As new web-based tech continues to pervade the food industry, there is a rapidly expanding trend that most restaurateurs would do well to heed if they intend to stay competitive. Online food ordering for takeout and delivery continues to be one of the top areas of rapid growth in food service year over year for the past several years. Currently, experts are predicting an 89% increase in online orders and delivery by 2022, which would be a total increase worldwide from the current total of $43 billion to $76 billion dollars. That’s a whole lot of takeout and delivery, and it directly translates to revenue for you and your restaurant.
The Reason Behind the Rush
The reason for this uptick in online ordering is no secret: as it becomes easier and easier for people to order food online via their smartphone, mobile device, or home/work computer, the more they order. People who spend long hours commuting to and from work before and after 8-10 hour workdays quite often do not have the desire nor have the time to prepare a meal for themselves and their families. As a result, more working professionals and workers with families are turning to convenient online ordering for pickup on the way home, or to have delivered to their door shortly after they arrive home.
How Online Ordering was Made Simple
Honestly, who would not love the ability to have a piping hot delicious meal from their favorite restaurant ready to go for pickup or delivery with just a few taps of their smartphone screen? Many restaurants, both corporate chains and independent establishments, are starting to streamline online ordering with mobile apps for Android and iOS mobile operating systems on smartphones.
These apps can save logins and favorite orders to make ordering more efficient, and they can also offer specials that are online only to increase ticket totals. These specials offer extra value for online customers to incentivize them to place more orders via mobile apps, and they also boost revenue while reducing human error in receiving orders over the phone. All in all, it makes ordering takeout and delivery a win for the restaurant and the customer every time.
Why Online Ordering Works and Increases Revenue
One of the key advantages of online ordering that is driving this massive increase in its popularity is that ordering online or via smartphone puts less pressure on hungry customers. When a customer places an order via their smartphone or computer, they are not in your restaurant waiting in line to order or waiting for a table.
Online order customers are not on the phone with your (hopefully) extremely busy staff trying to make themselves heard over the bustle of a busy restaurant. They do not have a server in front of them who wants to get their whole order in as soon as possible so they can get their food sooner since the kitchen is so busy. All they have to do is look at your menu in the comfort of their office, car, or home, and select what sounds best to them, taking time to weigh their options without imposing on anyone else’s time.
This ability to take one’s time and pick out what they want to eat free from social cues and the pressure most people feel to hurry up and get their order in already often motivates customers to buy more when prompted. In fact, experts speculate that online orders tend to average up to $4 more per order than phone or on location orders due to the freedom to take their time with orders. Can you imagine how much extra money your business would be making if you just added $4 per ticket? No matter how you look at it, that is banking a significant amount of extra revenue every day.
The Movement Towards Online Ordering Delivery
Since online ordering has been around for a little while now, there has also been an increase in customers looking to have their food delivered, and there are numerous 3rd party services like Grubhub, Seamless, and UberEats that all have the ability to connect customers with delicious food that can be delivered right to their home. In fact, most businesses who offer online ordering also state that 43% of their online orders are for delivery. The message is clear: customers want to order online, and they want their food delivered. If you are not on top of a strong online ordering system, you are not competitive in the foodservice market in 2017. The shift in online food ordering to delivery via 3rd parties continues to increase as well, which means now is the time to start planning that infrastructure or finding a 3rd party who can make it happen for you. Don’t wait. Make it happen.