What’s an online ordering system, and what it means to have one in recent time?
When we talk about digital ordering for restaurants, we often include all or any digital system in the definition that can be used to place an order from a restaurant via a third-party application or an online portal.
It is safe to say that, after looking at the data gathered from around the world, digital applications and portals for food ordering have flourished. This growth rate is seen to be greater post the COVID-19 pandemic compared to growth rate trends previously seen.
A simple explanation for this is that digital ordering for restaurants offered customers access to the restaurants in a time when the world was on an extended lockdown.
With restrictions on going to restaurants physically for such a long period of time, digital ordering for restaurants grew in heaps and bounds.
This was true throughout the world including Saudi Arabia.
In fact, statistics show that as of the COVID-19 global pandemic, 51%, a number that grew more than half, of consumers have downloaded at least one food-purchasing app that they didn’t have already.
In this article, we will explore how digital ordering for restaurants in Saudi Arabia can be beneficial for enhancing sales while also improving customer experience and maximizing their satisfaction.
Blink is your #1 Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants
Restaurant Sales Driven by Digital ordering for Restaurants
In the past, it was more sensible for the restaurant owners to spend more budget on attracting customers by improving focus on the dine-in services. But after 2020, there has been a shift of focus with restaurants owners realizing that importance must be given to digital ordering services.
This shift is a result of the recognition that, due to lockdowns created by the global pandemic, it is online ordering and delivery that will be driving sales and accounting for the majority, if not all, of a restaurant’s orders.
Today let’s explore how a digital online food ordering system can enhance revenues for Saudi Arabia restaurants and drive up their sales.
1. Organizing the ordering, processing, and delivery of the food by restaurants
Compared to the past, when the major portion of sales was coming in from dine-in, it is now more about the customers who are at home and ordering in rather than showing up to the restaurant. Hence it is safe to say digitalization of the food ordering process will greatly enhance the customer base, to the people who chose to order at home or order food for pick-up.
Online ordering applications or portals will therefore organize the system from receiving the order, to directly sending it to the kitchen for processing. This eliminates the possible inefficiencies and chances of error that exist when the front staff is involved.
Not only this but having a user-friendly interface will make the process of ordering easier and more convenient for the online customer, in turn driving the sales up.
2. Data generation and Business Analytics
Using online platforms will be highly beneficial if the restaurant wants to gather market statistics and its own sales information.
Having information about which items on the menu are most selling and which items have negative responses will help the restauranteurs in eliminating the wastage of resources and focus more on what the customers are looking for.
This will not only allow revenue to drive up but also provides the ability to save on possible financial losses.
Furthermore, it will help customer retention since you will be catering towards your current customer base with their data at hand.
3. Focused marketing efforts
We previously mentioned how online ordering is helpful for restaurant owners and managers to keep track of important ordering information and data. This information also includes the social and demographic details of online customers placing the order, and also their ordering patterns and preferences.
All this information is of vital importance when designing any marketing strategy. As many food businesses already know, an effective marketing strategy and captivating promotions are major drivers for increasing the sales of restaurants.
Using digital platforms, restaurants can design just the right marketing strategy with customer demographics in mind.
Digitalizing the food ordering process can only give you full benefit if your restaurant has a prominent and effective online presence. This can be easily accomplished by using social media and tapping into the vast pool of potential customers present there.
Add to this the direct marketing channel that digital ordering offers and you are able to get your brand across and appeal to new customers while also creating loyalty for your existing customers.
4. Work on customer loyalty programs
Online ordering websites or applications keep track of the information which can be greatly beneficial to come up with the perfect marketing strategies. designing customized deals and packages for individual customers. These portals can help in tracking the ordering pattern of the customer, their favorite cuisines, and other relevant information.
This information can help in developing the right offers and promotions for your customers.
This can prove to be pivotal in building loyalty for customers, to keep coming back to the forum.
One such type of promotion is loyalty programs. Loyalty programs are now a fairly common promotion that different restaurants and food businesses offer their customers.
Loyalty programs are a means of driving existing customers to keep coming back and, thus, creating a stable loyal customer base.
Loyalty programs are a marketing feature used to increase customer retention by rewarding returning customers with currency as a percentage of order value.
The prevalence of online ordering simplifies the processes behind these loyalty programs driving more customers to use them.
With online ordering, you can do away with the hassle of a lengthy and somewhat tiresome process to apply for loyalty programs.
You also are able to remove the need to carry physical loyalty cards which are often forgotten and lost thus unable to be prominent tools to convince customers to come to your restaurant.
With online ordering systems, the physical card is obsolete and customers can avail themselves loyalty points with ease. They are also reminded of these programs through marketing techniques and campaigns.
5. Partnering with a third-party application
As a restaurant business, when you collaborate with a food ordering application, it comes with a major surge in the customer reach brought by the additional new platform, which can increase the sales significantly by improving the restaurant’s brand visibility.
Not only does it take the order placement load off the restaurant, but it also helps in easing the operational efficiency, allowing them to concentrate efforts on improving the food quality and customer base.
By investing in a robust Point of Sale (POS) system, the restaurant can streamline orders coming in via any or all third-party applications and make the process free of errors and inefficiencies.
This can help the restaurant experience increased digital footfall.
Apart from this, restaurants can also benefit from offering their customers more ease with various payment options provided by the third party, i.e., cash on delivery, debit or credit card, loyalty points collected on the apps, and other payment gateways like those offered with Mada.
These are just some of the ways that digital ordering for restaurants can prove to drive restaurant sales and allow your business to succeed by meeting goals. Now, let’s move on to what this looks like in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Prospects of food delivery market in Saudi Arabia
Recent studies and the data gathered from them show that much like the rest of the world, Saudi Arabia is also seeing a boost in the restaurant industry.
This boost in the restaurant industry is specifically true in relation to food delivery.
In fact, it was projected that by the year 2024, the market for food delivery in Saudi Arabia is expected to see a growth burst of 9.8%.
The projected market value of revenue in the online food delivery market is suspected to be around $2,807 million by the year 2025 in Saudi Arabia alone.
It is expected in the year 2025, according to statistics that the number of users in the online food delivery segment will amount to around 14.2 million in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Having a website or a mobile application with a user-friendly interface is increasingly becoming more of a necessity due to the sheer advantage of having such a presence can offer your business.
Statistics from the research show that 85% of orders placed from restaurants come via a mobile device.
These figures simply reiterate how large the food industry is in Saudi Arabia and the ever-growing need for food businesses to follow trends to be able to stay afloat as well as make sure that their business does not get lost in the crowd.
Now for a second, imagine having to optimize on such an astounding percentage, by making an app or website that allows one-point access to the menu and order placement.
We can design the platform as such, where the customer visiting can not only see the reviews and comments for the restaurant and its food; but can also look at the menu and directly place the order from the menu without prolonging the order placement process.
Another benefit here can come from saving the customer information upon check-out so that such a database can be used to avail the advantage that we previously discussed.
By keeping a track of a customer’s presence online, restaurant website, mobile applications, or any third-party app they are registered on restaurants can gain access to important data and analytics on their customers and clients.
The majority of all such platforms are likely to have customer feedback options that can help restaurants get a sense of what they need to work on or what their plus points to optimize on are. These platforms also gather data on spending habits and popular menu items, as well as other relevant data.
A relevant consideration though is which provider a restaurant chooses to use to create its website or app. If a restaurant chooses a third-party aggregator, while the aggregator is still picking up on such information, they do not share it with the restaurant.
Such forums also allow you to gather positive testimonials for your own websites. Not only that, but these forums also prove to be a medium of connecting with the customers and encouraging them to leave their feedbacks.
However, all of this needs to be accessible for you as a restaurant to take full advantage of.
So, how can you do that?
The answer is choosing a service to create the digital ordering system that will provide you with the website and app that you need and also offer access to such information.
This is what Blink provides you with their online ordering system. Let’s see how Blink can help your restaurant offer digital ordering without you having to deal with the hassle this task comes with.
Blink is your #1 Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants
How Blink can Help Offer Digital Ordering for Restaurants
Blink provides a software-as-a-Service online ordering solution. This solution offers restaurants necessary back-end access to a pre-designed yet branded template for your restaurant’s website as well as mobile applications that are available for both iOS and Android devices.
Blink offers you a platform that is appealing to your customers, has a user-friendly interface, and a load of important features that make ordering for your customers a streamlined process, encouraging them to order for your brand again and again.
The system not only provides ease for customers but also offers its providers, you the restaurant, a way to delve into the digital ordering world without any of the headache and stress it comes along with.
You can have access to a range of features that make managing your online brand simple, easy, and beneficial to your overall business goal.
Some of the features that you can gain from using Blink include:
- Streamlined online ordering processes for you and your customers
- Simple inventory management so ensure only those items are displayed that are available for your customers to order
- Marketing suites to help get your brand across and convince customers to buy your products
- Loyalty programs to offer existing customers special prices for being loyal to your brand
- Simplified payment via different payment options such as COD, debit, and credit card payments as well as integrations with multiple payment gateways
- Easy integration ERP systems
- Customer data and business analytics are yours to own
- Add-on service for fleet management to track and manage your deliveries in-house
These are just a few of the features that Blink offers. To learn more, check out our website with the full feature set or book a demo and get in contact with one of our restaurant consultants.
Blink is your #1 Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants