We started online ordering a year ago. We have seen new customers who only order online, and have seen some of our old customers change to online ordering. When one of our existing customers called one day, I asked why she started ordering online. She advised that with a couple of small children, she had a hard time getting everyone to decide what they wanted before she called. Ordering online gave everyone the chance to look at the menu, look at the pictures and decide what they wanted that day. If it took her 30 minutes to complete the order, it was her 30 minutes and no one was rushing her to get off the phone.
I can also state that the internet orders are more $$. The customer has the chance to look at everything on your menu and make their choices. There’s no need to upsell, because the customer is doing it for you.
I was not in favor of online ordering when it was implemented, but it has made a believer out of me. If I can pick up an extra $2000-3000 a month without answering a phone, I’ll definitely take it.
I’ve been using online ordering for close to 10 months and do recommend it.
I use Superdeliver. You can find them at www.mealage.com[/url], and here’s my website: [url=http://www.mycasapizza.com]www.mycasapizza.com
My online ordering is directly connected to my POS software, and I can manipulate my menu online, just as I can my POS terminal. It’s really neat and flexible.
The POS itself is good, but it’s not a top notch one. They do upgrade it though, and it has been getting better.
Here are some advantages that I can tell you about:
- Easy to use, most customers will be able to navigate and finish their orders without a problem
- Higher average checks, close to 4 dollars higher than regular orders. When people order at their pace, they can think about drinks and desserts and so on…
- Most important factor is the fact that you can populate your database with new customers for email marketing purposes. Every customer has to provide their email when signing up. In our case, we occasionally send an online coupon by email, which is free (no postage fees). Oulr list has only few hundreds though, but of course the goal is to multiply that. Just think about shooting one email to thousands of customers with a strong coupon, and the potential response that you might get.
The service costs $50/month, flat fee, with no hidden fees or per order commission. We started with nothing, but now that more people know about our website, we average close to 7 orders per day. I’ve seen some days with 12 and 13 orders, which is still minimal compared to phone orders, but nevertheless considerable.
I do not know how many of those online orderers are customers who shifted from phone, but I know that some of them only order online and never call, which tells me that there’s a whole segment of population that’s still worth capturing. I’m still hunting for them, trying to market my website.
Bottom line, try it. What do you have to loose. It certainly worked for me.