The restaurant business is not easy. It's complex. Every year about 40% of new restaurant businesses fail to meet their objective and one of the main reasons for this failure is not having to be able to evolve with the changing trends. The overall success and the revenue of a restaurant are directly proportional to the customers. Gaining customer loyalty in today's time is no picnic. Restaurants have to come up with new strategies to cater to the new generation of consumers. They are one of the busiest generations ever with a plethora of choices to make on a daily basis. In the light of this fact, a successful restaurant marketing strategy must take measures to reach to their target audience through various mediums, but mostly digital.
The new digital take-out delivery concept is definitely the one that can turn the tables for your business. We surveyed and found that in 2018, restaurants crossed a digital milestone with a total of 11.8% of the total orders booked online or by using a smartphone or tablet app. Indeed, at a time when in-person visits to restaurants are declining due to various factors such as poor work-life balance etc., online ordering has been a boon to the industry.
It’s becoming common these days for people to sit at home, watch a cricket or football match, take their phone and order food from their choice of restaurants and get it delivered right at their doorstep. Statistics estimate restaurants to deliver to about 950 million customers directly while food delivery platforms are estimated to deliver to about 350 million customers in 2019.
What are the advantages of Online Ordering?
Though the customer turnout is great in-house, it’s crucial for restaurants to have an online presence especially for the Generation Z and the millennials whose focus relies mainly on mobile phones and the internet. With online ordering, restaurants can see additional revenue through this channel even if there is a drop in the footfall in the restaurant.
· Easy to use
“Food’s just a click away!” With online ordering systems, customers get their preferred food delivered at the place of their choice – a party hall, friend’s place, office and even home. Food ordering apps increase the speed and ease at which one can order food.
· Increase in the demand and revenue
The demand for online ordering is increasing. It is estimated that about 53% of the restaurant orders made in 2019 will be from online orders. Having an online ordering system means that users can take a detailed look at the available food options and decide their choice before placing the order. A wide range of menu options with eye-catching pictures (say, a yummy dessert or a crispy, scrumptious slice of pizza) means more unexpected and additional orders over their preference.
· Improved accuracy of orders
With online ordering, there’s no need for customers to wait for long time on the phone call. No more wrong orders due to the misunderstanding between the caller and the staff. Restaurants can get away from the compromises to be made from a faulty order that leads to angry and frustrated customers. With an online ordering system, everything is scripted and clean. Customers just need to pick their choice, quantity and place the order. This also means lesser hassles for you to handle customers who get confused when ordering on the phone.
· Flexibility for customers
With the online ordering system in place, your customers can even place orders when you’re not open. They can conveniently schedule their order and get it delivered during your business hours.
· Save your customer data and their preferences
Customers are your success factors. Your ordering system is the best source to get your customer demographics, their preferences and choice of food, special occasions when they order food, and so on. With this data, you can roll out specific offers for your loyal customers and give them a more customized experience. The app can also let customers save their order as favourites. This saves time when making a repeat order in the future.
In-house ordering system vs. online food ordering systems
Convinced about the advantages of having an online ordering system? The next question to be answered – should you invest in an in-house food ordering system or just get your restaurant registered with online food ordering systems?
Advantages of having an in-house ordering system
- Easier and a cheaper option for restaurants to have a menu with the food varieties
- Higher profits, which means they can employ their own staff for food delivery
- Using stimulating food photography on the menu to entice and tempt users to try out new dishes, mainly specialities
- Showcase your bestsellers and differentiate other options under specific categories (Starters, Soups, Main Course, Choice of Breads, Desserts, and so on)
- Easy to change menu depending on the customer response, add new items to the list and change the design
- Exclusive online promotions, combo offers and other irresistible offers on items to drive the sales
Disadvantages of an in-house ordering system
- You need to employ more staff for your restaurant as well as for delivery. This means more expenses as salary, incidental expenses and additional expenses like fuel/maintenance, and more. For instance, if you promise a 30-minute free delivery, and your delivery person gets stuck in traffic; be ready to be answerable to the customer
- Initial costs to set up the mobile online ordering application, pay your staff and upfront costs on the vehicles can be high
Advantages of the third-party online food ordering system
Online food delivery portals like Swiggy, Uber Eats, Zomato, Food panda have become very popular over the last few years. For these companies, online ordering forms the majority of their revenue (about 30%-40%). So if you don't want to invest in a new website or deal with the hassles of delivery staff, third-party online food ordering could be a solution for you. But all good things come at a cost. Read about it here.
- Good exposure for your brand to attract new customers
- If your service is rated high by users, you may get featured under the “recommended” category which means more business and revenue.
- Savings on the cost of delivery staff and vehicle maintenance
Disadvantages of the third-party online food ordering system
- Commission charges of about 15-20% for using the provider’s delivery services
- You have no access to the data on your customer preferences
Making profit is the most essential thing in a restaurant business. To achieve more profits in 2019, it’s important for restaurants to look for ways that can boost their sales. Implementing an online ordering system is the way forward. If you are tech-savvy, build your own ordering system. Otherwise, there’s always the third party systems to your rescue. Get your business registered with Restolabs today and boost your sales and profits in 2019.