With 143 million Americans on the Web and $18.5 billion in on-line sales in the first quarter of 2005 alone, on-line ordering has become a normal routine for many people. Because of that, on-line ordering for the restaurant industry is growing faster than ever.
So to grab a share of on-line sales, more restaurants are offering on-line ordering to their customers. The way on-line ordering works is customers visit your web site, select a restaurant location, view your menu online, select the items they want and add them to their cart, and pre-pay using a credit/debit card. When they check out, the order is faxed or e-mailed to your restaurant location and an automated phone call is made to notify your staff of the order. Another option that is available is integration with your POS system, so the order would route directly to your kitchen as if it had been placed by one of your wait staff. Customers pick up their orders, just like phone-in orders, or have it delivered if available, or they can ‘order ahead’ for a dine-in experience.
Through a Web-based on-line manager, you have complete control of your Web site and menu. This makes it easy to add items, track orders and sales or send out e-mails to your customers at your own convenience.
When a customer calls in an order or walks into your restaurant, you rarely know anything about them. When a customer places an on-line order, you not only know who they are, but also how much and how often they have ordered and how to contact them. You can even have the on-line service send a coupon on their birthday or on a slow night to help generate sales.
On average, restaurants taking on-line orders also benefit from larger tickets when compared with phone orders. Using up-selling features, customers can easily add more to their order with a click of the mouse. What might have been just a pepperoni pizza order turns into a pizza with breadsticks and a two-liter bottle of soda.
In addition to increasing sales, you enjoy other benefits; time spent on the phone is reduced, order accuracy is improved, reaching your customer is easier than ever and your restaurant has a presence that is promoting your brand 7 x 24 x 365.
Customers find on-line ordering a fast, easy and convenient way to place an order. It even makes a great solution for large office orders, catering, or group events. According to the on-line ordering success at Papa John’s, approximately 75 percent of on-line orders are from repeat customers. In addition, research has shown that customers prefer ordering via the web because they like 1) seeing the entire menu and your ‘specials’ 2) being able to progress at their own pace and 3) being in control of their ordering process and not waiting on hold and having the order accurate and the custom way the customer likes it extra cheese/ well done etc.
On-line ordering makes a profitable addition to your restaurant’s marketing and sales strategy. Please contact us for a free demonstration.