Online Ordering vs. Call-In: What’s Right for Your Restaurant?
COVID-19 has given new life to online ordering platforms. Takeout and delivery are enjoying a lot of the business that used to go to sit-down seating. As mobile ordering’s comfort and convenience take precedence, restaurants are wondering the best way to run their off-premise channels.
Browsing your website or calling the host: It may seem like an unimportant detail that customers choose. However, prioritizing the right method can have a significant impact on sales.
The Upside of Online Ordering
Higher Average Spending
When customers input an order through your online menu or personally branded app, they’re likely to spend more per average ticket. That’s the magic of self-service. Customers have the opportunity to look over your entire menu at leisure, without feeling judged by nearby patrons nor like the staff is waiting on them so they can get back to work. This encourages them to add to the ticket or increase portion sizes if they want.
You can also program in forced modifiers that will pop up when guests choose certain dishes. Suggest a side that pairs well, or ask if they want extra guacamole for fifty more cents. It may not seem like much, but that adds up over the course of a day.
Using your online menu increases order accuracy because guests can double-check their tickets. With software that integrates into your existing Point of Sale system, orders are sent immediately to the kitchen. This reduces error and miscommunication between the front and back of house, resulting in happy customers while also cutting down on food waste.
Whether they want to double-check that their order is allergy-friendly or peruse the menu as long as they need, online ordering just makes sense.
The Downsides of Phone Calls
Picture this: It’s your busiest night of the week. Two reservations are no-shows, and walk-ins have to wait upwards of an hour. Meanwhile, the phone is ringing off the hook, and on top of that your two best servers called in sick.
Online ordering streamlines this hecticness. It’s a faster process for the customer without sacrificing any of the measures you’ve taken to increase profits. In the above example, your servers don’t have time to upsell every customer who calls, but online ordering platforms never miss a chance for forced modifiers.
Phone calls are also rife with risks.
The customer or servers might accidentally hang up mid-call.
Customers don’t like to wait more than two minutes on hold.
Miscommunication is straightforward when you’re in a loud environment, leading to more mistakes.
Additionally, guests enjoy order tracking with online submissions. Even if you estimate the ETA on a phone order, anything could go wrong, and the customer won’t know until they call upset. With online ordering, they can track the status from preparation down to the road their courier is on.
Online ordering platforms also integrate with loyalty programs that give you invaluable customer insight. Track sales trend over a long time or compare from different store locations. Online ordering is quick and convenient, improving the customer experience and making your restaurant operations more effective.
For the best businesses, there’s a state-of-the-art Point of Sale.