Online ordering is a significant part of restaurant success. Getting in the game and scoring big depends on implementing the right restaurant online ordering system. According to a National Restaurant Association study, 37 percent of restaurants now offer online ordering and the same percentage of them consider customer ordering to be the most important area of technology development over the next five years. Online and mobile ordering is especially popular with millennial and Gen Z customers, who are predicted to account for 70% of delivery orders by 2020. What’s the best game plan for providing the convenience, speed, and accuracy that your guests want? Achieving the following seven objectives will help put your ordering and delivery strategy in the end zone.
- Easy Order Flow
Making the ordering experience as easy as possible for your customers increases the likelihood that they will order from you again. Guests should be able to indicate whether their order is for delivery or pickup at the beginning of the process, rather than at the end, especially if some items are not available via one method. It’s also helpful if your online ordering platform auto-adjust for different browsers and devices. Addresses and payment methods should be stored to save the time of reentering information, and guests should be able to select a past order so they don’t have to call an audible. An easy-to-use online ordering system enhances customer loyalty all while driving more sales.
- Intelligent Cross-Selling
A common way to boost sales is through cross-selling. While it’s easy to suggest a beverage or a dessert if there’s not already one in the customer’s cart, you can score big with recommendations backed by machine learning. Rather than offering suggestions that broadly apply to everyone, your online ordering platform can learn over time which items are frequently purchased together or by an individual guest. For instance, customers may typically order a side of guacamole with a burrito, or a particular guest might like to get bruschetta when ordering an entrée.
- Alcohol Delivery
Restaurants have seen beverage sales suffer due to the rise of off-premises orders. One way to combat this trend is through alcohol delivery. Getting beer delivered at the same time as a pizza order is convenient for guests who might otherwise order alcohol through a separate delivery service or have to make a trip to the store. Your customers will appreciate not missing any of the game!
- Loyalty Integration
An integration between your loyalty program and your online ordering solution makes it possible for you to have a consistent flow of customer data for both on- and off-premises purchases. Your customers probably have different order preferences when they dine in person as opposed to when they’re at home on the couch, and seeing the entire field helps your marketing team make informed decisions about the offers that should be sent. When placing orders, your customers can choose from the available rewards and apply them directly to their purchase.
- Gift Card Integration
Integrating with your gift card provider enables on- and off-premises redemption of both physical and e-gift cards. Sales of gift cards during the holidays account for nearly 50% of annual gift card sales for restaurants, so it’s a great opportunity to make sure guests know that the cards can be redeemed anywhere they are ordered. Quick-service orders can see a boost as well, as there is a 6% increase in check size on orders placed and paid for online with a gift card. If an order needs to be canceled, refunding to the proper card is a snap when your gift solution is integrated with your online ordering platform.
- Multiple POS Integrations
Having integrations with multiple point-of-sale systems makes it a seamless experience on the backend as well. You won’t need to incur the costs of making equipment uniform in order to receive and process customer orders. When an online ordering system is integrated with multiple POS systems as well as your loyalty program, information is easily transferred across your entire tech ecosystem, ensuring that all of your locations interact with guests in the same way.
- Customer Feedback
You should request guest feedback via email after every order is completed to see whether the customer experience was up to your standards. If it wasn’t, discover what went wrong and take corrective steps. Those who are unhappy with their experience can automatically be sent a guest-recovery offer to make amends. For guests who rated their experience between 0 and 3 stars (out of 5), receiving a response from the restaurant increases their likelihood of ordering again by nearly 5%. These one-time offers serve as an extra point of emphasis in your efforts to keep guests happy.
Don’t keep warming the bench, to learn more about the Paytronix order and delivery solution, call 617-649-3300, ext. 5, or request a demo today.