National chains with deliveries led the charge into the online ordering realm when it came to food that typically includes pizza places that streamline the ordering process. As such, pizza is one of the most popular choices for Americans who order food online.
Your restaurant can examine the most popular foods people order online to try to earn more business for your place. If you can include these popular items, even in a small way, it could lead to better sales of your main products once your customers realize how easy it is to order from your restaurant.
Here are some of the most popular foods Americans order online for delivery apart from pizza.
After pizza, chicken is the most popular food Americans order online for delivery. Approximately 30 percent of all states have chicken as the top thing ordered online for delivery, according to 2015 data from two nationwide ordering juggernauts as listed by Eater. Think buffalo wings, fried chicken baskets, chicken tenders and baked chicken breasts. States where chicken is the top choice include Florida, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
Chicken is a staple American dish that goes with anything, including sandwiches, french fries, salads and rice. Feature a chicken dish or two for your online ordering system and see what happens to your sales.
Ordering Chinese food online is the most prevalent option in 15 percent of the United States. Colorado, Oregon and Nevada are states where Chinese food is popular with online ordering. For your restaurant, try one or two small servings of sweet and sour or cashew chicken if your place isn’t a Chinese restaurant already.
There’s just something about a beef patty topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and ketchup that Americans love. Hamburgers are the top online ordering choice in 7.5 percent of states. Customers in Indiana, Washington and, not surprisingly in the beef capital of the United States, Texas, love hamburgers the most when it comes to online ordering for delivery.
Sushi is a favorite among 7.5 percent of states. This makes the list because of two prominent areas. Residents of Massachusetts and Louisiana seem to love having this Japanese specialty delivered to homes after ordering sushi online.
Spaghetti and pasta dishes aren’t traditional delivery food that people order online. However, food lovers in Missouri and Kansas find pasta to be an appealing choice for them. Try combining the popularity of pasta with chicken as a menu item and see what happens.
Adapting These to Your Restaurant
Although these statistics talk about delivery, you can still take these ideas to tweak your in-house offerings as well. If your sales increase enough, you might add delivery as an option as Millennials love to have ultimate control over their restaurant experience. You don’t even have to have a special delivery service just for your restaurant. Consider going with a delivery service that picks up food from several places, including yours, to meet your needs.
You don’t have to completely retool your menu to make this work. Tout a special or two on social media with a link to the item on your online ordering system. Try the chicken, pizza, pasta, sushi, Chinese or hamburger special for a month. See how it changes your KPI compared to previous months.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it could take a few months for customers to get used to the online ordering system with popular items. If sales increase modestly during your first month of implementing a small change, maybe you can try increasing your specials with that particular type of food for another month. Once you have two months in a row of statistics, you have a recognizable pattern you can try to duplicate or tweak as the need arises.
Items popular with online ordering systems can take your restaurant’s menu to the next level. Featuring these items on your menu could help boost sales of your featured items, specialty dishes and your favorite ethnic cuisine. Once customers become used to the ease of ordering from your online menu, they’ll know that they can get the tastiest food with just a few swipes on their smartphone.
These popular food choices help your own cause by getting more people to delve into your online ordering system. Because more and more Americans turn to ordering food online, popular food selections can convert more sales and boost profits. Even if chicken, pizza, Chinese or sushi isn’t your specialty, feature them as side items or add-ons to see what happens. You can always tweak things later if these selections don’t pan out initially.
Once customer realize how easy it is to just put in contact and pay information, they know that ordering just takes seconds rather than minutes. The best systems even remember what customers ordered previously to help make current choices simpler.
Let Orders2.me show you how it’s done. Contact us today to see what we can do to elevate your restaurant, enhance your customers’ experiences and earn a more loyal following.
Uncovering the Top Food Items Americans Order Online was last modified: October 27th, 2016 by Rafi Cohen
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.