In the past few years, the food service industry has changed tremendously with the digital era. For restaurant owners, digital transformation is now the norm if you want to stay ahead of the game and beat your competitors to the punch. Being online is key if you want to optimize your operations and boost your profits.
With the rise in popularity of online ordering, habits are changing and every day we see fewer people placing their orders by phone or in person. Customers prefer ordering on their own terms and online ordering is a convenient way for them to get their favorite food quickly.
This is considered a win-win situation for both customers and restaurant owners. Customers enjoy this extra convenience while owners get more visibility and increase their revenues. In fact, restaurants that use online food ordering systems can see their income increase by as much as 30%.
Many restaurateurs want to jump on the hype train for online ordering, but many believe that they can only do so through a third-party delivery website. As a result, they attract new customers but lose a large chunk of revenue along the way.
The bottom line is that restaurants that use the right online ordering system see many advantages compared to those that exclusively use third-party services. These benefits include higher earnings, detailed customer information and buying habits, a customizable user interface, and much more.
Here are the main advantages of online ordering systems for restaurants:
1. Online orders generate more revenues
Adding online orders on your restaurant website and having a mobile friendly app allows your customers to place orders more conveniently. With online ordering, customers don’t feel rushed to complete their orders so they are more inclined to explore all of the different menu options. The result is that they usually end up spending more than they normally would when ordering over the phone or in person.
Online orders have a higher average order value than those placed through other sales channels. Plus, some restaurant online ordering systems such as UEAT’s have an smart upsell module, which provides customers with personalized suggestions based on their past orders.
2. Order accuracy
When customers order by phone or in person, oftentimes misunderstandings occur due to poor communication and employees make mistakes in the orders. As a result, customers are unhappy, food is wasted and money is lost. With online orders, the customer sees the entire order before submitting it removing human error from the equation.
3. Online ordering systems can coexist with third-party delivery websites
Offering delivery or takeout with a third-party has clear benefits. In highly saturated markets, it's a great way to increase your online visibility and reach new customers. However, when you work exclusively with third-party services, you pay for the cost of acquiring customers on every order they make through their site.
If you have an online ordering system, you can encourage your customers to order food online from your own website by offering them discounts on your online menu. This will save you and your customers’ money. It is a win-win scenario, and you can still work with third party services for exposure.
4. Customer insight
Knowing what your customers want is a huge advantage, and online ordering platforms are a great way to get that information. Unlike third-party services, in-house ordering systems allow you to gather valuable customer information and monitor order patterns for each transaction.
Without this data, you wouldn’t be able to know who your regular customers are, what food they order the most and when they usually order. Customer insight allows you to develop proximity with your guests and enhance the overall customer experience.
5. Simple, fast and intuitive
The faster, the better. Customers want to be able to order online quickly and simply from their mobile devices. Restaurants that have slow or complicated user interfaces risk losing customers. With UEAT’s leading 3-step-ordering, restaurants achieve a higher conversion rate - this means the customers are less keen to abandon their cart..
6. Increase in productivity
It comes to no surprise that online ordering can improve a restaurant's efficiency. With orders and payment processed online, employees spend less time on the phone and dealing with customers. They have more time to focus their efforts on improving the overall customer experience.
7. Marketing opportunities
Online ordering systems such as UEAT’s offer advanced marketing and promotional tools to help you drive traffic to your website and increase your sales. This allows you to offer the perfect promotion to the right client - at the right time. UEAT’s clients also have access to a loyalty program. Knowing that regular customers spend more money than one-time customers, having a loyalty program is in your best interest.
8. Online ordering runs 24/7
Your restaurant is probably not open 24/7 but your online ordering platform is. This helps you generate income even when you’re not operating. Indeed, offering online ordering to your clients gives them the flexibility to place their orders whenever is best for them. This means that they can order outside business hours and select their preferred pickup or delivery time when your business is open. With online ordering, your restaurant never sleeps!
9. Stay ahead of the competition
Not every restaurant in the world offers the option to order online. Restaurants that seize this opportunity and make their restaurants available to their customers in just one click will get a head start and be able to generate more revenues and expand faster.
10. Added perks of software service
UEAT’s online ordering system offers you many perks on top of all the ones listed above: smart upsells, integrated marketing tools, loyalty programs, direct integration with POS systems, flexibility of payment, delivery without commission, peace of mind onboarding and much more.
11. It’s safe for your customers and your staff
By enabling contactless ordering and pickup, online ordering removes lineups and accelerate the flow of customers since they don’t have to wait for an employee to make their order. Plus, with payment safely processed online, there is no need for anyone to fumble with cash.
Online food ordering systems
In short, offering restaurant mobile ordering can offer you many benefits. Companies in other industries are already improving their customer experience with mobile apps and it should the restaurant industry is no different.
By taking advantage of this trend, you will be able to boost your customer base, increase your revenues and enhance the gastronomic and customer experience. The best time to take the first step towards your restaurant’s future is now!
Want to learn the secrets of an effective online ordering marketing strategy for your restaurant? Check out our FREE marketing guide by clicking the button below.