Restaurants are able to interact with customers more directly with online ordering. Because customers can order from a mobile device or computer, they get what they want easier and faster. A few years ago, the concept of online ordering seemed impossible. But this industry has skyrocketed and only continues to go up. The NPD Group reports that digital orders have increased by 45% since 2014 and now account for nearly $1.9 billion in food service visits. While providing online ordering gives massive benefits to customers, how does it impact restaurant sales business? Let’s take a look…
Online ordering is a great investment for a restaurant owner – no matter what service or tool you decide to use. Some systems are set up for restaurants to pay a percentage of each order, while others charge restaurants a fixed monthly fee. Although they can come with burdensome fees, having access to large portals, that aggregate restaurants into one site, gives small mom-and-pop shops the ability to suddenly compete as if they were “big dogs”, since their restaurant would have the benefit of the technology and be listed with their competitors.
Implementing online ordering can improve operations within your restaurant and will help you become more efficient. Instead of receiving orders via telephone, restaurants can receive 2x-10x as many orders within the same amount of time. The process is ‘cleaner’ since each order is clearly sent to the restaurant digitally, rather than an employee trying to jot down a customer’s special requests. Instead of having customers call in, monopolize an employee’s time with questions and deliberations, customers can choose what they want and decide with intention because they have more time to look at the menu and choose what they want to order.
Online ordering increases a restaurant’s overall average ticket. Online orders can average up to 20% larger than average phone orders. Plus, according to the National Restaurant Association, 60% of adults say they’d likely take advantage of delivery to their homes or offices if limited-service restaurants offered it, leading to incremental sales a restaurant wouldn’t have otherwise received. Having an online menu allows restaurants to easily upsell items into their menu. Want fries with that? Check a box. Interested in a side salad for an additional $2? Yes – click. Online ordering has also made it easier for companies and large groups to order together. The benefits for customers are clear – it helps them organize an order for multiple people, streamlining the process and encouraging future group orders at a restaurant..
Give Them What They Want
While all of these things are truly beneficial, the most powerful reason behind online ordering is its ability to continually draw loyal, valuable, and new customers to your restaurant. Restaurant delivery alone is expected to produce $75.9 billion in gross sales by 2022. Convenience and ease are the driving forces behind its growth. This expanding market will continue to offer new opportunities to restaurants that can leverage online ordering the best ways possible. That means using the data and feedback that also come as a benefit to online ordering to improve operations and marketing.
Knowing all of the advantages to online ordering, it makes sense for restaurant owners to implement a system at their own restaurant. The biggest challenge is to find the right system for your restaurant. To help you in your search, take a look at some of our additional articles: 5 ways to better manage online orders; How to leverage technology at your restaurant; and Upselling through online ordering.