If your restaurant isn’t already offering online ordering, it’s time to start. Keep reading to learn about just a few of the many reasons why it’s important and how it could benefit your business.
Why Your Restaurant Website Needs Online Ordering
8 reasons to offer online ordering on your restaurant website
#1. Offer convenience
Convenience is an incredibly powerful thing. The push toward convenience has disrupted entire industries and, unfortunately, eliminated some businesses that have been slow to comply with the changes.
One example of this is Amazon. Back when Amazon first opened, it was a bookseller that offered a bigger selection, lower prices and, most importantly, the convenience of shopping from home. This turned the publishing industry on its head, followed closely by the entire retail industry.
However you feel about Amazon, their story has an important lesson in it for small businesses looking to meet the needs of modern customers. People want convenience. And, for restaurants, offering that convenience in the form of online ordering can go a long way toward increasing revenue and building loyalty.
#2. Meet modern demand
Back in the early days of Amazon, the convenience it offered through online shopping was fairly new, but those days are long gone. These days, people expect that level of convenience, whether they’re shopping or ordering from their favorite restaurant.
Thanks to online ordering through third-party apps, like GrubHub and DoorDash, people are used to being able to order from their favorite restaurant without having to pick up the phone or get in the car. They expect that same convenience from their go-to local restaurants.
Failing to meet customer expectations can lead to fewer customers and lost revenue. And, these days, modern customers expect online ordering.
#3. Give customers more control
When someone calls your restaurant to put in a carry-out order or they visit you directly to order in person, there’s always one person between them and your kitchen. That means that there’s a chance that a mistake could happen that could result in the customer getting the wrong order.
With online ordering, there is no middle-man between your kitchen and your customers. It allows customers to put in exactly what they want, the way they want it, helping to eliminate mistakes and giving customers more control over the process.
When there are fewer mistakes and your customers get exactly what they want more often, it makes for a better customer experience and increased loyalty.
#4. Reduce your time on the phone
Restaurants, whether they are doing in-person dining or not, are often busy, hectic places, with lots of people running around like headless chickens in order to accommodate customers. The more time your employees spend on the phone, the less they will have to focus on other jobs.
Unfortunately, less time on the phone often means fewer orders for your restaurant. But, it doesn’t have to.
When you want to free up more of your employees’ time (or your own) without reducing the number of orders you accept throughout the day, online ordering is the way to go.
#5. Get bigger orders
Believe it or not, the in-person dining environment isn’t super conducive to large orders.
For one, the bigger the order, the more likely something is to go wrong. Also, customers don’t feel pressured to order as soon as their server comes to the table online, giving them more time to look at the menu. It’s no wonder why consumers tend to order more when they do so online.
According to Upserve, 20% of consumers say they spend more on off-premise orders than they do when they order in-person, and 34% say they spend at least $50 per order when they order online. Furthermore, customers who order online will visit again 67% more often than customers who don’t.
#6. Limit abandoned orders
When consumers order food from a restaurant over the phone, most of the time, they don’t pay for their order until they actually arrive at the restaurant to pick up their order. This means that there’s an inherent risk with phone orders that the customer may not actually follow through.
When someone abandons their phone order — or calls in a fake order as a joke — you eat the cost. But, when people order online, they also pay online, helping to eliminate abandoned orders.
With online ordering, it matters very little whether or not the customer actually comes to pick up their order, because they’ve already paid for it! This also makes for a faster, more streamlined pick-up process.
#7. Gather customer data
When a customer calls in an order over the phone or places an order in-person, there’s very little data to gather about them. You might know their name and have their payment information and order, but that’s about it. And, if they paid in cash, you have even less information.
But, when a customer orders online, you’ll have a whole lot more information at your disposal, including email address, address and phone number. You can also ask that they opt-in for text message or email updates.
By keeping track of customer data, you can send out offers specific to your customers to keep them coming back for more.
#8. Give customers another option
Because of the added convenience of online ordering, most people would prefer to order online rather than making a phone call or visiting in person. But, that doesn’t mean that every customer will.
Offering online ordering isn’t about replacing other kinds of ordering as much as it is about offering your customers another option to choose from.
Sure, some people will still prefer to order using another method, but the point is that you’re allowing your customers to choose what works best for them.
There are no ifs, ands or buts about it — your restaurant needs online ordering, which means that you need a modern, professional website.
If your website is not equipped for online ordering, or doesn’t otherwise offer the functionality you need, it’s time to build an effective, up-to-date restaurant website with Websites 360®.
The Websites 360 restaurant website builder is easy to use and offers a library of beautiful, customizable restaurant website design templates and an intuitive, drag-and-drop editor.