Whilst alot of food outlets still deal only with phone orders and customers ordering in person, more and more restaurants are realising that online ordering is quickly taking over. Your customers can take their time, see your full menu there in front of them and order at their own pace without feeling like they have to hurry up because they’re on the phone to you.
Typically, clients who order online, spend more than those ordering on the phone or in person. This is because they don’t feel rushed and you can place your best selling side items right under their nose with enticing images to catch their eye. Upselling is so much easier when the customer does it themselves.
Yet, despite the rise in popularity of some of the large online ordering chains, some restaurant owners still don’t have a system in place. We hear defenses like:
- My business won’t be affected that much,
- I don’t want to pay commission,
- We don’t take enough orders for this to matter to us.
There are so many reasons NOT to take an online system, but usually, the only thing stopping someone from doing it is A) cost and B) they are scared of change.
So if we could tell you that actually, this could cost you as little as NOTHING, you’re half way there.
Still not convinced? Lets go through a few reasons why you should implement an online ordering system into your restaurant.
Why you should have a Restaurant Online Ordering System
Reason 1: Accuracy with orders improves
Occasionally, when you are taking a phone order, you can mistake something the customer said without realising it. We’ve all been there, you have been misheard, then the order has been read back and without realising the error, you’ve nodded and agreed to it aswell.
Sit back and listen to your angry customer telling you they wanted one thing and got another. That’s wasted time you could have been using to serve someone else and wasted food.
When a customer orders online, the order is right there in front of them in writing. It is then printed at the restaurant for them to see in black and white. No miscommunication, no mistakes.
Reason 2: Online ordering brings in more sales
Without feeling like they have to end the call with you because they are taking too long to make up their minds, customers will browse your full menu selection. Setting up your menu so those most popular items are right there at the top means that people will be more inclined to add those extra side dishes or deserts. More revenue, more profits. Offering online ordering removes the pressure. With no pressure to finish their order, they will be more likely to spend more with your restaurant.
Reason 3: The demand for online ordering is there
Offering online ordering for your restaurant shows your clients that you are modern and ready to take their orders in any way they want. Using Infinity Menus for your online ordering solution gives you multiple ways your customers can order. You can add your menu to your existing website and Facebook page. You can have us create you a Sales Optimised Website if you don’t have a current website and we will add you into our ordering app as well. This gives you multiple areas that your clients can find you and order from you.
Since 2014, approximately 30% of people aged 18-54 have placed an order for their food online.
In the year ended May 2010, approximately 1.39 billion phone delivery orders were placed in the US, according to market research firm NPD. By May 2015, that number had dropped to about 1.02 billion. In the same period, online orders more than doubled from approximately 403 million to nearly 904 million.
Why you should use an in-house online ordering system
Ok, so now you agree that online ordering is a good idea, right? Great! Now let’s go through why you should manage the system yourselves and not use a third party ordering company.
Reason 4: It’s customisable to fit your needs
When you are using your own online ordering system, you can decide where menu items are placed, then change your mind and move them. With Infinity Menus you can use our easy to use drag and drop menu editor to decide exactly how you want your menu ordered and then change your mind and move it again. Your time, your speed.
You’ll have full control over your image, brand and restaurant menu system and customers will be looking at your own creation when ordering. With the ability to add some of our stunning professional photos or upload your own photos of your own food for use, you can make your menu look so appetising, your customers get hungrier just ordering!
Customers buy with their eyes as much as their taste.
Reason 5: The profits are yours to keep
With third party online ordering systems, they essentially keep your customers and then sell them back to you as orders whilst taking a hefty commission from your sale. It’s your food, your reputation and your hard work. Shouldn’t it also be your profits? Of course it should! That’s why when you have an online ordering system that is in-house, you benefit from the knowledge that you don’t have to pay hefty commission fees, you simply pay for the services you require and plan for that cost up front each month. The more you sell, the profit you make.
Reason 6: You can co-exist with third party websites
You don’t have to entirely opt out of those big companies. Leverage the bigger reach. If people are ordering from you, they are more likely to order through your own site next time if they know it exists. In big cities, it’s a great way to expose your business to more clients. Print and send out a receipt or leaflet with information leading directly to your website with a “Save 10% on your next order” through your own website or Facebook page. It’s a win-win, you get exposure, your customers save money on their next order… and so do you!
Reason 7: You can collect important data on your customers
Knowing where your orders are coming from and knowing which areas you aren’t doing so well in can drastically help your marketing efforts for the future. Getting a great response from one area but nothing from another? Maybe you should focus on advertising in those areas more.
In a business, knowing what your customers want and being able to change your approach to suit each need is crucial. With Infinity Menus you get access to ahuge dashboard of helpful information; delivery heatmaps (pictured above), hottest item, hottest category, average order total. With more information comes more opportunity. Collecting this sort of information helps you improve your customers visits time and again.
Restaurant online ordering systems
Are you ready to turn your restaurant into a an even bigger player in the industry? What are your thoughts on online ordering? Do you already have an online ordering system? Have a look at our “How you can help yourself” post.
Let us know your opinion on the comments section below.