In a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, more than half of the individuals who have not used online ordering say they prefer dealing directly with people.  The good news: you know their objection, and now you can address it.

Here are some tips to make the online ordering experience more personal:

•    Encourage employees to address customers by name when they pick up their order or during a delivery.  Their name is already included with their order information.  Try to connect with them as personably as possible – treat them like a customer, rather than an order number.

•    During a pickup or delivery, employees can also acknowledge special requests – “Your dressing is on the side, just like you requested.”

•    Periodically, at the beginning of the day, have a manger contact a customer that had a large takeout order the night before.  Inquire about their experience and how they enjoyed their food.  Whether by email or phone, you may learn some valuable information.  At the same time, customers will be pleasantly surprised that you contacted them to check on their experience.

What impresses customers is the unexpected.  All you need is a few delighted customers to post something nice online and to tell their friends.  It’s only a matter of time before the customers that prefer to deal directly with people realize it’s time to start ordering online.

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