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8 Most Demanded Features Every Restaurant Needs

A woman at a cafe

Are you having second thoughts about using a mobile website for your restaurant?

Are you undecided about whether an online ordering system will be a prudent investment for your restaurant?

If this is the case, the following statistics are bound to change your mind:

  1. Approximately 70% of restaurant customers prefer to order food via mobile devices.
  2. Online ordering have benefited restaurants of all sizes to increase their average basket size by as much as 25%.
  3. If your customers cannot access your menu on mobile devices, you are bound to lose at least 62% of potential customers
  4. Loyalty programs and mobile rewards, restaurant rewards, integrated into online ordering systems increase the average amount spent by customers by 15%.

Taking all of the above into account, whether you run an independent restaurant or have multiple branches, without a dedicated restaurant website, you are likely losing about 20% of your revenue.

A customer-centric restaurant website doesn't just improve your chances of growth. These solutions also aid restaurant management in terms of ordering, deliveries, table reservations, ingredient purchases, and so much more!

Now that you’re considering developing a restaurant website for your business, make sure that you don’t miss out on all of the following features:

1. Mobile Payments and Online Ordering

Online food ordering options allow your customers to save time and avoid the hassle of waiting in line for their order to be processed. If your website offers customers the ability to pay for orders from the comfort of their homes, you will be one step ahead in offering them convenience.

Here’s an interesting statistic. Customers that prefer to order online were found to order 67% more as compared to those who prefer other means. Also, an increasing number of customers use restaurant websites simply because they prefer to make online payments.

You see, all of these options offer convenience to customers. For restaurant owners, these features can improve accuracy and efficiency in handling orders.

Both of these benefits will grant restaurant owners a competitive advantage over their competitors, whether they are in their neighborhood or another state altogether.

Within no time, a huge chunk of your restaurant’s revenue will start coming in from online payments. Back in 2015, 21% of Starbucks' sales were generated online. Imagine the impact of their online ordering systems now!

2. Access to Multiple Platforms

It's quite obvious that once you have developed a mobile presence, you will want all your target customers to notice it. However, this can only be possible if your restaurant website can be accessed via various platforms.

Multiple avenues that lead to your restaurant website bolster your online presence, which, in turn, increases its number of users. That said, do make sure that you keep the quality of the app consistent on every platform. There are numerous cases of applications that worked beautifully on a particular platform but struggled on others because of the lack of consistency.

3. Social Media Compatibility

Integrating your restaurant with social media has now become a crucial feature of every restaurant website floating around the internet.

When it comes to the restaurant industry, it is very important to grant customers the ability to rate and review their experience. They can perhaps even snap pictures and upload them to various social media accounts such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

It doesn’t just stop there, though. You can also just as easily leverage your social media presence to tie in discounts and loyalty programs to attract new customers via word of mouth or entice loyal customers into earning points and/or restaurant rewards.

4. Discounts and Loyalty Programs

“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”– Jim Rohn

Statistica published that approximately 40% of restaurant customers turn to their mobile to search for discounts. The same research also found that at least 26% of these consumers prefer mobile to earn/redeem loyalty rewards.

More importantly, it was found that the cost of acquiring/attracting new customers tends to be 5x higher as compared to retaining one. This means that brand loyalty is a lot cheaper than brand attractiveness and awareness.

This is among the biggest reasons why so many big names in the restaurant industry focus their marketing efforts on online loyalty programs. Since we spoke about Starbucks earlier on, this restaurant chain was able to increase their online sales by 80% when they started offering loyalty programs for their customers.

5. Push Notifications

Push notifications are like a jack-in-the-box for restaurant websites and can make or break your marketing efforts. Your online ordering system can only be successful if you use push notifications in a subtle and sophisticated way.

In contrast, if you abuse or overuse them, you might just end up annoying your customers, which inevitably will lead to subsequent losses. Push notifications need to be managed carefully and smartly. For instance, sending customers alerts in the middle of the night will be a horrific idea.

Instead, you can try and ask your most loyal customers about the medium they would prefer to receive push notifications (whether email, SMS, or otherwise) from and during which time frames.

For instance, if your customers are of the opinion that they would only like to receive text messages within the 6 pm to 10 pm time frame, you should comply accordingly.

Another thing that you will need to be careful about here is that your push notifications add value to the customer experience as opposed to being perceived as advertising gimmicks. If you manage to pull off your push notifications in a clever way, you will be able to grow the success of your restaurant website exponentially.

6. Online Reservations

“People will soon forget what you said. They will NEVER forget how you made them feel.” – Dr Maya Angelou

You may operate a small family-owned restaurant that might be so popular among customers that they would have trouble finding a table when they walk in. Or perhaps, your restaurant could grow to become a high-end spot that only accommodates people who make reservations and doesn’t cater to walk-ins.

In either case, a restaurant website should definitely have an option for customers to make table reservations. This feature helps to cut down the customers’ frustrations with long waits for space and allows them to plan a beautiful night out.

7. Staff Management

To help manage the staff of your restaurant and increase the effectiveness of their function, you should strongly consider adding this feature to your restaurant website.

This particular feature makes sure that your business is never under- or over-employed. Restaurant owners will also have the ability to track the performance of their employees over time.

You will be able to make all the necessary changes to your restaurant based on their performance. Staff management features will help to increase the overall productivity and efficiency of your restaurant as you will only employ an optimal number of staff to be able to complete tasks on time.

8. Location-Based Features

Location-based features such as geo-fencing and beacons have granted restaurant brands the ability to increase engagement with potential customers, even before they catch a glimpse of their brick and mortar restaurant.

You may consider this as the modern-day alternative of printing flyers about menu improvement, restaurant deals and discounts and handing them out to passers-by.

LevelUp found that restaurants that use location-based features tend to attract 8 to 12% more customers every week!

Final Thoughts

Whether you are an owner of an independent business trying to improve your sales or an entrepreneur trying to invest in your online food ordering venture, you must add all (or most) of the above-mentioned features in your restaurant website.

However, based on the budget you’re working with and what stage of your business growth you are on, your restaurant website can be both business and customer-centric.

If you manage to add both, then your restaurant website will quickly become a comprehensive solution for your restaurant's day-to-day operations.

A Holistic Restaurant Website That Benefits Both Customers and Restaurateurs

“The customer is why we are here. If we take good care of them, they’ll give us good reason to come back.” – Jenny McKenzie

Customer loyalty makes a huge difference and loyal customers are bound to spread positive words about your brand. MenuCRM offers a full-features website that simplifies customer loyalty programs for small business and independent restaurant owners.

MenuCRM can be your restaurant’s website, online ordering system, CRM, restaurant loyalty, and customer communications toll, all packed into one. By adopting MenuCRM, you will not only be able to increase your foot traffic and orders in less than 45 days but also streamline meal purchase processes without the need for internal restaurant maintenance.

So what’re you waiting for? Contact MenuCRM today to experience the difference.

Posted 5/27/2021 2:01:57 PM