There’s certainly no denying it, 2016 was the year that restaurants crossed a digital milestone. It’s time to put the phone down and turn your attention to online ordering.
Now, more than ever, restaurants with online ordering are the ones that will get ahead. In fact, the percentage of restaurant orders booked via a smartphone or app is now over 6% of the total orders made in restaurants.
Thinking 6% is only small chunk of change? Consider this: that’s over 2 billion in sales.
It’s clear that restaurants with online ordering are the ones playing the game. The players are online ordering POS integrations like GrubHub and ChowNow, and the restaurant point of sale systems that have their own integrated restaurant online ordering software offerings. And the winners are not just the customers in this game when the limit doesn’t exist on how diners can order: a tweet, a text, an online order sent right to the restaurant POS. And think of all the lost time putting customers that call in on hold that you’ll get back…
Restaurant orders booked via a smartphone or app is now over 6% of the total orders.
But for restaurants with online ordering one thing stands out: it can be tricky and it can be expensive. How do you drive online ordering sales, while still building loyal customers and remaining true to your restaurant mission and values?
Consider these 3 tactics to drive restaurant online ordering sales.
1- Build restaurant marketing strategies for online ordering.
There’s no arguing with this logic: restaurants with online ordering grow their revenue. GrubHub users boast a 30% increase in takeout revenue for their users. But if you build it, and they don’t know about it, they won’t come. This means you need restaurant marketing strategies that are specifically designed for online ordering.
- In-store messaging is essential. Window displays, chalkboard signs, table tents and even menu inserts will remind customers that “Hey if you want our delicious food but you don’t want to leave the house, we can give you that.”
- Receipts = advertising. Every time a customer pays, in the restaurant or for takeout, you’ve got all this space. Use it to your advantage. Include a call out for your online ordering program — feeling crazy, how about a coupon?!
- Discounts and promotions. Have you tried our online ordering yet? How about 10% off your first order.
2- Connect your social media audience to your online ordering.
OK. maybe your customers can’t order with a Tweet just yet. But word of mouth marketing has moved online and social media is the medium.
- Use your Facebook profile to make it easier for online ordering. Facebook’s Order Food option in it’s Main Nav is your new best friend.
- You already know you want to use discounts and promotions as part of your marketing strategy, so now you just need to post them to your social media accounts.
- Use photos to your advantage. Does your online ordering menu differ from your in-store menu — post a photo of it with your phone next to it with the website open.
3- Reimagine how your “telephone” works.
If your guests aren’t using their phones to call in their takeout orders, why not reimagine how you use your phone?
- If a customer was going to call your restaurant, what kind of message would they hear? You can customize that message to promote your online ordering pretty easily. Remember the last time you called your doctor’s office and the message reminded you that you could find directions and hours online? Same concept, but better. Because food is better.
- You might be used to putting your phone number on every takeout menu you print. But isn’t it time you put your website on there instead. Your guests are ordering online, after all.
Still thinking about adding online ordering software to your restaurant?
Thirty-four-percent of diners say they usually pay up to $50 per order when ordering food online. With the average spend per person in a full-service restaurant averaging $16-30, what’s there really to think about?