Restaurants have officially launched into the digital age, as mobile and restaurant online ordering surpassed phone ordering in 2016. This coincides with a notable reduction in dine-in guests, as people are clearly preferring to enjoy their meals at home.
Another thing that’s clear is that online food ordering is big business. Thanks to services like GrubHub, UberEATS, DoorDash and the like, customers aren’t limited to pizza and Chinese delivery anymore. Services like these had revenues in the billions in 2016, with no signs of slowing this year.
Your restaurant needs to be ready to accommodate this growing market segment. Sure, you could continue to rely on call-in orders for pickup. But, while you’re waiting for the phone to ring, your competitors will be racking up sales via online ordering.
3 Reasons Restaurants Should Move From Call-In Orders to Online Orders
Call In orders result in more errors from the “human factor”
Let’s be honest – most food order mistakes come from human error. Thanks to the rise of automated restaurant POS systems, most order transactions go off without a hitch. However, a POS still requires a person to translate a customer’s verbal request into button presses on the machine. And often, the customers’ adjustments or variations get lost in the aural cacophony of a crowded restaurant, and never get entered into the system.
While you wait for the phone to ring your competitors will be racking up online ordering sales.
With online ordering, the customer handles every aspect of the order, from cook temperature requests to health-related substitutions, and every variable in between. So, when orders are placed into an automated web- or app-based interface, there’s no risk of wait staff missing a key element of the order.
When customers get exactly what they order, every time, it can only lead to better ratings, reviews and repeat business.
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Call In orders make it hard to view your menu- resulting in more questions & longer calls
When a person wants to order a pizza by phone, they typically call, make the order, and hang up. At no point does the employee have time to explain specials, add-ons or other upsell items. But, with a full-featured mobile site or app, the customer can see your full slate of offerings, likely leading to a few extra items each time.
Sure, your staff can certainly make the effort to upsell a pizza/wings/soda combo, but it’s not nearly as appetizing as seeing hi-res photos on your site. Suddenly, the idea of adding wings and a beverage seems natural, and before long, the restaurant sees increased revenue, without ever changing the menu.
And if your restaurant does change things up, there’s no better way to demonstrate new items than through the site or app. A phone call will never convey the same urgency, or evoke the same desire.
Call In orders decrease order size & order frequency
Let’s face it, calling a restaurant, waiting for staff to take you off hold, and trying to convey specific order details in a loud environment can be awful. And if it happens more than once, people aren’t likely to call back a third time.
Plus, as mentioned earlier, if the order comes through incorrectly, there’s a very good chance it will be the last time that person trusts your current operations.
However, if a person can act on a whim or desire, placing an order in seconds, all without leaving the couch, well … we are a society fueled by convenience. And offering a positive experience that takes zero effort is not only worth paying for, but will quickly become a regular practice for hungry customers.