The demand for food delivery is evolving at a rapid pace especially during the times of the COVID-19 crisis. As a restaurant owner, it’s important to recognize being able to accept direct orders online is an absolute necessity when it comes to:
- Maintaining your existing customer base
- Improving your revenue stream
- Keeping people employed
- Controlling your cost per order
- Keeping your restaurant brand alive .
During the pandemic, forced closures have ensured a dramatic loss of foot traffic. However, through a proper online presence, you can still stand out to customers who might not otherwise see an advertisement or hear about your restaurant or walk through the door.
Creating an online presence is similar to tapping your customers on the shoulder and telling them all about your wonderful restaurant. However, a customer simply knowing you exist isn’t enough, you need that customer to spend money. If your restaurant website has a customer-friendly restaurant online ordering system for customer to make orders, the chances of improving revenue and increasing your profit margin have skyrocketed vs only giving a phone call option.
You may still be asking, “Can’t we be online without ordering online?” You can…and having an online presence helps bring in more walk in traffic and phone call traffic. However not fully “connecting the dots” would cause you to miss out on an additional revenue channel that is far more easily managed than taking phone calls. Additionally, online orders also help contribute to more walk-in customers in the future as people become more familiar with your brand. As people become familiar with your brand they will continue to explore all your offerings that are available in the future. Many customers have switched their preference from offline ordering to online ordering because it’s simple, convenient and fully transparent. To completely ignore how a large demographic of the population has adapted to online ordering would be a mistake. The old way of doing business still exists, but it is important to be prepared for the way things are evolving. The Covid 19 outbreak has sped up the need to adapt to this new channel of business.
The convenience of online ordering is what many of your customers want, if done right there is no reason not to give the customers the option.
What Are Advantages Of An Online Ordering System During COVID-19?
1. Customers Prefer Restaurant Websites Than Food Apps
The following infographics display how many customers are ordering their meals from restaurant websites instead of third-party applications.
2. It’s Just One Click Away
Since everyone owns a smartphone and tablet, people can order food online with one click. This creates convenience and more orders!
Studies conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Viggle showed that there are 69% of customers who are using mobile devices for online food ordering! Ignoring this is a mistake considering that everyone is using mobile-responsive applications.
Make sure the website and online ordering system you are using are mobile-friendly and tested on both a wireless and cellular data connection!
3. It’s Fast, Easy and Comfortable
Currently, more customers want to order food online as it is literally at their fingertips to anybody who owns a smart phone or a computer.
According to recent polls, the millennials (aged 20s to mid-30s) are the most important target audience.
The polls suggest that restaurant-dining generates approximately 43% of the annual food expense of the average family budget with millennials being the driving factor. More than 97% of millennials use their phones for almost everything, including online food ordering.
Having an online ordering system is also the best way to persuade millennials into ordering from a restaurant, do not miss this important customer base!
And there’s more!
It is one of the effective ways on how to persuade ANYONE to order food from your restaurant!
4. Because it’s Visually Pleasing and Satisfies All Hungry Customers!
Research from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota shows that an empty stomach leads to an empty pocket. In this case, the target is emptying the customer’s wallet!
Assistant Professor of Marketing at Carlson University, Alison Jing Xu, stated:
“Hunger makes us think about searching, obtaining and eating food. Acquisition-related thoughts can spill over and place us in a position to get non-food products as well, even if they are unable to satisfy our hunger.”
Another study co-authored by Norbert Schwartz (USC’s Marshall School of Business) and Robert S Wyler, Jr (Hong Kong’s Chinese University) reported that 64% of the money is spent by hungry mall-shoppers than those who were satiated.
The final takeaway is that: Hungry consumers are buying more food online! This can be converted into larger and higher orders, and a wider revenue stream!
What contributes to hunger…food pictures. Pictures sell food. Encouraging the customers to go online and see the entire menu with images of food when they’re hungry, encourages buying.
How can this information be an advantage?
When the customers actually see the menu, they are motivated to order more food items rather than ordering through a phone call. That means getting bigger and higher orders. This is one of the best ways to streamline a restaurant!
Developing a restaurant’s menu is a critical component of having a positive online presence. This includes: improving dish descriptions and high-quality photography for dishes within an online food ordering system for the restaurant.
More Reasons To Consider Online Ordering For Your Restaurant
There are multiple advantages to having an online food ordering system in a restaurant. No matter how good the restaurant is, offline ordering will always have setbacks and limitations that don’t exist online. Here are a few examples of setbacks to think about:
5. Phone Calls Can Create Misunderstandings, Frustrations and/or Mistakes, Online Order with Conditional Acceptance creates less mistakes.
One of the largest issues with ordering through phone calls is that it’s easy to mishear or misunderstand a customer’s orders. There could be an accent, there could be background noise, or there could be a bad cellular connection all contributing to a mistake in the order.
With Menu by StoreGear Online Food Ordering System, the customer directly states all choices through online ordering, so it’s impossible to make a mistake or misunderstand an online order.
6. Online Food Ordering is always Open 24/7
A restaurant may not be open 24/7, but its online ordering system is! Using an online food ordering system will give customers the flexibility to place orders anywhere and anytime.
This will help to dramatically scale the menu’s order size. Since customers can easily schedule a desired pick up time or delivery time during your working hours.
7. An Online Menu is Simpler to Manage
Online menus are easier to build and keep up-to-date. A more current and up-to-date menu will encourage ordering. Additionally, restaurants save expenses on printing expenses when the focus of ordering goes online.
Other menu management advantages:
- Test and check the meals in many ways to see which one looks mostly appeal to the customers
- Create weekly promotions
- Advertise seasonal food items or in-stock food items available for limited times
- Quickly test and change Happy Hours
An appealing, convenient, and interactive online menu can boost sales. It was reported by NPR that online food-ordering consumers spend 4% more money on average!
8. Less Hassle
Online ordering not only saves money from printing, but also saves time from dealing with indecisive customers!
Unlike phone-call ordering, a direct online ordering system sends the order confirmation immediately to the customer and can’t be avoided. Significantly saving time from calling customers back to confirm their orders.
In regards to the costs of the online food ordering system: StoreGear Menu is offering 60-Days Free Trial for new sign-ups! All StoreGear plans offer unlimited ordering and charge no commissions to the restaurant or the customer. That’s free for both the client and the restaurant! It’s an absolute win!
Our online food ordering system is completely free of commissions! If you and your staff are willing to set aside time, there are no set-up fees for getting started.
Getting the ordering system integrated on your website only a few clicks of copying and pasting in the code widget (which we can help with). Furthermore, it only a few clicks to have it integrated on your Facebook page which starts turning an already existing audience into customers! Learning how to advertise through Facebook gives the restaurant even more exposure!
Additionally, our direct food ordering system keeps your client information private to you. Our system doesn’t sell your customer information to 3rd parties or for marketing purposes to market your audience to other restaurants. It’s important to remember: always have control over the online restaurant’s operations and client’s information.
There are many advantages to creating an option for online ordering. With Menu by StoreGear direct food ordering system for restaurants and the reason’s listed above, hopefully it is now painfully obvious that there are zero reasons not to set up direct online ordering immediately.