A man using online ordering through his smartphone to get his food.

How can restaurants increase revenue with online ordering?

Some customers want to walk through your doors with the intention of relaxing for a few hours. Others do not have the time. With that in mind, what’s a good way to serve them and benefit from their business? Online ordering.

Put simply, online ordering gives customers the option of ordering food and drink online, without having to step into the restaurant. Most people don’t have the time or the energy to dine out but still, want well-made food from the comfort of their own home. Restaurants with the option to order online can take advantage of this base to boost sales. It might seem counterintuitive for restaurants to deliver food home, but when done properly, it can form a significant part of your revenue. According to Business Insider, you can increase revenue by over 30 percent if you offer the option to order online.

Benefits of online ordering

Online ordering comes with several benefits that will boost your revenue – resulting in superior delivery.

Increased efficiency

Taking orders using conventional methods, like over the phone delivery, can be inconvenient for restaurants. They must have one full-time person managing the phone, and they must jot down the order and address, before passing the order to the kitchen. Overall, it can take minutes to get the order processed. Then, there are errors to be accounted for.

Sometimes, the person manning the phones can misread the order for several reasons. The phone line is not clear, there is too much background noise, or the customer was not articulate enough. Regardless, when an order goes wrong, it’s a blow for your restaurant’s reputation. However, with online ordering, you can avoid these errors and make the order process more efficient.

With an online ordering system, the order goes straight to the kitchen with a low chance of errors being made. When a customer makes an order, it goes straight to the kitchens for processing, providing little opportunity for someone to misunderstand the order. Furthermore, restaurants no longer need separate individuals or a team manning the phone every day, freeing up resources to hire staff for more valuable operations – an invaluable proposition for many small restaurants with limited resources. One restaurant, Masala Box, cut time spent processing an order from 90 seconds to 2 seconds thanks to online ordering.

Increase sales

Restaurants with an online ordering option will see an increase in sales. When Taco Bell invested in a mobile app, it increased sales by more than 30%. Ordering online offers customers an extra option to get what they want, while also giving restaurants an opportunity to upsell. Pizza Hut is well known for using this tactic – the international chain offers a variety of goodies like free dessert and extra toppings to customers who order online. Those who order online get to enjoy the best of two worlds: Well-made food enjoyed from the comfort of their home. Restaurants who offer this facility will enjoy extra sales and a boost in customer loyalty, which add up, to increase the revenue generated from the online facility.

Be it a hectic day that leaves them tired, or a reluctance to leave their home, people will not always want to eat out. However, you can still provide a service to these people (and gain their business), when you give them the option to order food online.

How to implement an online ordering service

If you want to invest in an online facility, you need to integrate online ordering into your operations. Integrating this facility means making changes to your backend system and how you will reach out to customers. There are two ways to reach out to customers: A mobile app and a website.

Both require an investment of time and resources because they must be designed and maintained. Therefore, you need to consider how much revenue you expect to generate from an online facility before investing in one.

You will also need to consider the type of backend system you want. The backend should be able to support online ordering and app integration, this way, vital functions like inventory management, delivery tracking, and relaying online orders to the kitchen can be managed from a single system. There are EPOS systems built for this purpose – systems built for integrating online orders into every business process of the restaurant. If you don’t have a suitable EPOS system, you may want to consider switching to a new one.

Key takeaways

With an online ordering service, restaurants can cater to a body of customers who want high-quality food but don’t want to leave the comfort of their home. By providing an option to order food online, restaurants can enjoy higher sales, higher revenue, and more efficient processes. However, to invest in an online ordering facility, they must invest in suitable first-end and back-end systems: A website/app and EPOS system.

Want to gain more tips on creating a profitable restaurant? Check out our post discussing how to make operations more efficient by eliminating waste.

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