The number of orders placed online, via mobile, or website, has seen a staggering increase in the last few years. Online Ordering has become a popular choice for customers to order food to be delivered or even picked up from restaurants. Not only is it convenient for customers, it also a marvellous way for restaurants to increase their sales and provide better customer support and engagement. In this article, we will discuss how you can make the best of your restaurant’s Online Ordering and double your sales.
How to Double Your Sales Through Online Ordering
Follow these steps to run a successful Online Ordering and Delivery food business.
1. Use Technology for Online Ordering
You should leverage technology to accept and increase the volume of Online Orders.
(i) Get Your Restaurant Registered
If you haven’t already, partner your restaurant business with the popular Online Ordering and Delivery Portals such as Swiggy, Zomato, and Foodpanda. These portals usually charge a registration fee and around 10-15% of the order value per every order placed online. By partnering with these platforms you automatically become discoverable to potential customers and improve your visibility. Find out the steps to partnering with online food ordering platforms here.
Also, ensure that you choose Point of Sale software that is compatible with third-party integrations, and automatically processes orders accepted from the various Online Ordering platforms. This would save you the extra manual effort of calculating orders from various sources.
(ii) Have a Mobile Optimized Website
Having your restaurant’s website is essential as it is the first step to your restaurant’s branding. It is common for customers to Google your restaurant before ordering from it. Thus, ensure that the website is updated, along with all of your restaurant’s important information such as menu, contact details, reviews, etc. A website that features mouth-watering images of your food is quite likely to further trigger the hunger pangs of your customers.
Add to this an “Order Online” button where it is easily visible and clickable, and the potential customers would suddenly convert to ordering customers.
Add the Order Online button at the top right corner of your website and in the website’s navigation and make sure both look clickable. This will not only make the work easier for the customers but will also increase your profit.
Also, ensure that the website is mobile optimized. A staggering 85% of all online orders are placed via mobile. Since not all your customers would be likely to install your restaurant’s Online Ordering App, it is important that your restaurant’s website is mobile optimized for a smooth Online Ordering experience of the customers.
(iii) Use an Online Ordering App
You can go an extra step ahead to appease your loyal customers by providing them with the option of ordering online right from your restaurant’s app. An app improves the speed and ease of online ordering of food. Repeat customers can stay logged into the app, save their details such as contact details, most ordered food items etc, and place their order in just a few clicks. Read the benefits of mobile ordering apps and how you can use them in your restaurant here.
2. Right Marketing
Marketing is essential to the success of your Online Ordering business. Try these tips to market your restaurant’s Online Ordering.
(i) Use Social Media to Boost Your Online Orders
In the twenty-first century, social media has acquired a predominant position and this makes it essential for restaurants to make their presence felt on them. Read a detailed article on how to make the best use of Social Media for marketing your restaurant here.
(ii) Update the necessary information regularly
You should update the menu, the holidays and the changes in the online ordering timings religiously and regularly whenever the need arises to make sure that the customers have all relevant information online. Ensure that all the Online Ordering Portals, your website, and your Social Media pages reflect these changes.
(iii) Advertise with the Online Ordering Portals
Advertising with the Online Ordering and Delivery helps in increasing the visibility of your restaurant. You can advertise your restaurant’s banner and target your customers within a specific area and segment.
(iv) Send Promotional SMS and Emails
Increase your repeat orders by keeping your customers updated about your restaurant. Send regular SMS and emails to your customers about the latest offers running at your restaurant. Remember to put a shortened link for Ordering Online along with it, or a phone number if you accept telephonic orders as well.
(v) Monitor the Restaurant Listing and Review Sites
Before ordering food online from any restaurant, customers usually check for their reviews and their ratings. Thus, it is important that you monitor these reviews, and take the time to respond to them. Encourage positive reviews from your happy customers by asking them to leave a feedback. Handling negative reviews can be tricky and you must address them with care. Read how to handle bad customer reviews here.
3) Ensuring Proper Delivery
The second, although just as important part of Online Ordering is the Delivery of the food. Unless you ensure that Online Ordered items are delivered to your customers properly, the Online Ordering of your restaurant is going to fail.
(i) Maintain Timely Delivery
Nothing displeases customers more than their food order delivered to them late. Not only late delivery of food is a major turnoff, more time taken to deliver the food is likely to affect the quality of the food.
Online Food Delivery platforms such as Zomato, Swiggy etc provide their own delivery boys and maintain the time taken to deliver the order. Still, you should monitor the average time taken to deliver the food.
In case you have your own Delivery Boys, it is best that you automate the process of assigning delivery orders. Use POSist’s Delivery Rider’s App that helps you to assign the delivery orders to your riders based on their availability and location, and also track them. It also enables you to track the average time taken to deliver an order. (Ask how you can improve your restaurant’s Delivery Process here)
Also, keep your customers updated about their order status by sending them SMS updates, and allow them to track their order status through GPS tracking.
(ii) Correct Packaging of the Food
Often, restaurants lose out on repeat customers by not sending out food for delivery with the right packaging. Once the food is ready, it needs to be made and then prepared for delivery, which includes bagging the food, putting them in proper containers, providing necessary utensils or condiments, and checking to make sure all of the components have been placed in the bag. The Delivery Boy usually has several deliveries at once, so all orders need to be placed in the hot case to keep hot foods hot, and then get them delivered to the customer who ordered. Similarly, you also need to ensure that the Delivery Boys are equipped with dry ice and proper containers for delivering ice-cream and cold drinks.
It is also a good idea to diversifying your Online Ordering Menu. Restaurants often lose out on business by only having limited items for ordering online. Considering the recent trends, you can introduce healthy items in your menu.
Apart from just implementing the above-mentioned tips, you must also take the time to measure your efforts. Keep a track of the number of Online Orders you receive in a day and the sources from where you receive them.
You must also monitor your website’s analytics to see how customers are accessing your Web page and online ordering system. Set up Google Analytics for your website and keep a track of the number of daily, monthly visits.
Try out these Online Ordering tips for your restaurant and let us know how they worked out for you in the comments below!