Online ordering is perfect for customers in a rush, people on their way home from work or diners who don’t feel like getting off the couch. This technology is great for restaurants that want to increase the average ticket or enhance marketing capabilities. It’s important to promote your ordering app on promotional materials, take-out menus, receipts and packaging. But that’s not enough, so here are five ways to attract new customers and increase profits:
1. Capitalize on bad weather
Sweatpants and take out are perfect on a freezing night or when it’s rainy and raw. Online ordering and delivery means that people can get the food and drinks they want without changing out of their slippers. When the weather is bad and customers want to hunker down at home, make sure it’s as easy as possible for people to place their order from any device within reach.
2. Leverage pickup capabilities
For diners who like to pick up their meals on the way home from work, on their way to a sports event or when heading to a friend’s house, “click and collect” is a popular option. For customers who are in a rush, restaurants may offer curbside pickup so they don’t need to get out of the car. Curbside pick-up is an affordable way to add convenience for take-out diners without the overhead of delivery service.
3. Easy and convenient delivery
Even before online ordering or customized apps, there was delivery—and this service is even more critical than it was 20 years ago. According to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, delivery options are crucial for the millennial category (18-34), who responded overwhelmingly (74%) that they would order delivery if this service was available. Even the most loyal customers may choose another restaurant if delivery isn’t an option.
4. Automated marketing
Online ordering systems mine customers’ contact information that you can use for marketing campaigns. The right online ordering platform can send marketing emails about new menu items or text exclusive online order coupon codes to customers. An online ordering system can also track which items people frequently order together, what time their orders are placed, and which days they are most likely to order. You can use this information to create individual promotions for each customer and reach out to customers that have been MIA.
5. Manage peak hours more effectively
Online ordering means diners are in control—they enter their own orders through the restaurant’s website or app, designate whether it’s pickup or dine-in, pay with a credit card before the order is prepared, and send orders automatically to the kitchen. There are no long hold times or orders that need to be remade due to employee error. When the kitchen runs more smoothly, it means fewer backups and less waiting for customers, whether they’re dining in or taking out.
Online ordering is a great way to increase revenue and it’s a great way to provide your customers with the convenience and dining option they are looking for. Take advantage of the online ordering trend to help build customer loyalty, make your brand more visible, and increase efficiency at your restaurant.