• Maya

Increase Food Orders with Online Channels

Takeout and delivery channels have become extremely important to restaurants since COVID-19. Now two-thirds of consumers regularly rely on off-premise dining, and they would overwhelmingly prefer to come directly to you rather than go through third party channels for their food orders.

food orders

Photo courtesy of eatOS

To generate more sales, learn how to direct the bulk of your customers to these profitable online channels. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Get Listed in Local Directories

Search engine optimization exposes you to a wider audience. By using relevant keywords, your visibility increases when potential customers Google nearby restaurants. That’s why it’s so important to update the location and contact information on all your profiles whenever there’s a change. Expose your brand to a wider audience by prioritizing SEO, listing yourself in places like Google My Business, and using keywords on your website and in the digital menu. Make sure you show up at the top of the results when people search for food in the area.

2. Fulfilling Food Orders

As the world returns to normal, people will continue to rely on online orders. Trends indicate their popularity will grow even when dining out becomes safe again. That’s why it’s important to optimize your digital menu for mobile use. 79% of online orders come from smartphones, so the menu needs to be equally accessible as it is on desktop. When the world restarts, people will start ordering on-the-go more and more. Your restaurant has to be ready.

As trends change, your restaurant may have to get creative to pull customers’ attention. For example, many restaurants have started selling virtual experiences to generate extra revenue during the pandemic, like cooking classes or meal kit subscriptions. Take some of the customer data you gathered by strengthening your relationships on social media to narrow in on what your audience really wants.

Email marketing gets the word out further. Convincing more guests to sign up for your email newsletters will generate good ROI and increase loyalty, particularly when you offer special privileges for signing up like rewards or discount codes.

3. Social Media Matters

In the internet age, everyone is on social media—including your core audience. Connect directly with your most loyal patrons by joining them on their favorite platforms. This has the benefit of keeping their attention until you can get back to full-time business, and lets you learn about their preferences and habits to create better marketing campaigns moving forward.

How can your restaurant increase customer engagement?

  1. Host polls and contests to get critical insights into engagement rates and sales data. This influences how you approach customer service moving forward.

  2. Try out new menu items on your social media followers to gauge their reactions and opinions before you offer it to a wider audience.

  3. Reach out directly to guests, comment on their posts and repost user-generated content to your story. This strengthens customer relationships and improves their brand loyalty.

  4. Use targeted advertisements to gain visibility and test out campaigns on a smaller audience. You can narrow down who sees the ads with hashtags that target people with specific interests, hobbies or dining preferences.

  5. Connect directly with your followers via DM, share good reviews on your website or repost them on your Twitter to demonstrate how thankful you are toward loyal guests.

Social media is one of the best ways to connect digitally with your customers, particularly now when everything is online.

social media

dole777 on Unsplash

4. Optimize Food Orders

Online ordering will continue to play a huge role in business moving forward. Make sure your takeout and delivery channels are ready by getting listed in local directories, strengthening your social media presence and equipping yourself with restaurant technology that’s flexible enough to grow with your business. For that, you need smart Point of Sale technology.

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