Online Ordering: Customers, Staff, Stats and ROI

Hi,

I’ve been to this forum and participated a little in discussions, so I can see that online ordering is widely talked about and it is a hot topic for restaurant owners. I’m trying to recollect everything I know about online ordering and share my knowledge here. The thing is that I have some experience with this technology as my company developed an online ordering solution for restaurants. So I would like to talk about the advantages that online ordering gives to customers and restaurant staff. I would also like to give some statistics (NRA data) about online ordering.

Internet has become omnipresent, so it’s not surprising that Americans widely utilize Internet technologies to simplify their personal and professional tasks. Customers expect their favorite restaurants to provide them with fast, convenient and high-quality services affordable through Internet. Restaurant industry in its turn successfully utilizes Internet technologies to increase productivity, cut down on costs and improve relationships with customers.

In a harsh economic climate many restaurants, both local restaurants and their chain competitors, start understanding the great opportunities of online ordering integration into their business.

It’s obvious that when going to your favorite restaurant you pay not only for food, you also pay for experience. But the tendency we’re facing is that more and more people today want to enjoy stay-at-home meals. Restaurant-business analysts find it unsurprising that more people are opting for takeout meals over eating at restaurants as economic conditions tighten. Since people are getting busier these days, it’s unsurprising that they are turning more and more towards online food ordering. Restaurant with online ordering service for their clients increase sales to the fast-growing internet-savvy audiences

So, now let’s summarize what customers actually get, when you integrate up-to-date online ordering solution into your business:

  • Customers can make an order directly from home or office
  • They can easily find and select restaurant locations and choose the preferred time to pick-up their takeout
  • No waiting on hold, no standing in lines, no order mistakes as customers control the process
  • For non-native English speakers online ordering eliminates the language barrier
  • Order history allows customers to select from past orders stored in the system
  • Customers can easily customize their orders
  • Integration with Google Maps allows them to have driving directions that customer get with order receipt
  • No need to go inside the restaurant to pick-up an order with curbside takeout convenience
  • Easy and fast promotions, including specials, coupons and discounts
  • Easy access to information about locations, hours of operation, menus, nutritional info…

Now I would like to outline the advantages that your employees get when you integrate online ordering into your restaurant. It is easier to define as these advantages are quite obvious:

  • Employees no longer have to spend time on the phone, thus they can devote more time to personal service to dine-in customers
  • With up-to-date online ordering solutions many tasks performed by staff are automated. This results in reduced human errors and minimizes the time spent on corrections
  • Since customers control the payment process and this process is made automatically through POS system (in case when online ordering software is integrated into your POS, which is actually a common thing these days), there’s less human error in all phases of ordering and payment processes

Now let’s turn to some statistics supported by National Restaurant Association Survey data. I hope the following information will be helpful to those, who are looking forward to integrating online ordering into their workflow.

  • 60% of adults between the ages 18 – 34 claim to be more interested in home delivery than dining in the restaurant
  • Half of the consumers said they would take advantage of a delivery service from their preferred restaurants if it were available
  •           35% of people said they have or would order online from their favorite restaurant if they offered the service
    
  • Nearly 20% of customers have already placed online orders and made online reservation
  • Nearly 70% of operators regard online ordering as an up-and-coming order innovation.
  • Nearly 40% of customers say that they would like to receive an e-mail daily from their favorite local restaurant to know what the specials are for that day
  • Nearly 20% of quick-service restaurants provide their clients with an online ordering option.
  • Most popular restaurant chains get about 25% of their orders through online and mobile ordering.

Any innovation in business demands wise investments and ROI is the bottom line for restaurant-owners who are looking forward to implementing cutting-edge technologies into their business. If you are considering online ordering as the next step for your business and want to know your possible ROI before you commit to integration, then I would like to submit a link here that may be helpful for you. It will help you see approximate figures of the profit increase you can obtain with online ordering integration.

http://www.smartertakeout.com/ROI.aspx

Then, to help you get a clear view of the entire online ordering process, there’s an online takeout demo web-site

I really hope this is helpful!