Archive for the “Online Ordering & Delivery” Category

Go Wide and Go Home: Best Practices from the Paytronix Community

As we all try to adjust to the new reality of doing business, the Paytronix community is coming together to share best practices for customer outreach in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope you find some ideas here that will help you in your day-to-day marketing operations.

Extend Your Outreach

Right now, use your loyalty resources to connect with both existing and potential customers, regardless of whether they are loyalty program members. Let them all know if you are open and to what extent. Are you open only for takeout or do you offer ordering and delivery? How about curbside pickup?

While your loyalty program has always been a great communications channel for reaching your best customers, consider taking your campaigns into new channels.

Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar, the 87-year-old, Pittsburgh-based creator of sandwiches topped with French fries, took a one-off reward usually only available to loyalty members, such as two sandwiches for $10, and promoted it on all available channels – loyalty, e-club, and social media – to reach the widest possible audience.

 

Know Your Delivery Customer

Catering may be on hold for now, but individuals and families that are stuck at home want an alternative to their dwindling pantry fare. It’s important to know who these customers are so that you can segment and target them with relevant offers.

For instance, come up with an offer of sandwiches and soda for families stuck at home and another offer, like six-packs to go, for the millennials and Gen Xers who are confined to apartments.

Or take your $10-off-$40 promotion to the delivery channel, as California Pizza Kitchen is doing in this Facebook post.

Give Customers Delivery Options

Some brands are generating up to 30% of their current revenue through the third-party delivery services. The associated charges can make this an expensive proposition, but some services are negotiating reduced fees during the current crisis. If your brand has its own free-delivery service, make sure your customers know about it.

If you have a strong delivery business, think about how you can promote it beyond your core loyalty program.

Captain D’s, the nation’s leading fast-casual seafood restaurant, took two key actions that proved effective. First, it promoted its delivery campaign strongly on social media. Second, it sent “shout-out” emails to explain operational changes, such as shorter hours and stepped-up sanitation measures, while also promoting takeout and delivery. Captain D’s can actually attribute a jump in online ordering to these promotions.

Captain D’s also gives customers the option to choose how their order is delivered. Many brands now offer alternatives, such as contactless delivery, drive-through, carryout, and curbside pickup.

Listen to Your Customers

Finally, be open to customer feedback. If customers are calling and asking about redemption dates, it’s important to reassure them that their rewards will be honored. In fact, many brands are reviewing redemption dates and extending them from 90 to 120 days.

If your customers are responding to your Facebook promotions, thank them for ordering with you and for their continued support of your brand. Tell them that you look forward to seeing them again.

Through all of this, it’s about building strong customer relationships that can be beneficial today and grow in the future

Rapid Launch Order and Delivery Helps a Ruth’s Chris Franchise Keep the Kitchens Open 

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Prime Hospitality Group of Indianapolis to close its dining rooms, the leadership team needed to maintain a source of revenue to help keep its 750 employees safe, fed, and part of the team. 

That’s a key reason why the company signed with Paytronix to offer ordering and delivery through the rapid-response product that launched last week. In just a few days, Prime was able to get delivery up and running at its flagship location in Northside Indianapolis and keep serving guests. It also plans to use the DoorDash connection for delivery, in addition to existing deals with Uber Eats and Postmates. These efforts will enable this location to continue doing the highest volume in Prime Hospitality Group’s portfolio.

Takeout and delivery had previously been a secondary focus, intended to fulfill guests’ preference for convenience. Until recently, Prime had always concentrated almost exclusively on the on-premises experience.

“I believe that online ordering and delivery is a necessity in our current circumstances,” said Prime Hospitality Group President Kristy Rans. “We still think that our product is one that can be enjoyed at home even outside the traditional service and hospitality that we provide within the four walls of our restaurants.”

Right now, Prime’s management teams are staffing their restaurants to keep the kitchens running and the employees fed. Takeout dinners for a family of four are being supplied to employees free of charge every Monday through Friday at each of the company’s seven franchised Ruth’s Chris locations in Indiana, Missouri, and Arkansas.

In addition to operating the takeout and delivery side of things, Prime started a fund for its hourly team members, and many guests are donating. The company is also running a gift card promotion that provides a $10 discount for every $100 gift card purchased, with $20 of each gift card sale going to the fund for hourly employees. The tips that management receives through takeout and delivery are going to the fund as well.

All of this is why it was so important to have delivery up and running quickly. Rans notes that Prime had been testing Uber Eats in several locations and had been speaking with Postmates, but there hadn’t been a full rollout. “We wanted to continue to serve our guests at this time, and having an order-and-delivery system allows us to do that,” Rans said. “Keeping operations going through this time will also position Prime to return to normal operations as quickly as possible when we are able.”

 

 

Rapid Launch for Order & Delivery

With dine-in and bar experiences shut down for nearly every restaurant in the country, Paytronix has quickly rolled out a way for restaurants to implement an online order-and-delivery program. This highly focused offering gets a simple program going in one to two weeks.

It’s built on the cloud-based Paytronix connector, which sends information through a connected Windows machine to generate output at a printer. An employee then takes that information and enters it into the POS system. The system also features self-service menu management, so restaurants can make menu changes quickly to adjust to inventory changes. Clients can also easily activate delivery through our DoorDash partnership or offer delivery from their own in-house operation.

Rapid launching is designed to be a fast, easy way to get moving and not intended to replace the full-featured version of the Paytronix Order & Delivery product

For more information, contact the Paytronix team at 617-649-3300, ext. 5. 

Where Ordering and Delivery Meet the Pocketbook

Last week saw some major movement in the third-party delivery world. First, the New York Times pointed out how much delivery truly costs the consumer, noting in a headline that delivery charges can often nearly double the cost of the order itself. Then DoorDash, the industry leader with at least a third of the delivery market, announced that it plans to IPO. DoorDash last raised money at a staggering $13 billion valuation, which is equivalent to the market cap of Domino’s Pizza, the seventh-largest restaurant chain.

The contrast between these two headlines strike at the debate about whether third-party marketplaces are a disruptive trend or simply a passing fad for niche opportunities. At Paytronix, we are always focused on what is best for our restaurant clients. We think this issue comes down to a basic question: How does third-party delivery impact brand value?

When our clients turn to third-party aggregators for delivery, it’s often because they are testing a service model outside of their four walls at a very low cost. Conversely, in-house fulfillment has fixed costs for recruiting and training, and during the early stages, it’s not obvious that enough orders will come in to cover it all.

Delivery’s Cost to the Consumer

An article in the New York Times suggests that what’s truly happening here is that the costs are shifting to the consumer, which is just making meals more expensive. “Up to 91% More Expensive: How Delivery Apps Eat Up Your Budget” found that orders placed with the top four delivery companies– Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats – came with a markup of between 7% and 91%. On top of that, there were some truly crazy charges, such as a $3 “small order” fee from Uber Eats.

Some brands hike their menu prices for delivery orders, while others list higher prices within the app to compensate for increased delivery costs. Yet consumers may be willing to pay these incremental costs to enjoy the benefits of ordering and eating without ever having to leave their couch.

Delivery’s Cost to the Brand

Restaurants need to ask themselves how delivery impacts their individual brand. It’s no small question in light of a massive shift that is shaking the restaurant world to its very core. The guest experience used to be defined by how people felt when they visited a restaurant. Owners mostly focused on choosing a good location, how the restaurant looks, what smells greet people when they come in, and of course, how the food tastes. While those things are still important, a change in how consumers operate is emerging.

The ability to order from home is, in most cases, a positive. But restaurants need to consider pricing as it applies to the total costs for their guests. If people feel that they’re being gouged or not receiving value, it can negatively affect the brand.

Mobile phones enable consumers to create their own interaction point. Whether it be via Google, Yelp, third-party delivery apps, or a branded app, the interaction ends up driving their decisions, bringing in factors like speed and convenience. Meanwhile, the emergence of subscriptions has the potential to completely remake the market. Panera Bread recently received a lot of attention for its $8.99 monthly coffee subscription, and DoorDash is offering unlimited deliveries for $9.99 a month with its DashPass.

These changes in consumer expectations drive changes in how restaurants evaluate everything from where they’re located to how people receive and eat their food. The ultimate costs for meals also need to be taken into consideration, since studies show that consumers are more likely to blame issues on the brand than the delivery company.

As for the DoorDash IPO, investors are clearly betting that the company will be a chief beneficiary of this evolution in how consumers choose to interact with restaurants. The demand for ordering items and having them delivered isn’t decreasing anytime soon, which is why we here at Paytronix invested in our own Order & Delivery solution. We also work with all the major delivery brands to ensure that our clients’ guests have consistently favorable experiences.

Because no matter how consumers receive their food, they still expect a great brand experience.