Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic and the resultant restrictions on movement, people have been spending more and more time online. Even the technophobic among us have learnt to navigate the internet. The prolonged shutdowns of physical premises and strict rules governing in-person transactions have pushed enterprises to run their businesses primarily virtually. With few other options available (or safe) the world has become digitally dependent.
As far as the Food and Beverage industry is concerned, the internet has been its saviour. Thanks to online ordering systems, restaurants have continued to stay in business while their dining room doors have remained locked. Even when restrictions on dining in were somewhat eased, take out and delivery have continued to remain the main source of income for eateries.
Quite apart from providing a viable channel for business in these trying times, online ordering systems offer a host of other valuable benefits that can be a boon to business. This means that, even in the midst of a pandemic, your restaurant can do more than survive – it can thrive!
Customers Feel More At Ease
Customers can check out your detailed menu at leisure on your website. Unlike when they phone in, they are not under pressure to make snap decisions and can take their time to read the descriptions of each dish. They are able to make up their minds at their own pace and so feel comfortable about what they have chosen.
You Bag Bigger Orders
When customers have the chance to take their time and peruse your menu, they will also be more attentive to add-ons and specials. The potential to upsell is huge and this means more revenue for your restaurant. Upselling and cross-selling give customers choices that they may not have previously considered. Studies have shown that the value of an online order is 15-20% more than other forms of ordering.
Your Customers Order From You
With your own custom-branded online ordering system, your customers are able to order directly from you. This means there is no need to rely on a third party aggregator for anything. There are no fees or commissions to be paid to an outsider and the profits are all yours. In fact, according to the August 2020 Oracle Food and Beverage Study, a whopping 86% of diners stated that they preferred to order directly from a restaurant rather than using a third-party app or platform, with 65% of those diners opting to order either via an app or website. This inclination towards dealing directly with a restaurant can bring a lot of business your way, if you have your own online ordering system.
Connections Are Stronger
One of the things we have been missing the most with Covid-19 related restrictions is connection. A website is a channel for fostering connections, albeit in a virtual manner. Third party platforms are cold and distant. When a customer browses your website and places an order through it, they are immediately aware that they are dealing with you directly and so they feel a stronger affinity to your restaurant.
It Is More Accurate And Efficient
Online ordering is also known to be a lot more accurate than orders placed by phone. Human error is always present during a phone call and getting an order wrong, even if it is sending fries and not mashed potato, can cause irritation. The ramifications of this can be pretty harsh, given that it is a competitive market and your clients can easily switch allegiances.
Online ordering systems streamline the entire ordering process. With so many people ordering in these days, it can be quite overwhelming for a restaurant to keep up with the influx of orders. When you digitize your ordering process you give your restaurant the security of never missing an order. Automation also opens the doors to more orders – your restaurant can accept from two to ten times more orders than with phone-ins. This revenue is critical in the current climate when dining-in is either banned or severely curtailed.
There Is No Exchanging Of Cash
Because online ordering systems provide end-to-end service, payment can also be completed online. Money is one of the dirtiest items around and who knows what is lurking on the surface of cash. The less a person touches money, the less their chances of contracting germs.
Broadening Your Customer Base
At a very basic level, having an online presence means that anyone using the internet can discover you. Of course, a year ago, it was mostly the Millenials and Gen Z who would order virtually. Covid-19 has propelled more people online and now even Baby Boomers are getting more comfortable with conducting transactions digitally. More tech savvy people means more customers for you.
Valuable Even When Dining In
It is indeed odd to think of ordering online while seated at a restaurant. The thing is that, while people are eager to eat out, they are also extremely concerned about staying safe while doing so. According to the August 2020 Oracle Study, 40% of those surveyed said they would feel safer viewing a menu and paying on their personal devices even while dining out. Your online ordering system can be utilized even for in-house guests providing an incentive for greater patronage.
Applova For The Win!
It is obvious that having online ordering is imperative in our current circumstances. Applova not just offers you a channel for web-based ordering, it can turn your restaurant into an online business. Applova provides you with a fully-functional, custom-branded website. Its mobile responsive design facilitates access from any electronic device. Incorporating safe and secure payment functions and menu flexibility, it is the perfect digital solution for your restaurant. Stop scrambling to stay afloat and sail the oceans of success with Applova.