Picture this: You’re craving sushi. You heard about a great new spot a few blocks away from a coworker, and now that the craving has hit, you’re ready to order. You search the name of the restaurant in Google, and their website pops up as the first result. You’re impressed by how clean and easy to navigate the website is, and see a link for online ordering at the top of the home page. Score. You place your order and wait for the food to arrive fresh from a friendly delivery driver.
This could be the experience your customers have when they get hit with a craving for your specialties, but would rather enjoy their meal in the comfort of their own home. For the 89 percent of diners that research a restaurant online before dining, having a user-friendly website can make or break a sale from a hungry consumer. Making the process simple is key to securing the sale.
According to investment bank UBS, delivery sales could rise an annual average of more than 20 percent to $365 billion worldwide by 2030, from $35 billion. A recent study conducted by CHD Expert shows that restaurants will see this revenue from a variety of venues:
What does this mean for restaurants? Adapting to the growing online ordering trends is crucial to the survival of your business. By tapping into the possibilities that online ordering has to offer, restaurants have the opportunity to grow alongside these unstoppable trends.
There’s a choice you have to make when jumping into the world of online ordering: third-party, owned, or both? We break down the benefits of each option available to restaurant owners.
Access to thousands of diners
According to the National Restaurant Association, three in five U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout at least once a week. A third-party integration is a great way to get your restaurant in front of thousands of potential customers. Third-party integrations like GrubHub, Doordash, and Uber Eats make it simple for restaurants to get their food to hungry customers.
Access to delivery drivers
Hiring and training a delivery driver can be a hassle for some restaurants. Third-party delivery apps eliminate the need to hire another staff member, and instead send drivers to your restaurant to make a delivery. Once an order is placed, they pick up the food and bring it to the customer, allowing restaurants to focus on providing hospitality to dine-in and takeout customers.
A smoother online experience for customers
Owning your online ordering means that your website will provide the customer one location for their buying journey. From discovering your restaurant on Google, to considering what to eat, to placing an order, your restaurant’s website will be the only destination for customers to visit, no third-party apps or websites required.
Integrates with your point-of-sale
Most online ordering systems operate alongside point-of-sale systems, making it a hassle to effectively communicate within your restaurant. Instead of operating multiple online ordering systems, an integrated online ordering solution is ideal for restaurants looking for an answer to the headaches that third-party apps can bring. Owning online ordering that integrates with the system that your team is always working on gives you the opportunity to add an additional revenue source without disrupting in-house operations.
Enhanced customer insights
Did you know that 60 percent of consumers have ordered food online in the last six months? Not only is that a lot of money, it’s a lot of information. Just because your online diners aren’t in your restaurant, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to market to them and keep them coming back again and again. With integrated online ordering, you can see how your online customers spend, and plan ahead for busy nights.
Built-in loyalty program
Restaurant management systems like Upserve offer a variety of tools to help restaurants attract customers and keep them coming back. Having an online ordering system that’s connected to your loyalty programmeans that you can drive engagement and highlight your killer rewards program while your customers peruse your online menu.
No costly fees
While third-party integrations are a great option for restaurants striving to maximize the number of orders, they’re not ideal for your bottom line. With fees up to 35 percent, owning your online ordering can ensure that you keep your cut and feed your diners with accurate orders every time.
Every restaurant is unique and has different needs. If you’re new to online ordering, a good way to start is to utilize third-party apps, while encouraging customers to order on your site by offering discounts. Make sure your dine-in customers know they can order from your site by including marketing materials in check presenters or on your menu. If you don’t have a full time delivery person, this would also allow you to accept pick up orders through your site and delivery orders through a third-party.
Want to learn more about Online Ordering? Kenji’s Ramen in Washington was able to increase online order sales revenue by 10% and save dozens of staff hours by owning their online ordering through their website. Click here for access to the full case study.
Guest author bio: Holly Everett is a content marketer at Upserve, a technology platform that powers restaurants with point of sale, payments, online ordering, in-depth analytics, and more. When she’s not writing or reading, Holly spends her free time cooking new recipes, keeping up with trends on social media, and catching up on her favorite TV shows.