6 Ways to Score a Touchdown with Online Ordering

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?

Join us for this webinar to learn more about:

  • The 7 features that will put your order and delivery strategy in the end zone
  • Why online and mobile ordering is critical to the guest experience
  • What does the future hold for ordering and delivery?

Watch this webinar to learn how you can win big with online ordering!

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Read the Webinar Transcript

Hello and welcome to today's webinar: Six Ways to Score A Touchdown With Online Ordering, plus one extra Point.

So we'll start with why online and mobile ordering is really critical to the guest experience. And we'll go through seven features that can put your order and delivery strategy in the end zone. And then briefly just touch on what the future may hold for ordering and delivery.

So to start off and just kind of set the scene around why this is so important, it's estimated that 60% of orders will be placed off premise by just next year. So now is definitely the time to make sure that you have everything ready, and you're not missing out on any sales by missing some of these features that can be really influential to your top line.

And over the past few years, digital ordering and delivery has grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic. So, having the right partners and building out that ecosystem so that your guest engagement program and your ordering platform are working, not against each other, but rather with each other, is key to growing sales, especially with the younger generations.

Having not only your loyalty program integrated with your order and delivery platform, but also integrations with gift cards, as well, can result in higher sales and a better overall experience for your guests.

Then just a few more quick stats: 60% of consumers in the U.S. order delivery or take out once a week.

34% of consumers are spending at least $50 per order when ordering online, and 20% say that they spend more on off-premise orders compared to a regular dining experience.

So, definitely maximizing those sales and finding ways that you can boost them is going to be critical, especially in the coming years, as well.

So, now we're going to take a look at those seven must have order and delivery features. As you're thinking about the online ordering experience, both for your guests, and also for users on the backend, you want to make sure you have the seven things in order to make sure it's as successful as possible.

The first one is an easy order flow. You want it to be just as easy to do on mobile as on a webpage. So, having responsive web pages and images that adjust for browser size are super important, because if your process isn't easy to use, guests will just order from somewhere else.

It's also key to make sure that your ordering process makes sense. So, entrees come with sides. Or guests placing an order have to select options, like maybe salad dressings or sauces. Making sure the flow through that process is logical and easy to do as you flow through the order just makes the experience that much better. And again, if people know it's an easy ordering process, they're going to be more likely to order from you again in the future.

You want to make sure that you also give your guests the option to either select delivery or pickup at the beginning of the order, rather than waiting all the way until the end, especially if in some instances maybe not all of your menu items are available for delivery. And so giving them that option at the beginning, rather than having them have to maybe edit what they've put in their basket at the end, will make that process easier.

You can also allow them to store their favorite orders, payment methods, and their addresses, which will save them the pain of having to re-enter that information again. Just allow them to really place orders with ease, and remove any of those friction points within the process.

The second feature is through intelligent cross selling. So, you know, in stores a common way to boost sales is through cross selling, and it's easy to create rules that will blindly suggest a beverage if there aren't already those items in a person's cart. But you can score big with recommendations that are backed by machine learning, as well.

So rather than offering the same things to everyone, online ordering platforms can learn, over time, which items are frequently purchased together, or by an individual guest’s own ordering history.

You can kind of think of this like on retail sites, when you see that guests like you frequently purchased several items together. Ordering with AI behind it can also see what customers like you have ordered together and make those ordering suggestions that are likely to be well received. And again, just add those items to the cart and be able to boost sales that way.

The third thing is alcohol delivery. So getting beer or wine delivered at the same time as a pizza order, is convenient for guests who might otherwise order alcohol through a separate delivery service like Drizzly, or have to make an additional trip to the store.

And there's currently a patchwork of regulations around alcohol delivery, which is currently allowed in a handful of states, but you are seeing some brands like Pizza Hut, test it out in locations where it's possible to be able to be that all-in-one provider for their customers.

So Pizza Hut first tested Alcohol delivery in 2017, and they've expanded the service with plans to get up to one thousand locations, and they train their employees on ID verification and proper handling of the product, which is really key because you want to make sure you're compliant with all your local laws and regulations. But there are also a few other things to consider if you are thinking about adding alcohol delivery to your strategy. And the one thing to think about is the drivers. So in some states, only W2 employees are able to deliver alcohol. So in those locations, not only do you have to think maybe about the age of your delivery drivers to make sure that it's OK for them to deliver alcohol, but if your deliveries are handled through a third party, which typically doesn't use the W2, you would need to consider if they're able to do that with the ones you partner with. Some delivery services also provide ID scanners to drivers to make sure that any identification is legitimate.

And you also really want to empower your drivers to refuse delivery in situations where they feel uncomfortable. So if they pull up to a delivery, and it looks like it's maybe a party involving minors, you should absolutely empower them to deny the delivery.

If they think there is something that you would get in trouble for, you also want to eliminate any surprises. In all honesty, no one should be surprised that you're required to show an ID before receiving an alcohol delivery, but it's better to be safe than sorry. So if you show the guests multiple times throughout the ordering flow that an ID will be required that should eliminate any shock when their order arrives. So you want to make sure it's obvious and not easily ignored from the time that they put the item in their cart to when they submit their order, and that the order will contain alcohol, and that their ID will be required.

So this is a potentially profitable addition to off premise sales, but it's one that's still developing. So it's definitely something where, if you think it makes sense for your concept, it's worth exploring to see if your online ordering platform can provide this functionality for you.

And the fourth thing to think about is a loyalty integration. So a really robust integration between your online ordering platform and your loyalty program provides you a seamless flow of data between all aspects of your business. Don't you think it would be valuable to know the differences between how the same customer orders between on and off premise, and be able to kind of tailor your offers and promotions to those behaviors? Not only does it provide information to your marketing team, but it also provides the best possible experience for your guests when they can see what available offers they have, and apply them directly to their order. Whether they're in your locations or sitting at home on their couch as well.

And, additionally, we see that there's an 18% increase in online ordering frequency when loyalty is added. So guests are just more likely to order if they know that everything will link. And they know that they can work toward earning rewards with your brand. So, building that online order loyalty is just as important as building on-premise loyalty. So, making it possible for guests to earn and redeem offers gives them the same experience everywhere they go.

You also want to think about a gift card integration. So much like having a loyalty integration, having a really strong gift card integration also makes it possible for guests to interact with your brand in the same way, no matter where they are.

Sales that have gift cards during the holidays account for nearly 50% of annual gift card sales for restaurants. So, if that gift card is given to someone who likes to order online but maybe gift cards can only be redeemed on premise, that doesn't leave a great impression of your brand for that guest, because they're unable to really interact in the way that they're most comfortable with.

Not only is it good for the guest experience, if gift cards are fully integrated with your online ordering platform there are benefits on your end as well. We find in QSR restaurants, there's a 6% increase in check size on orders placed and paid for online with a gift card.

So that's one huge benefit to having a really solid integration.

If your ordering platform is fully integrated, it also makes it easier to refund canceled orders, especially if maybe half was placed on gift card, and half was on a different form of payment. When you have a really robust integration, it's a lot easier and less of a headache to make sure those refunds go back to the proper payment method.

And having integrations with multiple POS systems also makes it a seamless experience on the back end. You won't need to incur costs of making your equipment uniform in order to receive and process customer orders. And when online ordering is integrated with multiple systems, as well as your loyalty program, your information is easily transferred across your entire tech ecosystem, making sure that all of your locations can interact with your guests in the same way.

Then, there's customer feedback. So if the order wasn't up to standard, you can give store managers the capability to send responses immediately.

So a few coupons created ahead of time for when there are complaints about food or delivery service and inviting that guest to come back. That can be the difference between maintaining a relationship or seeing that guests disappear forever. For guests who rated their experience between 0 to 3 stars out of five, receiving a response from the restaurant really increases the likelihood of ordering again. So here's just one example.

This is an example that our head of order and delivery shared last month at our user conference and there was a guest who had placed three orders in the past totaling $118. And they left a review of his order that the pizza was undercut. The dough as raw in some areas and he had to re-cook the pizza which made the cheese gummy. And obviously that's an awful experience and you'll have a terrible review, so clearly something went wrong here. So the manager in this situation could just click the Bad Food Apology Coupon as soon as they receive this feedback, and send a message that apologizes for the poor experience.

And ask them to give them another chance. And here's a $10 coupon, so that's exactly what was done.

The first order was placed on September 25th of 2017, and the second one was placed October 5th. So just 10 days or so later, this person place another order. And even with that $10 off still spent another $24 with this brand. Ratings were back up to where you would want to see them with mostly fives and fours, and the comments were much better this time.

Sending out these surveys after orders get about a 5.4% response rate, and feedback actions allow our response to be sent in just one tap, which makes it super fast and easy for the store to do.

So like I said before, when customers got a response to their feedback after they had a poor experience, between 0 and 3 stars, when they get a response from the restaurant they are 11% more likely to order again.

And it's not really just about getting one extra order by responding to the feedback, but you salvage that entire customer relationship and all of their future orders, as well.

This offer didn't just result in one visit. Since that recovery offer was sent, this one guest has ordered 18 more times, and spent another $844 with this brand. All of which could have been lost if that bad experience had really stuck with him.

So what does the future hold? We've seen there's a boom in online ordering and delivery, and that's likely not going to stop anytime soon.

And we're seeing a lot of pushback from some of the delivery aggregators constantly in the news, whether it's around how they treat their employees, some of their business practices, and the feasibility of the economics. And those are all issues that are likely to still be issues over the coming year.

And there's a lot going on right now to make sure that, especially small businesses aren't being taken advantage of by some of these companies. So there's going to be a balance that is going to have to be struck, and that's something to definitely look for in the coming months.

There are also still a lot of questions around who controls customer data and how that data is used. And I think we're also likely to see a lot of consolidation in this area as the major players are increasing their geographical footprint.

So there's a lot of different ways that these third parties are going to have to differentiate themselves from each other. So that's something that we're definitely going to see in the coming months as this space continues to be a focus of the industry.

And methods of delivery are also changing. So how does it get there? Domino's is starting to use e-bikes for delivery, much like Grubhub and Uber Eats already does. And their tests have shown that e-bikes improve overall delivery and service.

Additionally, they were able to then hire delivery employees from a wider pool of candidates because they didn't need a car or a driver's license in densely populated urban areas. Bike delivery can also lead to quicker navigation through congested streets.

And an electric motor on an e-bike also helps delivery workers with the pedaling. So, they don't tire out as much.

Delivery by drones is something that always seems to pop up as a topic. That's somewhere in the future, but I don't think we're quite there yet. Recently, UPS received approval from the FAA to operate drones, but still really limited to rural areas and hospitals. But this is a step forward and testing drone delivery to make sure that it would be safe and reliable before moving into highly populated areas. So, seeing delivery drones for consumer items is still likely several years away because the FAA is still really testing and refining a lot of the regulations that would be required to do that.

So, to summarize, there are great ways to use tech to enhance the experience, whether that's smart cross-selling, or ease of use. Fully integrating your tech ecosystem really provides a great experience for both guests and for marketers and restaurant managers, as well.

Don't hand off all of the guest experience. You can engage and maintain relationships through your platform. And also, shifting methods of order and delivery will succeed if they're providing a better guest experience for those guests.

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