Let’s talk about online ordering and the five things most restaurateurs miss before taking their first order.
Why all the attention on online ordering?
There are various ways you can get your patrons to order from you, but why care about online ordering? Especially when there are other ways to get patrons through your door and receive orders.
Online ordering is skyrocketing at the moment, but where do you start? How do you get online? What’s this going to cost me? How does it work? These are some of the questions you should be asking, but when you’re scrambling to get online quickly, you could be missing some key factors that can affect your bottom line i.e. your profits.
At the end of the day online ordering works because it’s convenient for both you and your guests. Not everyone wants to or can always make a trip to their favourite eatery or make a call. They could be in a hurry or attending a meeting or stuck at home, they may have other plans- online ordering gives your patrons the same opportunity to enjoy the same experience as placing an order at a table. When implemented online it can be even easier and more efficient to receive an online order vs taking that order in person.
It sounds awesome, right? So awesome in fact third-party apps like Mr D and Uber Eats have made a huge splash in this expanding market. However, they aren’t the only option you have the option to develop your own app – or you can go down the route of Whatsapp/Facebook ordering.
But what is the right fit for your business? Well, these are the five biggest things restaurateurs miss with online ordering.
The Five Shocking Things Restaurateurs Miss Before Taking Their First Online Order.
1) Third-Party costs:
Third-party delivery apps like Mr D or Uber Eats are good if you are looking to get started quickly. They have plenty of users to attract and you make use of their delivery drivers. But there’s a cost to this – They charge you for the service and they also charge your customers to enjoy that service. That means prices are higher, your margins are lower and it is off-putting to customers if they need to pay higher rates for the same meal.
2) The delivery driver:
The difference between a good waiter and a bad one is the service. The delivery man plays the part of the waiter at the point of handing off that delivery and when you are in control of your own online platform and delivery you can control those interactions and handovers. Third-party delivery drivers on the other hand don’t report to you – you have no control over how they deliver to your customer, while many of these third-party apps have some measures in place to mitigate the bad seeds from rearing their heads, at the end of the day it’s a contact point you can’t control.
3) The App:
You can choose to use a third-party delivery app or you could have one developed for you. While a third-party app can be a faster way to start receiving online orders there is an inherent concern – You share this app with other establishments all competing for the same customers’ attention. These Apps are great for customers – they can shop around and compare their options. This often leads to decision-making fatigue and overwhelms them. Having your own app makes it much easier to cut through the noise you would have to compete for on a third-party app. An intentionally built app gives you greater control over the whole ordering process without any third-party influence. You can also control the look and feel of your app, the menu items, specials and promotions. Many of the costs associated with third-party apps are reduced significantly when you are controlling that platform.
4) POS Integration:
It’s all fine and well to have an online ordering option but when that system is not able to integrate with your current point-of-sale, then you’re going to run into problems and make more work for you and your staff. For one, you will need to manually capture those orders into your POS if you want the order to go through to your kitchen and keep track of orders. The last thing you want is to delay/lose an order – These delays can lead to a busier waiting area filled with delivery drivers waiting on orders to go out. Frustrated and hungry customers impatiently waiting. When weighing your options make sure that the ordering platform will work with your point-of-sale.
5) It’s not a money-printing App:
The cold hard truth about any online ordering app, be it a third-party delivery app or an online app custom-built for you, is that it won’t instantly make you money. It’s a “sales channel” that allows you and your customer to do business. You should be actively pushing that channel if you want your customers to adopt it. It’s only by building awareness that your customers will know about it and be encouraged to use it. Once you build that initial awareness app usage will begin to build momentum.