Online ordering systems are a great asset to many restaurants in the business. By implementing this system, it presents a great way to gain more customers. The convenience of being able to order online is very attractive and will capture people right when they’re searching for food. It is imperative to have a system that not only works well, but is user-friendly.
When customers start ordering through your online system, they may have concerns about doing so or may be at a loss for how to appropriately navigate it. To gain as many customers as possible, you need to know your demographic and make sure all are able to use it effectively and efficiently.
Maybe they have concerns about their order going through or that their food order will be incorrect. It is necessary to have a confirmation email sent to them directly to ward off both these worries. If they are having the food delivered, they may also be concerned that the driver won’t be able to find their address.
You need to make sure that your online ordering is customer-friendly. It’s important to make sure customers have access to all of the menu items. In addition to having a fully functional web page, you need to make sure the website is mobile-friendly. Another great way for people to order online is to have an app for people to install on their phones. You also need to make sure of the security in regards to your customers’ credit card information. People will not order online unless they are confident that their information is safe.
People are ordering ahead more and more often with the increased activity in our lives. The time saved by having your order ready when you get to the restaurant is invaluable. People are able to eat or get their coffee much quicker by ordering ahead. Especially younger consumers have lived in and strive for a world of instant gratification. Ordering online offers this gratification. It is also good for the company from the perspective of gaining marketing information in terms of what people order and where they are located.
Reasons to Order Online:
Convenience. This is the number one reason why people order online. It’s convenient. You can have your lunch ready for you to pick up and get back to work or wherever you’re going without having to wait while your food is being made.
Can Eat On the Go. If you’re on your way to a client meeting, you can pick up and eat your food on the go which maximizes your productive time.
To Have Your Food Ready When Eating In.
Incentives to Offer For Those Ordering Online:
Discounts. A great way to entice customers to order online is to offer discounts for doing so. This could be in the form of a percentage off or a free item. People love freebies. If they were on the fence about ordering online, this will entice people to go ahead and do it by offering discounts.
Free Delivery. Free delivery is a huge incentive to offer customers for ordering online. This will make it even more likely that they will order something. High or even moderate delivery fees often turn people away because everyone is looking to save money. Free delivery is highly attractive and allows people to buy food for the same price as if they were eating in the restaurant or going to pick it up. This again feeds into the convenience factor.
Immediate Seating. You could also allow people to order ahead of time when dining in by offering up immediate seating. This would act as them checking into the restaurant and put them on the wait list without having to call and make a reservation. It’s also a good idea to offer reservation making capability online as an incentive for people to come into the restaurant.
How-To Seminars Online. You want to make your site as easy to navigate as possible so people can order online without issues. To make it easier for those without much internet experience, it would be a good idea to hold seminars online to teach them how to better navigate the site and order online. During this you can answer any questions they have and help them join the many that order online every day.
An online ordering system is something that most restaurants must have and is imperative for growing your business. Alleviating fears and offering incentives are great practices to gain more customers. Online ordering is going to keep gaining popularity and you don’t want to be left out.
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.