The Importance of Online Ordering and Delivery for Restaurants

Restaurant Management Tips

The internet and technological advancements are having a great impact on restaurant operations. With most people spending a big part of their day on the internet, it provides a huge market potential for restaurants. In fact, the demand for online restaurant ordering continues to grow among restaurant consumers. Restaurant owners and managers consistently look for solutions that allow customers to place orders online and have food delivered fast. Indeed, online ordering and delivery systems are slowly becoming a norm as more restaurants adapt to this business model.

What Statistics Say

Online ordering and delivery in the restaurant industry are being driven by the readiness of the online market. A study conducted by Pew Research Center revealed that about 26% of American adults spend their whole day online while 43% are online several times during the day. Such consumer behaviors continue to affect how businesses operate in the restaurant industry. Specifically, online ordering and delivery is gradually becoming a norm among restaurants. 

Online Ordering Market Potential

An online ordering and delivery system is crucial for the modern restaurant. It contributes to higher sales volumes and greater customer satisfaction. Looking at the statistics, the opportunity is still big and attractive. About 60% of customers order food online at least once a week with another 31% ordering online at least twice. Of these customers, about 34% spend at least $50 when ordering food online. This is a clear indication of how much a restaurant can earn by selling food online.

How Online Ordering and Delivery Works

With an effective ordering software, a restaurant can sell food directly to customers without the involvement of an external portal. Under this approach, the customer orders directly from your website. They browse the menu and select the menu items that they would like to order. The customer then pays for the choice and the food is delivered to their desired location or they can choose to pick it up themselves. 

The other option is to use food aggregators. These are the middle men between restaurant businesses and the consumer. They are part of the conventional restaurant delivery model. Food aggregators take orders from their customers and route them to restaurants. They then handle the delivery process themselves. When using aggregators, diners find the appropriate restaurant on the platform. They then browse the restaurant’s menu, read other customers’ reviews, and make mobile orders on the same app.

How Online Ordering and Delivery Works

Payment in online ordering and delivery is made easier to accommodate different types of customers. It can be made through debit or credit cards and online payment apps or in cash, during delivery or pick up at the restaurant. All information about the order is available on the ordering apps to make the process as seamless as possible. The app tells the customer about the quality of food, the time it will take to be prepared, and when the food will be ready for pickup or the time it will take to be delivered. 

Prerequisites of Online Ordering and Delivery

Online ordering and delivery of food is made possible by restaurant apps. The recent proliferation of apps has made it vital for restaurants to keep up. In fact, the current trends show that online ordering and delivery apps will soon become an essential element of running a successful restaurant. A restaurant without such apps will find it difficult to compete. 

Online ordering and delivery is also accomplished through websites, search engines, messaging apps and SMS functionality, voice activation, and third-party sites. Popular third-party food aggregators allow restaurateurs to access a larger market share. Some of the common food aggregators include ordering marketplaces like Delivery.com, Seamless, Eat24, and GrubHub. These platforms aggregate many restaurants onto a centralized website with online ordering and delivery capabilities. However, an inbuilt online ordering and delivery system is likely to be more profitable if properly implemented. 

Restaurant apps and websites provide a gateway for customers to place their orders. However, the process is made complete by integrating them to the restaurant point of sale (POS) system. The integration ensures that the order reaches the kitchen and is delivered as specified by the customers. Without proper integration, it may be impossible for the restaurant to deliver the order as placed. The likely outcomes include inaccurate orders, stock levels, sales reports, and performance analytics. Lack of proper integration may also affect communication between customers and the kitchen negatively, leading to lag times and avoidable order mistakes. 

How Online Ordering and Delivery is Beneficial

An online ordering and delivery system provides a complete sales channel for the restaurant. This means that the restaurant can use it as a tool for generating more profits and organizing the restaurant better. It also allows restaurant owners to save on labor costs and restaurant space needed to serve such customers. When properly implemented, the system can help a restaurant bypass its competition by getting closer to the customers.

An online ordering system is an ideal alternative to third party food aggregators or marketplaces. A food marketplace is a centralized hub where multiple restaurants and food outlets post their foods for customers to order from. When a customer visits the platform, they explore the listed restaurant and cuisines. They can then order food directly to the restaurant based on what they want. This is beneficial to the customers because they can explore foods from different restaurants in one place instead of installing multiple apps for every restaurant. However, the marketplace results in increased costs on the part of the restaurant through commissions and other charges. 

An online ordering system allows you to limit the cost of commission related to food marketplaces and payment companies. Due to the ease of use and effectiveness in food delivery, the system is effective in gaining new customers and earning loyalty in existing customers. Given that 70% of customers prefer ordering food directly from a restaurant, implementing the system is a sure way of attracting more customers. When properly integrated into the restaurant POS, online ordering also simplifies the process of receiving orders. It eliminates human-related errors and long delivery times by allowing customers to place their orders instantly, and the order reaching the kitchen within seconds. 

Concluding Remarks

Online ordering and delivery systems provide a clear sales channel for restaurants. Customers browse menu items, select what to order, place their orders and make payment through the restaurant app or website. Upon receiving the order, the restaurant prepares the food and delivers it to the specified customer location. This helps the restaurant in reaching a bigger market share and serving customers without requiring them to come to the restaurant establishment.

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