Diners absolutely love being able to order take-out from their favorite eateries. It boosts business and customer satisfaction. So how should an enterprising restaurateur to take the success of online take-out, and use that same system to improve their customers dine-in experience? The secret to online food ordering success for dine-in customers is simple, and allows for increased sales and increased overall customer satisfaction.
The governing principle behind successful dine-in online ordering is not unlike the governing principle of product placement in grocery stores: put easy to eat food nearest customers entering the store or checking out at the store. The easier the food is to access and consume, the more of it hungry people will buy, and anyone at a restaurant is going to be hungry. All a smart owner has to do is set up online ordering with attractive images and an easy-to-use smartphone app in order to boost big ticket orders.
The second governing principle is recognizing the time constraints placed on busy professionals and families who need to make their dining time more efficient. When you have a limited amount of time to eat your meals during the day, any process that streamlines your dining experience is going to be a welcome addition to any restaurant’s offerings. By the same token, busy families with multiple children may want to pick up a ready-made dinner for when they get home, or make their dining time more about the food and less about waiting when they decide to dine-in. Wait times for a table and for food to arrive are significantly reduced, as is the time customers spend waiting at pickup counters or at the hostess station for take-out.
Regardless of the type of customer coming into your establishment, they are all hungry and they don’t want to wait. In the same way that hungry people load up their grocery cart with extra food, so do hungry diners load up their app cart with food. Using attractive food images in combination with an online ordering venue creates circumstances just like hungry people in a grocery store. People order based on what they see, and when they are hungry they order more.
Online ordering also helps restaurateurs more effectively manage personnel and staffing. When customers enter their own order directly to the kitchen staff, there is not only near-zero likelihood of ordering mistakes, but it also means you need fewer servers out in the front of house, especially if online ordering is a substantial part of your business. The lower chance of mistakes on orders also means less wasted food and additional money saved.
In order to properly implement online ordering in your establishment, there are three factors you need to consider in order to enjoy the benefits of online ordering systems for in-house customers. First, convenience needs to take priority: customers need to be able to click on items, complete their order, and arrive at your restaurant with their food already waiting for them. In order to stay competitive, every forward thinking owner needs to offer this convenience to their clientele.
The second factor to consider is hunger: hungry people want food fast. They are also often tired and pick the first available option that requires the least effort from them. They see a picture of appetizing food, they order it up, and then they go get it or it comes to them at their table.
Finally, the last factor to consider is the visual appeal of ordering options. People see food they like, they order it, they eat it. This is especially important in terms of dine-in customers, because reading requires thought and effort, and tired hungry diners are not going to want to expend effort. They are going to choose what looks good to them. When you have strong visual appeal to your food, you are making their buying decisions easier.
Ultimately, using online ordering systems for dine-in customers is a natural extension of the already essential option of offering online ordering for take-out customers. The secret to online food ordering success is managing the three key factors that motivate diners: convenience, hunger, and visual appeal. With proper planning and implementation, you can maximize your establishment’s overall productivity while cutting staffing costs and reducing waste/loss. With just a minimal up-front investment in some web development and a smartphone app, any restaurant’s traffic and business can be easily boosted while increasing customer satisfaction and repeat business.
If you aren’t offering online ordering to your take-out or dine-in customers, you need to get started right away. Don’t miss out: establish your restaurant as the friendly and convenient establishment that meets the needs of food lovers from every walk of life in your community today.