A recent article from Nations’ Restaurant News talked about how the large chains are getting away from value, convenience, service, and speed in their advertising. Evidently their studies are telling them to focus more on the menu and the quality of ingredients.

That’s good, if focusing on those elements helps bring customers through the front door.  But it is also important to remember that study after study reminds us that customers who order online are a different breed. They look for other things.

Consider:

  • A sizable portion of customers that come to you for takeout have been to your restaurant.  They know the quality of your dishes and they have a high degree of trust that you will deliver on it.  By converting them to online customers, you take good customers and make them better.
  • Thanks to the proliferation of multi-restaurant portals, there are also an increasing number of customers who are coming to you based on your portal presence (and remember, almost 50% of customers who see you on a portal will check out your proprietary website before ordering because they don’t fully trust the information on the portal).  If these folks are new customers, they are going to judge your restaurant by your own website.
  •  Either through first-hand experience, referral, or a sense of adventure, many online customers are already sold on your menu and quality.  They are looking first and foremost for convenience and control.  They want it quick, they want it right, and they want it when they want it.

The Bottom Line:  When it comes to promoting online ordering, stick to the basics – the added convenience and control.  You might also add that your takeout items are always as good as what they would be in your restaurant.  Just keep your website looking good and the orders will keep coming in!

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