In the old days, the only choice you had for getting food from a takeout restaurant to eat at home was to drive there and pick it up yourself. Then, restaurants started taking phone orders, fulfilling them, and you either drove to the small restaurant to pick up the order, or you had it delivered. However, customers can order food from their smartphones, tablets, and even their PCs for pickup or delivery in today's world.
It's estimated that over 90% of customers prefer to use their phones to order their food online than either drive for pickup or choose the option to have it delivered to them instead. In 2020, restaurants of all shapes and sizes had to close their doors to in-door dining due to the Covid-19 crisis. Many of those same restaurants had to start figuring out how to offer delivery and takeout on the fly because they only offered indoor dining before that.
If you were one of those restaurants that already had your online ordering system set up and ready to go, then you probably didn't lose as much money as other dine-in-only establishments did. As we start coming out of the pandemic and things begin opening up slowly, once again, many restaurants now see the need for an established, easy to navigate online ordering option for their customers.
From the POS system to the website and the mobile app, there's a lot that goes into creating an online ordering platform, setting up a POS, and creating a mobile app for online orders, but it's well worth it in the end. If you're still debating whether to add an online ordering option to your restaurant, then the bottom line is that it makes money for your restaurant, so why not? In this article, you'll find a few reasons that you need an online food ordering system, just like other restaurants in the restaurant industry have today.
1. It helps you save on expensive fees.
During the pandemic, many restaurants relied on delivery apps such as Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates to deliver food to their customers, so they wouldn't lose customer loyalty. While that might have helped, on top of having a loyalty program and offering promotions and discounts to your loyal customers, it still comes with expensive fees. If you're a small restaurant, it's not feasible to think you can keep paying those fees and still make a profit on your delivery orders.
If you offer your own brand of curbside pickup, delivery service, and online ordering, then you'll save money, make money, and draw in new customers with your service.
2. Customers expect online ordering from restaurants.
Services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash have changed the way that consumers look at ordering the food they love. Not only do customers love online ordering, they expect to be able to order food online from their favorite restaurants. After all, it's much easier to go to the mobile app on your smartphone, browse the menu items, look for online sales and discounts, and order with a few clicks of a mouse or swipes on a phone. If you don't have an online ordering system in place, you're apt to lose money because loyal customers will decide to try someone else to make an online order with convenience in mind.
3. An online order system will save your employees time.
By allowing your customers to use a mobile app to order food online, you end up saving your employees quite a bit of time. With platforms like Cuboh, you can consolidate and manage your online orders—from menu management to online payments that an employee usually has to manually take, the time to do will be made easier with an ordering system in place. If your customers can use their cell phones to do their food ordering online, it leaves your employees more time to prepare that food, focus on your customers, and clean your restaurant as well.
4. Your restaurant orders will be more accurate.
From coffee shops to local diners, every employee, and most restaurant owners, have gotten a food order wrong. With a restaurant ordering system in place, you'll have more accurate orders and fewer mistakes. Mistakes on food orders cost your small restaurant and delivery business money that you can't afford to lose. With mobile ordering, the customer keys in their own order, so it's easier to trace if a mistake is made.
On top of all the tips above, having the right online ordering software can help you keep track of your customer data and increase the level of marketing you do for your business. What could be bad about that? It also makes the ordering experience much better for your loyal customers and brings in new customers as well.
5. Online ordering enhances your loyalty programs.
When someone places an order through your website, it allows you to collect their email address, telephone number, name, and other information. This makes it easier to target customers with discounts, rewards, and other loyalty program perks associated with the food they ordered from your business and loved. As a restaurant owner, you already know that the secret to a repeat customer is giving them food they love at a reasonable price with great customer service on top of it.
Not only does online ordering make your customer and employees happier, but it will also make you happier as well. You'll see better monthly profits, have fewer hats to wear, and know that you're doing everything you can to ensure your customers are happy and getting exactly what they want and need from your restaurant.
These are just a few of the reasons that your restaurant, coffee shop, or local diner should have an online ordering system in place for your customers. The Covid-19 virus hit everyone hard in 2020, and restaurants were some of the hardest hit. If you hadn't already implemented an online ordering system in your eatery, then 2020 should have shown you how important one is. 2020 is behind you, so get your ordering system in place so that 2021 can be the success you want it to be.