The following article is a guest post by Dan Scalco and our friends at NetWaiter.
Online ordering (such as the system that NetWaiter provides) isn’t some futuristic technology that is waiting to catch on. It’s a perfected platform that simplifies something almost every one of us does — order takeout.
Whether it’s a lazy weekend on the couch or a busy day in the office, Americans love the ability to eat what they want, when they want and where they want. Despite the large scale of people that use the Internet and mobile devices to find food, a shocking number of independent restaurants don’t offer online ordering.
Here are the five main ways introducing this system can enhance your business.
Online ordering is a win-win time saver for customers and restaurants. Customers receive the ease of a one-step system for placing a takeout order, and restaurants no longer need their staff to sit on the phone taking orders.
By outsourcing the messenger, restaurants can direct their employees’ time towards more profitable efforts, and eliminate those often drawn out phone conversations.
Orders are Correct Every Time
We find a lot of discrepancies with phone orders. Employees often take calls in loud kitchens, where they are distracted by their surroundings and unable to hear the customer clearly.
Important information can be mistaken and an order could contain the wrong menu items, quantity, or (worse) be marked as takeout when it’s intended for delivery.
Online ordering eliminates errors by allowing customers to input their order into an organized and efficient system that translates clearly to receiving restaurants.
Makes the Ordering Process Easy
Placing a to-go order requires locating a menu, looking up a restaurant’s contact information, writing down what you want, calling the order in and reading your credit card information over the phone.
That’s a lot of effort for something you’re not even sure will turn out right! Online ordering simplifies this process by combining all the steps into one. Customers can easily select menu items, note any special requests, pay and submit their order all in one place.
A good takeout experience results in repeat buyers — and more sales for your business.
Makes Mobile Ordering Possible
Placing a lunch order while in a meeting, or ordering dinner from the elliptical, is possible with the ease of mobile technology. There’s no need to step out of the room for privacy or interrupt your company — which is unavoidable with phone orders.
Mobile optimized online ordering lets you place your order quickly and quietly from your phone. When ordering from anywhere is possible, there’s less hassle and hesitation to do so.
Having mobile-friendly online ordering also increases a restaurant’s chances of picking up new business in the area. Mobile search relies heavily on a user’s current location, meaning someone searching for a place to eat could be connected with your business while on the go.
If after they find your business it is difficult to connect or place an order, they could become frustrated and move on. Offering a user-friendly mobile site or app ensures you will never lose a customer from poor mobile capability.
Keeps You Ahead of the Competition
Not every restaurant currently offers online ordering, so adopting this new technology now could help you creep past the competition.
A 2012 study found that more than half of people order takeout online, but only 35.2% of restaurants with mobile apps offer customers the ability to order online.
There is a serious gap between supply and demand, and by filling that lull you could attract new customers looking for easy on-the-go ordering.