If the food and hospitality industry analysts are to be believed – and we believe them – then digital ordering and delivery is the biggest trend of the year.
Still, just because something is going to be ‘on-trend’, that doesn’t mean you have to adopt it without thought. It would be careless to not explore the benefits of offering a digital ordering and takeaway service before diving headfirst and making an investment in a technology or people.
Here we help you understand those benefits and offer four reasons why you should consider dipping your toes in.
How many table covers do you have in your venue, 5, 30, 60? No matter the number, if your business only offers sit-in dining, you’re limiting the number of customers you can serve, and the money you can take.
Imagine having a limitless number of tables; that’s what you gain when you offer a digital ordering and takeaway option to customers. While a rather simplistic way of looking at it (we know other issues such as kitchen capacity need to be factored in) takeaway really can open your business up to new revenue streams and customers.
Offering digital ordering and takeaway is a great way of generating repeat business; people are more likely to place frequent, repeat orders for their favourite takeaway than they are to sit-in and dine at the same restaurant time and again. This is especially so now consumers are choosing to dine-in more often than out; in 2016, the demand for ready-to-eat delivery grew 10 times faster than for dining out. It’s a trend which continues still.
Repeat business can also be prompted by making it as easy as possible for customers to place an order. If a venue has its own branded app, with a repeat order function, customers can order and pay for their favourite meals with just a couple of clicks.
Every server in their time has experienced that customer that wants to customise their order – dressing on the side, no croutons, added garlic or no garlic at all – and every server has got this wrong at least once. When there are customised orders being placed by entire groups of people, errors are very easy to make. When taking a digital order, this is no longer a problem because the order is placed online or through an app by the customer leaving no chance for mistakes – on the part of the server anyway!
Managed properly, mobile ordering will reduce wait-times and increase the speed in which customers are able to order and receive takeaway, it will make fast food faster, ordering more precise, and customers more satisfied.
Marketing and data
A huge benefit derived from digital ordering, when you manage it through your own branded website or app, is the access to data it gives you. Every time a customer places an order, you can gather data on that person – who they are, what they bought and how frequently they buy it. That data can then be used to create effective loyalty programmes and to make business decisions that lead to an increase in sales and efficiency.
Through data, you can turn nameless customers into loyal guests that keep coming back for more. You can identify where problems exist and gain the insights needed to fix issues.You can also gather the information needed by in-house marketing teams to execute smarter and more personal campaigns that your customers will respond to.
Beyond the four reasons above, offering a takeaway service benefits your brand in a big way. Not only does it show that you are moving with the times and embracing digital technologies and eating trends, it also indicates a level of confidence. You’re indicating that your popularity requires you to give additional options to customers looking to eat your food and that your brand can handle the extra exposure and orders it will when going online.
If you’re interested in setting up a digital ordering and takeaway service, get in touch with us now.
It’s not as catchy as: ‘When is a door not a door?’ (answer, when it’s a jar) but it speaks to the idea that in-car collection, and the technologies that support it, are flexible enough to bend to the needs of a business and its guests.
Delivery can be daunting to the uninitiated, and it might be tempting to sign up with a third-party ordering aggregator that offers the service, such as UberEats, but other options could suit your business and brand better. Here we present three different ‘levels’ of delivery, starting with the most basic – and cheapest method: doing it yourself.