Pizza Hut was the first restaurant that used its online platform—PizzaNet—to complete an order in 1994. Today, ordering food online has become part of a weekly routine of the average consumers. Generally, busy customers who are already balancing their work, chores, family, and to-do lists don’t want to deal with the additional complication of ordering takeout food. The purpose of ordering food online is rather straightforward—it’s convenient, streamlined, and quick.
Ordering food online was already a rather popular concept before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 60 percent of sales from foodservice coming from orders of the premise. However, once the pandemic began, online orders and food deliveries were the saving grace for restaurants struggling to stay open and retain their sales. With the option of going into storefronts or dining in getting taken away, customers had no choice but to turn to mobile and online orders, with a whopping increase of 286 percent in off-premise orders.
Online ordering is more than just a quirky trend—it’s an entire system of food delivery that a customer expects a restaurant to have. It’s essential for the survival of eateries in this day and age.
Understanding online ordering systems
Online ordering software allows you to create a system that enables your café or restaurant to take orders and payments from a distance. This works with both online and in-person orders. Customers can access a restaurant’s menu through their mobile device by either following a link or scanning a quick response (QR) code. After they make a selection, they can submit the order and make the payment in a single go. The restaurant receives the order and provides the customer with a tentative delivery time before preparing it to be taken to their table or get a package for delivery.
Online orders make the process of ordering food much faster than the traditional methods. Everything is achieved through an app or website, with no additional effort required by the staff to go back and forth.
Benefits of ordering online
Phoning in to place an order can get rather jumbled up pretty easily with all the background noises in restaurants, and waiting in long lines adds to the customer’s hunger and frustration. While customers have slowly started tricking back into dine-in restaurants, many are still opting for contactless experiences to stay safe. The pandemic has turned online ordering into a staple for restaurants. Here are some reasons why online ordering is so great:
Easier to place orders
Online ordering systems allow restaurants to provide customers with up-to-date menus while removing out-of-stock items when they sell out. Hence, customers always view menus in real-time, helping them make decisions without unnecessary delays.
Customers can also immediately look at the additional info for each item on the menu for descriptions or allergens instead of asking questions on the phone. Customers can put every item of their desires into their cart and check out with just a few taps. It’s also really easy to make modifications—customers can type in some notes about their order or select modifications in an efficient manner. From viewing items on the menu to making the payment—the entire process is extremely streamlined.
Efficient order management
Online order systems remove the need for physical paper orders. Order slips often get lost in the chaos of a restaurant kitchen, making things more difficult for the staff to manage. Online systems display the orders in a neat and orderly manner on a consolidated dashboard, saving the staff’s time and effort that would have been otherwise lost in trying to find out which order was first.
Monitor your incurred expenses in real-time
As a restaurant owner, you can make more informed decisions regarding your business by accessing real-time data. Keep a check on the costs incurred as orders come in and get prepared without ever having to manually count money or open a cash register. You can track your sales and profits on different items on the menu anytime, anywhere.
There are few things as convenient as mobile ordering. From groceries to clothing, ordering online is the new norm. According to a customer survey, 84 percent of consumers order takeout or delivery at least once a week. Mobile ordering makes the process even easier!
Even if customers choose to dine in at your restaurant, they can still get contactless delivery by placing their order online. If they ever want another menu item or drink, they can just place their order through their mobile phone instead of trying to flag a waiter down. This method works exceptionally well for rush hours or when there’s not a lot of staff in a restaurant.
Having a strong online presence can ensure a steady stream of future customers. Anyone who visits your site is a potential customer, and you’d want to make sure that your ordering process seems appealing and straightforward to them. Create your digital presence to communicate your restaurant’s personality and brand—it can be at a fraction of the price of advertisements and billboards.
Better data on customers
Restaurants with more customer data are better equipped to remain competitive and stay on top of current ordering trends. Customer data can let restaurants pinpoint their regulars, see the success of different menu items and specials, and establish customers’ preferred method of placing orders. After getting access to all of this information, you can offer more personalized experiences to customers while executing better marketing campaigns.
Data can be gathered over just a few days, a couple of weeks, or even over multiple months or years. For example, perhaps last November, your café sold out of pumpkin spice lattes every day during the morning breakfast runs. This data tells you that you should prepare extra ingredients this November to maximize your profits.
Check out the best restaurant management software online!
MenuCRM provides food ordering software for restaurants that automates the process of takeout and delivery to help both restaurants reap the benefits of digitalization. Customers can enjoy a simple and frictionless ordering process and powerful loyalty programs and affordable pricing, helping restaurants with their customer retention. There’s no better restaurant online ordering software for your establishment!
We also offer a demo to restaurant owners that can be customized according to their requirements. Check it out to see how our services can elevate your business model! Contact us to get more details about our innovative software.