Online ordering systems are growing in popularity among restaurants all over the country. With the continued Covid-19 threats remaining a highly motivational reason to stay away from the dining rooms in small restaurants, customers are opting for takeaways, deliveries, and home cooked meals more than ever before.
In this time of great chaos for all small businesses, salaried employees, and virtually everyone else, it might seem obvious that online orders offer a life raft to small restaurants. Yet the truth of the power of delivery orders and takeout collections through online sales runs deeper than the cash flow generated in this moment.
There are a number of highly important reasons why your restaurant should be leaning in on the expansion of online orders through mobile apps, your own website, and delivery pickup services like Postmates, Uber Eats, GrubHub, and DoorDash. Continue reading to discover some surprising ways in which customer orders from online sources benefit you in both the short term and over the long run as well.
Online orders and word of mouth marketing go hand in hand.
Word of mouth marketing is crucial for restaurants looking to remain in business for the long haul. Promotions, discounts, and flyers can bring customers through the door, but the real power of the restaurant industry is the spread of information though organic sources. A Facebook page, customer reviews, and the underrated power of conversation all drive long term growth in the food services industry. When customers eat something that they love in today’s market, they post it online and rave about their meal to friends, family, and anyone else who will listen. This is the key to success today.
Social media takes up a vast amount of attention in the world of business today. More than four billion active monthly users combine to make Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others the place to be when it comes to marketing and creating buzz. However, building a following in a hurry isn’t as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. In order to begin crafting a loyal following that will last for years to come you will need to lean into a marketing calendar and great SEO practices to go along with your rollout of online ordering and the integration of promotions that get people excited about your menu and restaurant.
Online order system operations allow for organic growth in this arena. Your customers are already utilizing the web to comb through the menu and select items that they want. The integration of review systems and automatic update capabilities that post to your Facebook page when customers want to share their delicious pictures and thoughts on the food can have a magnetic effect that brings in more and more customers in an exponential growth pattern.
Positive online order experiences create lifelong customers.
With the Covid-19 pandemic shuttering many indoor dining spaces, online sales have become the only means of continuing a dialogue with your current customer base. Likewise, these deliveries are the only way to bring in new members to grow your following. Customers of the food services industry know what they like, and when they find a fantastic restaurant that matches up with their needs they often come back wanting more.
In the current climate, diners are relying on Uber Eats, ChowNow, Postmates, and their competitors for low transaction fees and fast and easy to use mobile app ordering. They want the same great tasting food that they’ve taken for granted through the “normal” times that seem like such a distant memory these days. With services such as DoorDash and GrubHub, customers are able to reminisce about the good times that we all remember while waiting for a return to that same standard of interaction with one another. These are powerful feelings, and identifying new customers that your restaurant operation can reach out to should be at the top of your to do list. With inclusions like a loyalty program and coupons for repeat deliveries, clients that have found you during these hard times are sure to remember the silver lining of great food while existing completely within the confines of their homes for months on end.
Restaurant owners benefit from these powerful, emotional reactions to great food—that's the reason why anyone would want to launch a restaurant operation in the first place. Serving your customer base within the public with dine-in services and food delivery is what gets you up in the morning. While these times are tough, the ability to create new, lasting relationships through great customer service and customer relationships that will carry over into a return to normality will boost your revenue stream over the long run and keep your business booming for many years.
Online ordering serves as the impetus for this new existence. By leaning into the email marketing and optimized mobile device online ordering system that is now a mainstay in virtually all restaurants in the United States, you can keep the kitchen serving up fantastic dishes that will keep up the spirits of your community. Delivering food right to your customers’ doorsteps is the new way of serving up a smile, and restaurant owners who have made this transition are seeing the rewards of that strategy come to fruition.
Returning to dine in service is on the horizon, but online ordering is here to stay.
Online orders and a variety of delivery options aren’t new to the Covid-19 era. These services have been silently building up steam behind the scenes for many years. Repeat customers and those new to your menu alike are now more likely to find your restaurant through internet searches than though any other means. This signals that online ordering and a high quality website for your restaurant are a must in the future of the food services industry.
As vaccination efforts continue to proceed in rapid time, dine in service returns in pockets around the country and others begin to follow suit. Nonetheless, don’t forget that online ordering and delivery services have been a key to your success in this unique present and will continue to make up a large portion of your business going forward.