Online ordering is one of the best tools restaurants can use to position themselves against larger chains that dominate the market.  Indeed, there might not be a better time to be an independent or small chain than right now, especially if you offer online ordering.

Yahoo Finance reports that customer traffic at large casual-dining restaurants slid 2% this past December. Reasons cited for this traffic decrease? Oversaturation, to be sure. How many large intersections in a city contain two or more casual-dining concepts?

Another is the rise of fast casual chains, the most prominent examples of which are Chipotle and Panera. Restaurants like these have seen sales increase 15% annually for the last five years. What do they offer? Made-to-order meals, made in a hurry. To sum it up in one word we all know well, they offer – convenience.

Also, a consumer trend we are seeing return is called “cocooning”, a word first coined back in 1981. Large-screen HD televisions, services such as Netflix, and the ability to buy almost anything online has resulted in more and more consumers coming home from work and never leaving the house again.

If they don’t want to go out for a meal or cook at home, their only alternative is the convenience of takeout. This is why online ordering is so helpful.  Customers crave convenience, especially takeout customers.  Offering customers the ability to order from your NetWaiter site helps them just as much as it helps your restaurant.

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