Embracing Online Ordering in the Restaurant Industry


Embracing Online Ordering in the Restaurant Industry

Online Ordering Restaurant

Well, folks, the facts don’t lie: online ordering is here to stay. With two-thirds of Americans now saying that they order food online from restaurants, it looks like online and mobile ordering has become a permanent fixture for American restaurant consumers. If your restaurant isn't offering online ordering, then it's probably time to start thinking about getting on board. While there are a number of operational considerations, and there is a level of investment to launch a web-based ordering program, we strongly believe it is well worth it. Below, we'll share some of the reasons we feel it's time to embrace online ordering.

Check Average

This is our absolute favorite online ordering statistic: online ordering, on average, can increase your check average by 23%. That's an absurd number. When working with clients, we often hear goals of check average increases of 5-10%, but no one ever comes in and says, "Our goal is to have our check average increase by 20 plus percent." But why is online ordering leading to such phenomenal sales? There are a few theories...

First, it's easier for folks to make impulse purchases online. When they don't feel rushed by a long line and a busy restaurant, they have more time to peruse the menu and find things they want to try. "Why not try this appetizer, it's only $6.50??" But then, there is also the perceived judgment of ordering from a human. Maybe a customer really wants a piece of chocolate cake but doesn't want the person behind the counter to judge them for their food choices. When ordering online, the guest knows that no one is watching, so why not?

Labor Costs

With more and more guests ordering on the web, or on mobile ordering apps, soon there will be less need for as many cashiers to take in-store orders. This is especially true for quick service and fast casual restaurants. You might find that on your busy days, instead of needing three cashiers, you only need two. Also, when your team spends less time taking orders, they are freed up to do other tasks, like providing better customer service. By automating the order taking process, it's likely that your overall labor costs will see a dip.

Future Technology

The truth is, online ordering is just the first step of the eventual automation of many facets of the restaurant industry. With younger generations feeling more comfortable using technology than ever, and an onslaught of rapid development in the food tech field, we are already seeing the next generation of restaurant technology hit the market. In the near future, we expect to see the growth of features like order-at-your-table (where folks will order on their phone while dining in, as opposed to at a counter) and the eventual mass adoption of autonomous vehicles making restaurant delivery easier and more profitable.

Ultimately, it is unavoidable that technology will continue to play a greater role in the restaurant industry, and now is the time to get on board. With younger generations coming to expect these features from every restaurant, if you aren't adapting, there's a possibility that you'll get left behind. We strongly believe that this is the time to embrace online ordering and as new technology comes down the pipeline, you will have positioned your business to be future proof.

But you have to tell your customers!

Don’t think you can just flip the switch for online ordering and watch the sales roll in. From in-store promotion to bag stuffers and social integration, a restaurant should make the promotion of online ordering a priority for it to truly be successful.

Need help with online ordering? Hit us up >

FreshOnline Ordering, Digital