The benefits of online ordering systems for restaurants are becoming more evident every day. Today’s diners, especially millennials, tend to prefer using technology to access restaurant services. Online reservations, online take out, and online pick up are favored over picking up the phone, and it is essential to meet their needs if you want to remain competitive.
Establishments who lag behind the online ordering trend will be left behind in favor of restaurants who have stepped up. In today’s crowded restaurant space, there is no margin for error. If you want to succeed, you must meet the needs of your clientele. It’s as simple as that.
But what are the true benefits of online ordering? As it turns out, it’s a pretty meaty list.
Benefit of Online Ordering #1: Convenience for Diners
With today’s busy lifestyles, most of us are pressed for time. In a world where every second counts, convenience is king. When diners can order food from their favorite restaurant faster, easier, and at their convenience, they tend to come back again and again because they know that the establishment meets their needs.
If you need some hard numbers to back up this statement, check this out.
- 60 percent of restaurant patrons in America order food delivery or takeout online at least once a week
- 31 percent will order at least twice a week
- more than 30 percent of all orders are prepaid online
This tells us that most diners, when they have the option to order and pay through an online ordering system or mobile app, will do so. We could surmise that, if this is their preference, they will tend to choose restaurants that offer this option.
Benefit of Online Ordering #2: More Orders
As a restaurant owner or manager, you need to do whatever you can to strengthen the bottom line. A higher volume of orders means you are making more money, so it stands to reason you would want to do whatever is necessary to make that happen.
An online ordering system gives you a platform from which to boost sales. You are appealing to a tech-savvy demographic that prefers ordering online over just about every other option. If you have an online presence that promotes this feature, a simple search engine query will bring them straight to your door.
Benefit of Online Ordering #3: Marketing Opportunities
UpMenu offers a variety of tools to help restaurants generate more traffic to their website, including a promotion engine, an integrated customer database, and a multi-channel campaign manager to promote your offers.
UpMenu restaurant partners also have access to our loyalty program to encourage repeat business. Regular customers spend up to 67 percent more than one-timers, so offering a loyalty program is always in your best interests. Check all restaurant marketing features.
Benefit of Online Ordering #4: Automation
Deploying an online ordering system automates your usual ordering processes. This means that, without the distraction of ringing phones, having to take orders and payment info, your staff can spend more time with customers. You will not only be making your takeout and pickup customers happy, but your diners in the restaurant will have the benefit of your undivided attention.
Besides these features, automation has many other benefits. For example, you won’t have to hire staff to manage phone orders. Accuracy increases and waste decreases, as the customer is responsible for placing the order. There is no chance of being misheard because of the volume in the dining room, disputes are minimized, and satisfaction is guaranteed.
Marketing automation is another benefit of online ordering. Set your daily specials and promotional pricing in advance and push notifications out to your users so they can take advantage of your offers.
Benefit of Online Ordering #5: No Commissions to Pay
Many restaurants have jumped on the online ordering trend by partnering with food delivery services like DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub. These companies offer restaurants to get on the bandwagon quickly and cheaply, but there are some significant drawbacks.
For example, when partnered with a third-party food ordering portal, you pay commissions on every sale. The more popular you become, the more you’ll pay.
For new restaurants or outlets which are just building their clientele, these services can offer a considerable advantage. However, if you are an established restaurant that doesn’t necessarily need the exposure that these platforms give, it’s only going to cut into your already tight margins.
To top it off, 70 percent of diners who order online would prefer to place their order with the restaurant directly, as opposed to through a third-party menu service. So, why not keep the revenue in-house and make your diners happy at the same time? It’s a win-win for everybody.
Benefit of Online Ordering #6: Reduce Costly Errors
Ordering errors are one of the biggest causes of waste and loss in the restaurant. The busier the restaurant, the more potential for distraction, the more errors you will experience. You could say, “well, we’re only human. Mistakes happen,” and that would be accurate. However, the costs of these errors tend to add up, and there is a ripple effect that you may not have considered.
For example, let’s say an order comes in on the phone. The employee is juggling several phone lines and mistakenly orders the wrong menu items, forgets to order an item, or packs it incorrectly.
When the order is picked up or delivered, the mistake is identified, causing frustration for the customer and initiating a chain of events necessary to correct the error. These activities take time and effort. The customer is unhappy, and you may lose their future business. Plus, other customers are made to wait. You may have to comp items to make the customers happy, and you run the risk of bad reviews, which can have even more far-reaching implications.
An online ordering system assures accuracy – or at least, if the orders are incorrect, they are certainly not your fault.
Benefit of Online Ordering #7: Higher Ticket Average
Restaurant customers who order from an online system tend to spend more than they would if they were dining in. In fact, a full 20 percent of online ordering enthusiasts say that they tend to spend more when they order online versus on-premise.
Additionally, when customers have more time to browse your menu, you have more opportunities to upsell or cross-sell. Thirty-four percent of orders placed through an online system are worth $50 or more, while most bills for walk-ins will be $25 or less.
Benefit of Online Ordering #8: High Conversion Rate
If you have an online ordering system, you are reaching a demographic group that is ready to buy and highly suggestible to your offers. During peak hours, many restaurants report a conversion rate of 40 percent or more – meaning that 40 percent of visitors to their online ordering-enabled site will place an order.
This statistic is particularly attractive when you consider that the “typical” conversion rates for other e-commerce industries are about 2.35 percent.
More Online Ordering System Benefits
Most restaurants will agree that the more orders they receive, the better. Since many diners prefer ordering online, we can be confident that if we satisfy that desire, it will result in more orders.
If online orders result in higher sales—and studies prove that this is true—that means an online ordering system will result in a higher volume of sales as well as a higher check average.
Additional benefits of online ordering include process automation, fewer mistakes, reduced waste, and improved customer satisfaction all around. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it?
So, now that you know you need an online ordering system, which one is right for you?
UpMenu is a subscription-based online ordering system that helps you increase sales and reduce costs by offering online ordering capabilities directly from your website. There are no commissions to pay, no third-party portals to give up your customer loyalty to, and you control the branding, the pricing, and the narrative.
In the past 12 months alone, UpMenu has processed over 2.3 million online orders. That’s a lot of satisfied diners – and a lot of eateries who know which side their bread is buttered on.
Easy integration with your website
UpMenu is a web app that integrates with your website via an HTML widget. Payments are processed through Stripe, a secure online payment system that is trusted by millions of people and businesses across the United States.
Because UpMenu is based on a subscription model, your budget will be predictable, giving you a distinct advantage over third-party ordering systems whose payment models are based on taking a commission from your sales.
Powerful marketing tools
UpMenu also strengthens your marketing initiative. You can notify your customers of promotions and specials, schedule promotional pricing by day and time, and offer your best customers more of what they love best through a loyalty program.
Over time, the data you collect will enable accurate demand forecasting, helping you manage your business more efficiently from end-to-end.
Branded mobile app
You will also have the option of your own branded mobile app for a low monthly add-on price – as opposed to the tens of thousands of dollars you would otherwise have to invest if you wanted to develop an app from scratch.
Perfect for many types of restaurant
UpMenu is perfect for fast-service restaurants, pizza restaurants, casual dining, catering companies, and restaurants that cater to local businesses in their area. With all these benefits and advantages at stake, the question is, can your restaurant afford not to have an online ordering system?
Reach out today to learn more or to schedule a free trial.