• Maya

How Vaccines Will Affect Online Ordering

The further we get into summer, the more Americans will be itching to get out of the house and back to normal. Over half of adults now have at least one shot, according to the New York Times, meaning full inoculation will only become more commonplace. Widespread eligibility also means that all adults who want vaccines should have one this summer. Understandably, restaurants wonder whether this portends the end of online ordering.

online ordering

Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Throughout the pandemic, restaurants have relied on off-premise ordering to survive. From takeout to delivery, customers adapted to new sales channels when dine-in services closed. Understandably, restaurants have concerns that more vaccinations will diminish online ordering sales. It would lay waste to all the effort they put in to fortify these platforms.

Where Is Online Ordering Headed?

Although a lot of people will be able to dine out safely soon, without significant risk to themselves, there’s still a chance of spreading the infection to others. We’re creating a culture of normalized social distance and mask-wearing. That, alongside growing comfort with self-service options, has PYMNTS estimating that 92% of guests will continue their online ordering habits after inoculation.

This is great news for restaurants. Average ticket size increases when customers have the luxury of browsing the menu on their own time. This, alongside the customizations and auto-prompted modifications available with the orderOS app, encourage guests to add more to their plates. In addition to that, states are reopening at different rates. A lot still won’t offer full dine-in seating for a while. Customers will continue using online ordering because it’s where most restaurants still do business. If they want variety or don’t know what they’re craving, they’ll have to check their apps.

Vaccines and Dine-In Service

In states that allow it, some restaurants have opened their service floor to partial and even full capacity. This will happen with more regularity in the coming months, although vaccine rollouts are also happening at different rates depending on your state and city. The summer will likely bring vaccinations to every adult who wants it, but that doesn’t completely solve the problem of safely dining in. For starters, there are those who refuse to or can’t get vaccinated. For another, children still aren’t wildly eligible like adults.

The longer we go without herd immunity, the more variants of the virus have a chance to cause devastation. Social responsibility also plays a role, as guests consider staff’s safety too. They may not want to go out too often and have to make a judgment call about whether a restaurant visit is a more worthwhile trip than a family’s house. All in all, it’s safe to say dining in will return slowly rather than all at once.

Online Ordering and Vaccines

Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Online Ordering and Vaccines, Together

One thing’s for sure: People will start dining out more, even as online ordering remains a prevalent sales channel moving forward. They’ll likely start getting food delivered and going out to dinner more often with their friends, both fully vaccinated and not. Given that people still report wanting to order in after the pandemic ends, you might just see an uptick in traffic in both your online and in-person channels.

To meet whatever comes next, you need a smart Point of Sale system.