The delivery game is a part of the restaurant industry for good - love it or hate it. There have been several incredibly successful delivery services of late, and they’ve begun to gain a bit of well-deserved attention. Owners are wondering how services like GrubHub and DoorDash took off seemingly overnight with excellent delivery numbers - and how this can translate to their own delivery sales. Luckily for you, Cuboh has all the deets.
So let’s take a look at some surefire ways to up that delivery game and step into the 21st century, shall we? If you’re wondering how to increase your restaurant’s delivery sales - we’ve got you covered.
How to Increase Delivery Orders in 6 Easy Steps
We’ll start slow here, as there’s a lot of ground to cover. First things first - the basics, the things that are overlooked so often that you’ll cringe.
1. Make it Easy to Reach Out
Restauranteurs aren’t exactly known for their internet savviness; by extension, restaurant websites are often barebones or nonexistent. This is entirely unacceptable.
Your restaurant’s web presence can and will determine how successful you are - after all, it’s 2022… it’s time to up that Google game. So let’s take a look at a few widespread blunders that we’ve found all over the U.S. and beyond:
- Your phone number should be, if anything, too easy to find.
You would be shocked at how many restaurant websites lack any form of contact information. No email, no phone number, not even a contact form - if you’re one of them, fix it now. You’ll see near-immediate increases in phone and delivery orders.
This extends to Google - constantly update your Google page with new hours, price changes, your phone number, and your current website.
And no - a Facebook page is not your website, though you should religiously update that, too.
- Don’t bury important information.
Seriously - you’d be pretty surprised at how many new web designers/restauranteurs think it’s so cool to embed their phone number or menu in an image, Flash animation, or some other form of website tomfoolery that makes it impossible to click on mobile.
Mobile users generally tap text-based phone numbers to call or select a specialized button. Don’t make it impossible for mobile users to reach you or order through your site.
- Optimize your site for mobile users.
And on that same note, here are some stats to show you just how vital mobile ordering is:
- 28% of all orders in restaurants in the U.S. were placed over a mobile phone.
- 56% of U.S.-based consumers want restaurants to offer efficient online ordering.
- Online ordering customers are 67% more likely to return to a restaurant than those who don’t.
- Online pizza orders are (on average) 18% more expensive than orders placed over the phone.
- 64% of in-person customers prefer to place orders over mobile than with a server.
- Full-service restaurants had a 237% increase in digital orders between 2020 and 2021.
- Online food ordering (almost exclusively over mobile) has grown over 300% faster than dine-in since 2014, accounting for around 40% of all restaurant sales in the U.S.
2. Call to Action
This is a term often used in writing, marketing, and ad work, and for one reason - it works.
A Call to Action (CTA) is a straightforward concept that boils down to encouraging a reader to do something. In other words, call them to action - use phrases like “Order now!” or “Delivery is three clicks away!”
Surprisingly, CTAs work - sometimes, people need just a slight nudge in the right direction. Offering a simple, straightforward call for them to do a thing (in this case, order food) is an excellent and, importantly, free thing you can do to increase delivery orders instantly.
3. Offer Rewards & Incentives
This is basic human psychology - we love to be rewarded. In the same way that our brains reward productive work with that sweet, sweet dopamine, rewarding people for doing a basic task works similarly.
You know how your favorite coffee shop offers a punch card, where if you buy ten cups, you get the eleventh one for free? This is the exact same thing but in digital form. Develop a rewards system that encourages customers to either buy more food than they usually would, encourages them to return, or offers discounts that can get people in the door.
Most online-first restaurants offer this in the form of a point system. Generally, they boil down to “each dollar spent counts as X number of points,” with rewards of company swag, discounts, or free snacks with various tiers. For example, at Domino’s, their “Pizza the Pie” rewards system is excellent marketing in action.
It simultaneously encourages customers to return time and again for that little hit of dopamine from getting rewards and gives them a payoff that won’t break the bank. You get one pizza with limited toppings - but if you want delivery, you still need to pay the fee. And if you’re spending $5 on delivery, you might as well spend an extra $5-10 that you just saved on pizza to get breadsticks, right?
And that, right there, is why we offer rewards in the restaurant game. They encourage customers to return, buy more food than they usually would, and give them a bonus that can be adapted to the situation. And if you offer swag (a hat, for example), guess what - that customer is now giving you free marketing, and they think it’s a reward!
4. Let Customers Do the Selling For You
Google and Yelp reviews are a double-edged sword. If you do things right, you’ll get glowing reviews from people who left happy and full. But if you do things poorly, you’re stuck with hungry, angry people writing up terrible things about your business.
Every time you get a glowing review, it feels excellent - but you know what feels even better?
Watching as delivery orders increase after you add a few customer testimonials. And best of all, it’s super easy to get them added to your online ordering page. They can be added as graphics, links to the host site (Google, Yelp, your local paper, etc.), or placed in headers/footers for your website.
Reviews that talk about fast service/delivery, reasonable prices, tasty food, etc., will let you tell potential customers what’s best about your business - except it’s not you telling them, it’s another customer. That immediately provides an unbiased source of information for new customers who are having a hard time pulling the trigger.
Check out our guide to responding to negative restaurant reviews to boost those Yelp numbers.
***Note: Be sure to look into your local jurisdiction’s online privacy laws. Some areas require you to get express permission from the review’s author to republish it on your site, and others won’t.
5. Build Your Online Presence
This comes in several forms (each of which we’ll cover in time), but it boils down to getting your business name to show up on Google consistently. Now, this isn’t an easy task. More likely than not, you’ll need help from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writer/developer to make it happen. But when SEO works, it’s a game-changer for a business.
Let’s start with step one - building an online ordering page to create a well-branded online presence.
If you don’t already have a page on your website with which customers can place an online order, you’re way behind in the game. This is something that consumers in recent years have come to see as a bare minimum rather than a nice little extra feature.
So if you haven’t already, bite the bullet and just shell out the cash to build a website. Alternatively, integrate your POS with Cuboh and get access to countless super helpful tools to create a top-notch online menu and website.
Improve Local SEO
We’ve actually covered this in another article, so head here to read more on this subject. The long and short of SEO is that it uses keywords and phrases to figure out what to display. When users type in, for example, “Chinese near me,” Google scrawls all of its webpages to find sites with a location within ~20 miles of the user’s last known location and searches for the word “Chinese.”
Do you see where I’m going with this?
To properly optimize your website for SEO, you need to describe every single item on your website in detail - and accurately. The more potential keywords you have on your site, the more likely people are to have your name pop up on Google.
This process also involves optimizing your website, which we briefly discussed above. While this is a highly complex rabbit hole, the basic idea is that the faster your website loads, the more people it’ll direct to you. While you can certainly do this yourself, it’s more effective to (again) bite the bullet and hire a pro.
If you really want to do this yourself, though, head to this site and enter the URL of your site. It’ll test your page speed on both mobile and desktop and tell you what needs to be fixed to improve site speed.
Be Everywhere (When Possible)
This may seem like a lot to ask, but this is another part of digital marketing 101 (and yes - this is digital marketing).
While it won’t happen overnight, build a web presence across multiple sites. If you haven’t already, this starts with a website and Google page (and yes, I’m going to keep saying that until you do it).
Develop a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or TikTok that’s regularly updated and use it to highlight events, specials, and tasty eats. And when you’ve done that, it’s time to look at third-party delivery.
Services like GrubHub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats allow you to simply upload a menu and let the customers come to you - so don’t sleep on them if they’re available near you.
Keep It Classy
This applies to two things - your website and your menu. Unlike the early days of the internet, users do not like seeing overly-complicated, cluttered, or “artsy” websites. Nowadays, it’s all about clean lines, simple aesthetics, and easy access to information.
So sure - build the site and menu yourself. Just be sure to keep it classy; that means no distracting animations, no unnecessary clutter, and importantly, be positive it’s easy to read.
This applies doubly to your menu - so build a menu that’s easy to read and doesn’t distract with extra tertiary stuff. Your restaurant is about food, so highlight that with your menu.
6. Make It Simple for Your Staff
And finally, we make it to the in-house concern. Customers need to be able to find your restaurant to increase delivery orders. But it doesn't matter how many customers you have ordering if your staff can’t keep up with demands or are working in an inefficient workspace.
The absolute best solution for this issue is integration and consolidation. Taking advantage of Cuboh’s middleware will make online ordering and taking phone orders drastically easier. It consolidates your POS and third-party delivery services (if you have them), brings all of your orders into one spot, and so much more that I really can’t list each benefit here. Best of all - your tickets will be in order every time.
This cuts out tablet hell, the frustration of misordered tickets, and makes it easier for your staff to do what they’re there to do - keep the customers happy.
The long and short of this article is that increasing delivery orders is much easier than most owners realize. If you’re trying to figure out how to increase restaurant delivery sales or just how to increase delivery orders, it boils down to a few key steps. Each is primarily related to ensuring you have an accurate and well-supported online presence. So build a website, create social media accounts, and make sure to update that Google page - I promise you’ll see returns quite quickly.
And if all else fails, it’s time for integration - use Cuboh to build your online presence and increase delivery orders. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’ve built our dream restaurant software system so restaurateurs everywhere can benefit from our hard work. Review our features to learn more about what Cuboh can do for your restaurant’s growth.