — you tell them it’s yours, grab your bag and go. Everyone in line looks at you with amazement; you feel like a genius. Better yet, the order is accurate and the macaron ice cream is delicious.

Online Food Ordering System Menu

Why does this matter?

The experience patrons have ordered at your restaurant matters. An inconvenience or mistake with an order can influence future purchasing behaviour.

Orders that are placed online are 20 percent larger on average, which means more money in your pocket.

On a busy night, even the best-trained employees are under stress and go into survival mode. Instead of upselling, and providing a top-notch customer experience, their No. 1 goal is to take the order, and move on to the next customer as fast as possible. This means more mistakes, and lost profits.

Online Food Ordering System Ordering
An online food ordering system is never in a rush and is always upselling.

4. To improve restaurant operations

Implementing an online food ordering system will create operational efficiencies in your restaurant in three ways.

Improved order accuracy

The responsibility is on the customer to get their order right, and there is no opportunity to misunderstand them on the phone.

Freed-up staff

Your staff isn’t a slave to the telephone with online orders — they can process the order when they have a free moment.

Decreased processing time

Orders are already decided upon and paid for. Pre-payment removes an entire step in your process — and you won’t be stuck on the phone with an indecisive customer who wants you to read your entire menu to them.

5. To collect valuable customer data

A restaurant’s lifeblood is its loyal customer base. However, many restaurants know only their most loyal customers by face and name, and not much beyond that. Online food ordering systems like ChowNow capture your customers’ emails, purchase history and ordering preferences.

This data is invaluable since you can use it to send targeted promotions to your most valuable customers and get them coming back for more.

Starvin Marvin Restaurant Online Ordering
Starvin Marvin Restaurant Online Ordering

Invest in a Kitchen Display System

What Is A KDS Or A Kitchen Display System

A Kitchen Display System, more popularly known as KDS is a display monitor that is set up in the kitchen. Integrated with the point of sale software, it displays the orders that have been placed in the POS. It acts as a mediator between the waiting staff who takes the order, and the chef who prepares the order.

The Benefits Of A Restaurant Kitchen Display System

Now that you know what a Kitchen Display System is, next is understanding why you must invest in it. Not only is it a piece of new age technology where the world is going right now, but it also has multiple benefits that will reflect in your restaurant operations. Here is how a Kitchen Display System can improve the efficiency of your restaurant.

1. No Delay in Order Taking

As soon as you enter the order into the POS, it instantly reflects at the display in the kitchen. Thus, instead of generating a KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket), which needs to be taken to the kitchen and given to the chef or the kitchen staff to be prepared, the order is automatically visible on the kitchen display. Kitchen display systems reduce the time gap between order placing and order preparing.

2. No Missing of Order

Kitchens are often messy and chaotic. Handwritten or even printed KOTs can get misplaced, lost, and deliver incorrect order instructions. KDS ensures that no order gets missed and enhances accuracy. If the customers give any special instructions, they can also be included, and are visible on the display system.

3. Cheaper than Paper KOT

Kitchen Display System is a one-time investment. Once installed and integrated through the POS, it is cheaper than paper KOTs. Bonus points for being environment-friendly and reducing paper wastage!

4. Integrated Online Ordering

Orders placed online are directly pushed to the KDS through the POS. This way you don’t have to push online ordering systems like Starvin Marvin’s online ordering, separately to the kitchen, thus eliminating the risk of missed orders.

5. Streamlined Kitchen Operations

KDS sorts the orders automatically and sends them to the specific KDS station based on order type. For example, in the case of multiple stations, such as the main course section and the dessert station, KDS automatically sends the order for ice cream to the dessert station.

7 Reasons Why You Should Implement Kitchen Display System in Your Restaurant Right Now

6. Improved Communication

Since the order punched into the POS is directly visible on the Kitchen Display System, there is improved communication between the staff. KDS helps customize the kitchen workflow, especially in the case of multi-kitchen restaurants. When the order has been prepared, the chef can change the status of the order to ‘prepared or ready.’ The serving staff can view the display system and serve the order to the customer. Kitchen Display Systems eliminate the need for the service staff to keep asking the chef if the order has been prepared, thus improving communication.

7. Reports

Integrated with your POS software, a Kitchen Display System also helps you keep track of your business, and analyze reports. The KDS gives you in-depth reports through which you can track the average time taken to complete an order. This way you can view how much time and resources are being spent on a particular order.

Kitchen Display Systems are the need of the hour. Not just big cafes, and multi-kitchen restaurants, small restaurants are now also adopting the KDS for smoother restaurant operations and increased efficiency.

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