Over the last few years, the biggest trend when it comes to restaurant service has been the integration of an online order system, both for in-house patrons and delivery options. With the recent regulations due to social distancing, this form of mobile app-based service has become something of an industry-standard, allowing the foodservice industry to continue to thrive even while many brick-and-mortar restaurant locations close. However, instituting restaurant online ordering systems has many other benefits, as well. Here, we will look at some of the new digital services that are best for restaurants, and how you can use them for better service and higher profits.
Online Ordering Systems And Ecommerce
The first major benefit of bringing digital services into your restaurant business is the promise of thriving profits. By creating a profile on one or more online ordering platforms such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, ChowNow, or GrubHub, you’ll not only be able to extend your customer outreach but also benefit from the eCommerce functionality that such digital systems use. For example, almost all online food ordering utilizes credit card options in order to increase turnaround and you, as the business owner, are able to retain that customer data for future orders. Believe it or not, this basic convenience is the easiest way to boost your repeat customer base, as well as introduce add-ons, such as side dishes, desserts, and other premiums you’re offerings.
Also, eCommerce accounting is a simpler process for your bookkeeper. Besides the convenient ordering systems for customers’ user experience, your restaurant also retains the financial records of sales tax, invoices, the cost of goods, and the balance sheet. Effectively, an online ordering system doubles as both a form of eCommerce business and a point of sale (POS) system, tracking your inventory management automatically. Linking your records to a licensed eCommerce accounting software, such as Quickbooks, can make your audits and monitoring of successful discounts and in-house specials easier than ever, as well as giving you bottom line accuracy every time.
Social Distancing and Safety
Truth be told, digital services and online orders are largely responsible for saving the restaurant industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. With restaurants closed due to health concerns, curbside pickup service and online ordering systems have quickly become the most popular means of meeting the needs of hungry customers. Additionally, most online ordering platform vendors allow restaurant owners to upload their own coupons, as well as notifications of ongoing sales and new menu items to the website and mobile app. Most importantly, however, the safety and hygiene protocols that come with contactless sales are unsurpassed, which has caused online ordering to rise more than ever seen since the technology’s first development.
Media Outreach and Promotion
Another major benefit that digital services can provide for your restaurant is the built-in exposure media outreach. For example, when a company enters into an online ordering platform, their business is now listed among all the social media and promotional material associated with the ordering vendor. A restaurant may have its own website and social media profiles, but users of the online ordering system‘s own mobile app will also see material and recommendations for the client restaurant. With this in mind, the promotional value and exposure literally double immediately.
In addition, if the online food ordering system company also has its own promotions, you can benefit from being listed among its affiliated companies. Not only will your participation allow your loyal customers a convenient and safe venue for continuing their patronage of your business, but this is also the best way to welcome a healthy influx of a new clientele. With that much money coming from a new customer base, your restaurant will be in a unique position to introduce a loyalty program, as well as offer customer rewards for delivery orders, online sales, and free trial offers for first-time patrons.