Technology is inevitably changing and reshaping the world faster than ever before. Over the last two decades, almost every industry has felt its impact in some or the other way, and the restaurant industry is no exception. From getting online food orders to home deliveries, new software and tools enable restaurants to attract new customers every day, fulfill their demands, and control overhead costs.
In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is of utmost importance to customers. A whopping 60% of all US consumers order food online at least twice per week and 57% of millennials want to get food delivered to their home so they can Netflix and chill. This is why many leading food chains are embracing innovative tech solutions to enhance the customer experience in this highly-competitive business world.
Not just that, according to findings from the National Restaurant Association, today, over 85% of restaurant owners have already incorporated technology into their business to effectively manage their daily operations and stay ahead of the curve. Whereas, over 40% of restaurants provide their customers with an option to order food online. So, if you’re running a food service business, this blog is to help you determine why you should shift your business model toward online food ordering. You’ll also learn how it can help you generate high revenue and increase your sales by 40%.
Online Food Ordering - A Lucrative Income Source
Setting up a restaurant’s online food ordering system is time-consuming, yes. But it will provide you with numerous long-term benefits. Given that the majority of customers prefer ordering food online, it creates ample opportunities for food businesses like restaurants, cloud kitchens, and even five-star chains to generate revenue and take their sales to the next level.
According to the Restaurant Business, about 60% of operators say that offering delivery has helped them generate incremental sales. The leading food chains like Taco Bell and Starbucks are leveraging online food ordering and reaping significant benefits. Starbucks has implemented mobile ordering that has helped them in minimizing waiting time, delivering a seamless customer experience, reducing operating costs, and managing operations more effectively. Taco Bell has also implemented an online ordering system that enables customers to order, keep track of pick-up time, and pay for it in advance. And surprisingly, for Taco Bell, an average order through online ordering is 20% higher than in-store orders.
Before developing the system though, food business owners must understand that it’s the online system that the end user is going to use to order food from your restaurant. Therefore, it must be incorporated with certain features that make the overall ordering process seamless and convenient. Some of the must-have features of an online food ordering system are discussed below. Take a read!
7 Must-Have Features Of an Online Food Ordering System
- Simple Registration and Sign-Up Process
First impressions last forever, and convenience matters! Customers must always find your food ordering system to be convenient whenever they interact with it. Make sure the signup process is simple, quick, and easy to use. You could also add an option to allow users to log in to your ordering system using their Gmail or Facebook accounts. Allow them to edit and customize their profiles based on their interests and preferences.
- Filter Search
Given that 70% of customers prefer ordering food directly from the restaurant, having a crisp, concise, and easy-to-read menu that comes with a clear CTA like ‘Order Now’ is exceptionally important. Make sure to list all menu items in such a way that your customers don’t have to keep navigating through the website or app aimlessly. Categorize and organize each item on the menu based on cuisine, food type, dish, rating, and more. This feature will allow your customers to apply detailed filters and quickly place an order. Send your customers food recommendations based on their preferences and interests.
- Seamless Order Management
Before placing the final order, most customers generally keep on adding and removing items from the cart. That’s why it's a good idea to provide them with a one-click add-to-cart feature. In addition, your food ordering system can have an ‘Order Scheduling’ feature to make things more convenient for your customers. With the help of this feature, your customers can select a specific time to receive their food delivery.
- Easy and Secure Payments
Though payment is the last thing in the order placement process, if a customer faces any issue, they won’t try again and will leave. So, when developing an online food ordering system, make sure that the payment procedure is simple and easy to use. You can also incorporate multiple payment gateways that ensure safety and security. Some of the payment methods that you can integrate into the system include credit/debit card, net banking, PayPal, GooglePay, iOS wallet, cash on delivery, etc. You can also offer promo or coupon code usage as it’s one of the best ways to delight customers and get repeat business from them.
- Accessibility to Delivery Executive’s Details
Provide your customers with the delivery executive’s details. This ensures clear communication between the customer and the driver and helps both parties contact each other in case of any issues. Sometimes, when an order gets delayed, it’s not because of long preparation and packaging time, it’s because of the prolonged delivery time. Therefore, providing the customer with the delivery partner’s contact number can help them communicate and get the order delivered without any delay.
- Real-time Tracking
Another essential feature of online food ordering systems is real-time tracking. This enables customers to track the movement of delivery partners and stay updated on the estimated time of delivery. A few of the great GPS APIs that you can integrate into your system for this feature include Google Maps, MapKit, etc. Almost all leading delivery apps such as Grubhub, UberEats, and others use this functionality to offer the best experience to their customers. For example, Uber uses Google Maps on all their platforms, whether for food delivery or on-demand cab service
- Ratings and Reviews
Customers are and will always be the king. Making them feel heard can significantly help your business grow by gaining customer loyalty. This feature is a great way for businesses to get insights into the customer experience. Therefore, adding a review and rating feature would help your restaurant business to get an instant understanding of how your customers are responding to your online food ordering system and determine what amendments you need to make to enhance customer experience.
Online food ordering solutions can do wonders for the food industry. Wait no further, dive into the sphere to adopt new trends and boost your sales and profits by integrating your restaurant with a seamless online food ordering system. Also, make sure to incorporate all of the features mentioned above in order to provide your customers with an exceptional experience. Remember that customer satisfaction and a stellar customer experience are the only keys to a successful business!