The pandemic has brought about several changes in our way of living, and one of them is the way we acquire food. As we ease into the new normal, online ordering of food has been on the rise, and this is good news for restaurants.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of food delivery orders to businesses, how you can leverage this trend, and the importance of using the right technology.
The Importance of Online Food Delivery Orders in the New Normal
There are various reasons why customers prefer online ordering, but the most common ones include the following:
- Convenience: Customers can order food from the comfort of their homes or offices without having to go out and queue at the restaurant order counter.
- Increased customer experience: Customers can customize their orders to their preferences and get the food delivered to them without having to wait.
- Cost-effectiveness: Online ordering is often cheaper than dining in, as customers won’t have to travel. Some platforms also offer discounts for online orders.
In addition to the benefits that customers enjoy, businesses, especially small restaurant groups, can increase their sales by implementing an online ordering system.
Aside from the monetary benefits, having an online food delivery service has several other advantages, including:
- Better management of restaurant resources: By taking orders online, restaurants can better manage their resources, as they would have a good idea of the number of orders to expect. This would minimize food wastage and allow restaurants to better forecast their inventory.
- Improved customer relationship management: An online ordering system would allow restaurants to keep track of their customer’s preferences and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. This would result in improved customer relationships and, eventually, increased sales.
- Cost-effectiveness: Since restaurants can better manage their employees’ time and resources with an online ordering service, labor costs and other overhead costs could be reduced in the long run. And with the right technology, implementing an online ordering system wouldn’t be too costly.
Counter Service Restaurants vs Online Food Delivery Services
If you’re a restaurant group that’s undecided on whether to implement an online ordering system, it’s important to understand the difference between a counter-service restaurant and an online food delivery service.
Counter-service restaurants refer to establishments where customers order and pay for their food at a counter. This type of restaurant is also known as a quick-service restaurant or a fast-food restaurant.
In most cases, counter-service restaurants have a drive-thru option for customers who want a convenient way to order and pay for their food without leaving their cars.
On the other hand, online food delivery services refer to platforms that allow customers to order food from restaurants and have it delivered to their doorstep. These platforms usually partner with several restaurants in a certain area to provide customers with more dining options.
Customers would typically browse the platform’s website to view their menu items and place their orders. Once the order is placed, the restaurant would start preparing the food, and the delivery service would pick it up and deliver it to the customer’s location.
Choosing the Right Technology for Your Restaurant Group
Both counter-service restaurants and online ordering systems have their share of advantages and disadvantages, but if you’re looking to increase your sales, then a hybrid solution is the way to go.
A hybrid solution requires a hybrid point-of-sale (POS) system, also known as a table service restaurant POS system.
A hybrid point-of-sale system works by integrating an online ordering system with the restaurant’s existing POS system. This would allow customers to order food through the restaurant’s website or mobile app and pay for it at the counter when they pick up their food.
When a customer places an order, the hybrid point-of-sale system would send kitchen tickets to the back of house so that the food can be prepared. Once the food is ready, the customer would be notified, and they can proceed to the restaurant to pick up their order.
The Right Technology for Your Restaurant’s Online Ordering System
When it comes to online ordering, the right technology is essential for a seamless experience. Counter-service restaurants, in particular, need to have an efficient system that can manage the increase in delivery orders.
Some of the things you need for a comprehensive online ordering system include:
Order counter service
An order counter service or a point of sale (POS) system is a software that helps you keep track of online orders and manage them efficiently. One example is Foodtronix, which is an all-in-one solution that offers an online ordering system, inventory management, and payment processing.
Kitchen display systems
Kitchen display systems (KDS) are screens that show the orders coming in from the POS system. This would help the kitchen staff to keep track of the orders and prepare them accordingly. It’s also a good solution to use for inventory tracking as you can see what needs to be restocked.
Online ordering platforms
Your customers would need a platform where they can place their orders. If you want a more customized solution, Foodtronix also offers an online ordering system that can be branded with your restaurant’s logo and colors.
A delivery management system helps you coordinate with delivery partners and track the status of orders. This is a valuable tool, especially if you’re expecting a high volume of delivery orders.
Your customers would need a safe and secure way to pay for their orders. Foodtronix offers a secure and convenient payment gateway that’s integrated with the online ordering system, making it easy for customers to pay.
How to Increase Restaurant Food Delivery Sales
1. Use Technology to Process Orders
As we mentioned, using the right technology is essential to increase restaurant food delivery sales. With a hybrid point-of-sale system, businesses can streamline their food delivery order process and improve their customers’ experience.
2. Improve Communication Between Front and Back of House
The front of house refers to the customer-facing staff or those in the dining room/area, such as the hostesses, waiter/waitress, and bartenders. The back of house includes the kitchen staff, dishwashers, and cooks.
It’s important to have good communication between the front and back of house, especially when it comes to food delivery orders. A cloud solution such as Foodtronix can help with this as it allows businesses to manage their orders and inventory in real time.
3. Create an Optimized Online Menu
A well-designed online menu can increase restaurant food delivery sales, as it would be easier for diners to browse and order from.
Some tips to create an optimized online menu:
Use high-quality photos of your dishes
Organize your menu items by category
Include clear descriptions of your dishes
Offer a variety of options, such as vegetarian and gluten-free
4. Focus on What Makes Great Service
What makes a restaurant successful is not only the food but also the service. When it comes to food delivery, it’s important to focus on what makes great service, such as the following:
4.1 Hot Food
Food that is delivered hot and fresh is always a plus. Customers would be more likely to order again if they were satisfied with the quality of the food. It’s essential to choose your packaging well to ensure that the food stays hot during delivery.
4.2 Safe Packaging
On a similar note, your packaging must be safe and secure to avoid any accidents. It should be able to protect the food from being damaged or spilled during transit.
4.3 Include Add-Ons
Customers typically love freebies and extras. Include add-ons such as utensils, napkins, or even a small dessert to make the meal more complete.
4.4 Fast Delivery
The speed of your delivery service is also important to customers. Try to deliver the food as soon as it’s ready to ensure that it’s still hot and fresh.