How Long Can You Expect Before You Make a Profit off the Investment Involved With Online Ordering

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Your restaurant thrives on interactions with your customers. Each positive experience adds revenue to your bottom line. Offering an online ordering system is another example of how your restaurant can enhance the customer experience.

You will see decreases in operational expenses  and improvements in customer service almost immediately upon implementing an online ordering system for your restaurant.

Profit in other areas of your restaurant will come as customers adjust to having an online ordering option available. Here are several key areas of your business operations where you can expect to see a profit increase as a result of having an online ordering system for your restaurant.

Increase Takeout Revenue

By offering an online ordering system to your customers, you are giving them an experience that adds value to the way they interact with your restaurant. Modern technology makes it possible for consumers to spend a large portion of their day online conducting research and looking for options that make their life easier.

Being able to view your restaurant menu online while at the office, place a takeout order and then pick up dinner on the way home from work brings a substantial amount of convenience to their life.

For that reason, you will see your takeout revenue grow exponentially upon integrating an online ordering system into your restaurant operations. Your takeout revenue also increases as customers typically add more items to an online order than they would if they were sitting in your restaurant.

That increases the size of most takeout orders you receive, which works to increase your profits as well. When customers come into your restaurant to pick up their order, they may add extra items to their order at the checkout counter. These impulse purchases work towards generating more revenue for your restaurant.

Decrease Operational Expenses

Traditional takeout ordering systems require a significant number of employees that are necessary to handle each order that comes into your restaurant. You have the labor costs of the staff members who answer the phone, write down the order and send it to the kitchen.

Once the kitchen prepares the food, a staff member must take it to the checkout area for customer pickup. Another staff member interacts with the customer during the checkout process and handles any relevant order questions or makes corrections to the order if necessary. It results in a significant amount of time and expense just handling takeout orders.

The average restaurant takeout order takes approximately one minute to handle, with most calls taking three minutes or more. That means for every 100 takeout orders your staff handles by phone, they are spending roughly five hours on the phone per day fielding customer orders. Having an online ordering system in place works to reduce that labor expense by allowing you to focus staff attention on other restaurant tasks.

The online orders still go through a processing system, however, the time your staff spends on those orders significantly reduces with an online ordering system. They now simply spend a few moments interacting with customers during the order pickup process before returning to providing service to guests in your physical dining room location.

You may see labor costs drop from five hours per day to two hours per day, which reduces your amount of direct overhead expense. Any reduction in operational expenses will increase your profit margins.

Order accuracy improves as well as customers are entering their own takeout orders into your system. They can give explicit instructions on how to prepare their food items, which reduces the amount of time your staff will spend making any necessary corrections to orders. The improvement in order accuracy reduces your kitchen costs as the culinary staff does not have to remake food items to meet customer specifications.

Customers receive the assurance that their orders will be correct upon pickup. That works to increase customer satisfaction with your restaurant and prompts customers to spend more time visiting your establishment. The increase in visits works to increase your overall profit margins.

Increase Promotional Revenue

Having an online ordering system for your restaurant gives you the opportunity to capture valuable customer data that you can use in promotional campaigns. Each time customers place an order online, they willingly provide their email address and mailing address to your system.

You can utilize that information to create direct mail campaigns, email campaigns and discount coupon offers that cater to what the customers typically order from your online menu. That promotional effort gives the customers incentive to return to your restaurant to take advantage of the discounts and promotions you are offering them.

Your online ordering system is a gateway to the customers experiences with your restaurant. It brings customers into the sales funnel process and converts them into repeat restaurant customers. Overtime, your online ordering system generates a steady stream of revenue that sprinkles profits throughout your entire restaurant operation.

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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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We are on a mission to help local restaurants thrive in the new digital economy. Our blog is designed to give local restaurants best practices from some of the top restaurants in the world today. 


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