Restaurants have a long standing practice of offering their menu selections to customers through take-out and delivery services. A restaurant staff member will take the order over the phone and then deliver it to the kitchen for preparation. When that order is ready, it goes to the front of the restaurant for pick-up by the customer or to the person handling restaurant deliveries. That ordering process is undergoing a change thanks to modern technology.
Restaurants now have the option of adding a point-of-sale system to their website that works to enhance the customer ordering experience. It gives customers the opportunity to place food orders online with their favorite restaurants without having to leave home. Customers are warming up to the availability of online food ordering for the benefits it provides them such as affordability and ease-of-use. Now restaurants are starting to see the benefits online food ordering provides them as well.
When a restaurant staff member takes a food order for delivery or take-out over the phone, it is very unlikely that additional item suggestions will become part of the conversation. The staff member will take down the items a customer orders, provide a delivery or pick-up time and end the call before returning to the task at hand. When the phone call comes in during the dinner rush, it can be hard for the employee to multi-task without making an error somewhere.
An online food ordering system opens the window of possibilities for customers. Restaurants can customize their online menus to highlight any menu specials that are taking place or make menu suggestions as customers place food items in their checkout cart. Customers can take their time reviewing the menu, looking at the current specials and make additional selections outside of what they would normally order over the phone. It leads to a larger order size per customer which results in sales increases for the restaurant.
Higher Order Accuracy
When restaurants receive take-out or delivery food orders over the phone, there is a chance that something will go wrong. These errors can include anything from a verbal misunderstanding when a language barrier is present to a miscommunication of changes a customer makes to a menu item. As a result, the kitchen incorrectly prepares an order which disappoints the customer upon receipt. The kitchen staff must now work to correct the errors and the food preparation starts again for the second time.
Online ordering removes common error points such as a language barrier or custom order misunderstandings. Customers can make any changes to menu items in the comment message box that is part of the online order form. It clearly spells out how the customer would like to receive that item and the kitchen doesn’t have to worry about being inaccurate with orders. It also works to eliminate handwriting discrepancies as well.
There are times when the kitchen staff cannot read the handwriting of the person who took the phone order. As restaurant kitchens are some of the busiest places on the planet, there is not enough time to question a handwritten item or track down the staff member who took the order. Restaurants print out online orders, making the orders easier to read.
Positive Customer Service
Customer service is a big component of running a restaurant. When something goes wrong or an incorrect order comes out of the kitchen, customers quickly take out a smartphone and share the bad service with anyone that has an Internet connection. What starts as a bad night in the kitchen ends up with a loss of customers over the next few weeks as people view the negative reviews. The restaurant is now on the receiving end of a negative review and faces the backlash that comes with that.
Online ordering allows a restaurant to place customer service at the top of the menu. For customers who prefer to speak with an actual person when placing an order, they will no longer face frustration from busy phone lines or waiting on hold until a staff member can take their order. For customers who prefer ordering online, they will like having the food in the take-out container or delivery bag match what they order online. Restaurant staff members will have fewer phone calls to handle while simultaneously trying to seat customers coming into the dining room and handle other front-of-house duties.
These three benefits only begin to scratch the surface of what restaurants stand to gain from having an online ordering system in place. The restaurant can add new menu items at the click of a button. Menu specials and advertisements can appear on screen enticing customers to add those items to their checkout cart. Online ordering works to set a restaurant up for growth and a steady increase in profit quarter after quarter. With so many benefits on the line, restaurants can’t afford to not take part in the technological revolution that is online ordering.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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