When running a restaurant in the twenty-first century, deciding to enable online ordering is the first of sensible moves like food delivery apps. How you use your online ordering software and how you offer it to your customers can dictate just how successful your online delivery for your restaurant will be. Online food order applications are the most successful type of food business today. When you digitize your menu for takeout or delivery, your website, social media presence, and mobile device application will need to be fine-tuned to produce the superior online ordering experience your consumers expect.
Your online ordering software is a big player in all of this. Restaurants may use online ordering software to boost revenue and provide greater customer service and engagement. They are also popular since they are convenient for customers. In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how you can make the most of your restaurant’s online ordering software.
Why is Online Ordering so Crucial Now and in the Future?
The way people eat is changing tremendously over the world. Restaurant-quality meal delivery was mostly limited to dishes like pizza and Chinese more than two decades ago. Food delivery has tripled in value since 2017, reaching a global business worth more than $150 billion.
Ready-to-eat food delivery has emerged as a key industry thanks to the introduction of appealing, user-friendly apps and tech-enabled driver networks and changing consumer expectations. Online ordering has been a saving grace for restaurateurs who were forced to close their restaurants or reduce operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on in the COVID-19 Pandemic, lockdowns and physical separation rules provided the sector a huge boost, with delivery being a lifeline for the struggling restaurant industry.
The trend of online ordering is expected to become a permanent fixture even as restaurants reopen and customers have the choice to dine-in once more. According to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Restaurant Industry Report, 53 percent of those surveyed now consider ordering takeout or delivery food necessary in their daily lives. The ability to make an order on a desktop or mobile device, process payment, and receive wonderful food without ever speaking to another person is a big convenience that customers are reluctant to give up.
Therefore, making the most of your restaurant’s online ordering is an important aspect you’re your restaurant’s overall success. Here are some things to keep in mind when implementing or using your online ordering software to gain the most for your restaurant and your customers.
Choose The Right Online Ordering Software
The first step is to choose the right online ordering software that will be the best chance of success for your journey into online ordering. You can offer your consumers online ordering through two different platforms: third-party and direct. Third-party aggregator systems give a directory of restaurants that are open for takeaway and delivery to hungry diners. Customers can explore and place orders at venues organized by location or food type.
These platforms help with logistics, marketing, and delivery in exchange for a commission. These commission costs might range from 15% to 30% of the total purchase price. Direct platforms white label their services, putting your restaurant’s branding front and center rather than theirs. They provide the same functionality as third-party apps, such as payment processing and streamlined online delivery. While third-party delivery services are convenient, they pose disadvantages, such as losing control over the customer’s experience and hefty commission fees.
A direct restaurant online ordering software, on the other hand, necessitates more hands-on supervision but eliminates the large commission fees. Your online ordering software allows you to generate more income and possibly return to profitability more quickly. Customers can browse your interactive online menu and order right now or schedule an order later on your website.
While you will have to organize in-venue pickups and your restaurant delivery service, you will not be charged a commission on the orders, which is one of the main reasons restaurants choose this option. Restaurant operators enjoy providing convenience to their customers, who will then order more while retaining the revenues in their wallets. They also have other advantages, such as controlling the customer’s experience, owning customer data, and inventory management.
Optimize Website for Mobile
Your online ordering software should run with your restaurant’s website or mobile app. It is critical to have a website for your restaurant since it is the first step in establishing your brand. Customers frequently Google your restaurant before placing an order. As a result, make sure the website is up to date and all of your restaurant’s important information, such as the menu, contact information, and reviews.
Customers’ hunger sensations are likely exacerbated by a website that includes mouth-watering photographs of your dishes. When you include an “Order Online” button that is immediately visible and clickable, potential customers will convert to ordering customers quickly. Also, make sure the website is mobile-friendly. Mobile devices account for 85 percent of all internet orders.
As not all of your customers are likely to download your restaurant’s Online Ordering App, your restaurant’s website must be mobile optimized so that consumers have a pleasant Online Ordering experience. Include an Online Ordering App
You may go one step further to please your regular customers by allowing them to buy online directly from your restaurant’s app. An app enhances the speed and convenience of digital food ordering. Returning customers may log in to the app, store their contact information and most often purchased food items, and make their order with only a few clicks. Such applications also allow your restaurant to improve top-of-mind brand awareness and recall, creating a larger loyal customer base.
Consider User Integration
Your online ordering system should work in tandem with the rest of your restaurant’s infrastructure. It should be compatible with your current restaurant app and technology. Your online ordering system should be able to integrate with your point of sale (POS). Your solution should be 100 percent compatible with your present restaurant technology. Downtime and technological faults should be avoided since they can lose your restaurant’s important revenue and customers.
Your Online Ordering Software Should be User Friendly
One of the reasons you want your system is to boost delivery sales. Thus it must match or outperform any current food delivery app in your area. Your customers should find your system simple and navigate like their food delivery app. Both you and your customers should find your system easy to use. Its functions should be simple to use and deliver a positive experience.
Having an online ordering system that is difficult to use and comprehend can do more harm than good. Remember that if you don’t completely comprehend your system, neither will your customers. Your goal should make people feel connected with your brand while still being served with convenience and comfort.
Use Your Online Ordering System to Upsell
Upsell opportunities aren’t limited to servers and on-premises dining experiences. Upselling strategies may also increase order sizes on your online ordering system. Before customers check out, try and recommend add-on purchases using your restaurant’s online ordering platform. Add-ons such as drinks snacks are easy to upsell. To enhance order quantities, you may also suggest dish combinations.
Use to your advantage that customers may spend more time on your online ordering system than they might if they order over the phone. Often customers feel rushed to make decisions when ordering over the phone or when they dine in. When customers are ordering online, they can take their time to browse your menu. Use this extra time to suggest items they might not have otherwise considered and increase order sizes.
Use Customer Data Ownership to Your Advantage
Another element that sets third-party food delivery providers and your online ordering system apart are that you have ownership over your customer data with the latter. This customer data is valuable information that can help you change your business to provide your customers with what they are after. Such information allows you to strategize your marketing techniques with your potential and existing customer base. Your online ordering system should provide a means for you to collect customer information for your business.
The analytics of your customers’ data should be available and used with this restaurant technology. Extracting data can assist you in evaluating the strengths and shortcomings of your business. Obtain information on your customers’ demographics, such as their ages and gender. Data on customer transactions and order history are also crucial.
Your customer transaction data will assist you in determining your consumers’ purchasing habits so that you can tailor marketing campaigns and discounts to them. You may also use this data to alter the add-ons you promote throughout checkout.
Use Loyalty Programs and Discounts to Increase Sales
Your online ordering system can also allow you to offer loyalty programs for your returning customers. This is an incentive for your customers to purchase from your restaurant and return to your brand. The benefit of having loyalty programs in your online ordering system is that it does away with the hassle of joining a loyalty program in person.
Your customers will no longer need to carry physical cards or prove that they are part of your loyalty program. Therefore, there are fewer chances that they will forget this and not avail any benefits. Having loyalty programs in your online ordering system streamlines the entire process of using such programs offering your business the benefits without the effort.
Loyalty programs provided businesses a means to engage with their customers and keep them returning in 2020 when the COVID-19 Pandemic peaked. Customers enrolled in a loyalty program spent twice as much as those who were not. Take Starbucks, for example, which credits 40% of its sales to its robust loyalty program.
Your Online Ordering Software with Blink
Blink is a quick commerce enablement platform. With Blink, you quickly create a branded customized website and mobile app for your restaurant’s on-demand delivery. Blink provides back-end access to a pre-designed yet branded website template for your restaurant and Android and iOS mobile applications.
With Blink, you can benefit from best practices gained from working with many restaurants. With all this experience helping your brand offer your customers the best. Blink ensures that your in-house teams have complete control over your online ordering platform. This allows you to tailor your operations to meet your customers’ needs.