Whether you are new to the restaurant business or you have been around a while, chances are that you have been keeping an eye on the growth of online food ordering. The changes and developments within the online food-ordering industry have been undergoing a rapid evolution. New and improved fully-integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems preconfigured for online ordering are now the norm in the industry. As if this were not enough, now an increasing number of restaurants are creating customized mobile apps for smartphones and other mobile devices to make online ordering even faster and more convenient.
Offering online ordering and delivery is now a convenient reality for many restaurants all over the world. It is rapidly becoming a necessity for food service providers. Transitioning to online food ordering requires a great deal of business savvy. So, many restaurant owners and managers are hesitant to adopt this type of system. But, the benefits far outweigh any potential liabilities. Here are some reasons you cannot afford not to offer online ordering at your restaurant in the upcoming year:
The Lure of Convenience
An increasing number of customers use their phones and computers to order their meals online. This is particularly true for restaurants that offer a well-designed and easy to use mobile app. As word gets out about how easy and convenient it is to get food from your restaurant via pick up or delivery, more people will start ordering online and save themselves time and hassle. This is particularly true of customers with families at home to feed. Best of all, once your customers have their information saved on your site or in your mobile app, they will be more likely to order from your restaurant again, as they will have fewer steps to go through than if they ordered from another venue.
A key component to establishing and maintaining the convenience online ordering brings is ensuring that you have a well-integrated online ordering and in-house POS system. Without these two systems working together in an efficient way, you run the risk of creating more headaches for your business and for customers than if you try to run both systems separately. The best solution is to offer a mobile app for online ordering that is directly linked to the POS system so customers can order a meal with just a few quick taps. Overall, more people will place orders with your restaurant when it is easy to do.
The Fiscal Importance of Accuracy
Restaurants are always full of activity. Between people dining-in, waiting for tables, and picking up takeout orders, your staff is likely always busy. Your waitstaff and kitchen workers are constantly bombarded by requests and information every minute they are on the clock. These conditions naturally generate the potential for mistakes.
For example, when an order is taken over the phone, there is always potential for a staff member to write it down wrong or simply mishear what the customer said. There is also potential for entering orders into the POS system incorrectly. Mistakes can also happen in the kitchen by the cooks reading tickets incorrectly. Every mistake that is made regardless of its origin equates to a loss of money in the form of wasted food. Worse still, your reputation can be irreparably damaged and you can lose potential future business. You also risk the chance that an unsatisfied customer will give negative feedback about your business to their family and friends.
Implementing an online ordering system that is fully integrated with your POS system eliminates the potential for these problems. Customers enter exactly what they want and the kitchen can focus on preparing and sending the meal out the exact way it was requested. Since fewer people are involved in placing the order, it is less likely that someone on your staff will make a mistake during the fulfillment process. So, you will have reduced waste and fewer financial losses. You will also have happier customers who receive their orders quickly and correctly. As you develop a reputation for online ordering excellence, more customers will choose your business over other options because you deliver both quality and service.
Food for Thought: Online Ordering is a Smart Business Move
If you want to encourage new business and develop new customer relationships, implementing an online ordering system will ensure your customers will get their food correctly in a fast and convenient way. Online ordering makes it easier for customers to place their order on the go and get their food via pick-up or delivery.
Your business will reap the rewards of fewer financial. Restaurant owners who plan on staying in business for the long haul need to integrate online ordering now in order to prepare for the future of the food service industry. The business of online ordering is here to stay. So, your business needs to start taking advantage of a well-designed online ordering system now to be ready for what the future has in store.