With winter underway, the holidays wrapping up, and the new year on the horizon, it’s prime time to start thinking about using  online ordering in 2017. Even the coldest weather and heaviest snowstorms can’t keep customers from ordering with their smartphones and laptops. Here’s how implementing the system will affect your business and some food for thought as to WHY:

 

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Cold weather keeps prospective customers inside

When autumn transitions from chilly days to freezing weather, customers are less likely to visit their favorite restaurants. Although they’re still just as hungry and eager as they are in the other seasons (usually more so), they’re more likely to stay in their cozy apartments to order delivery. In some cities, this can have a drastic effect on your bottom line. If just 5-10% of loyal customers cut out their monthly visit, you’ll feel the struggle.

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Online ordering + delivery = winter happiness 

The clear answer to the winter’s cold weather is to offer delivery and pick-up. Which yes, is easier said then done in terms of logistics of delivery, but thats not the focus on this write-up.

Sometimes the logistics of telephone orders don’t quite work out. Some people would rather not talk on the phone and some aren’t willing to look up your restaurant’s phone number. Worse yet, the phone numbers they are finding online may actually be routed to 3rd party commission based systems like seamless or grub hub, unbeknownst to them.

Some people find ordering on the phone can be just as stressful as facing the cold weather, everyone is so impatient these days (not you of course)! Think about how you or your friends now order food on cold days (especially millennial’s). It usually involves binge-watching Netflix while scrolling on the phone/ipad looking at food options, NOT making phone calls and providing credit card details out-loud, that’s ridiculous.

Online ordering allows customer to order with a smartphone or computer without having to dial. Moreover, they can look up your entire menu and decide what they want item-by-item and potentially see mouth-watering images of your hard to pronounce or proprietary entrees.

Your customers will appreciate the simplicity of ordering online and waiting for their food to come. It’s quick and easy, to re-order previous dishes which is great not just for them, but for your business as well.

 

A trend or a new standard? What the numbers say

 

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The statistics in relation to online ordering show just how big of a splash it’s made already. According to this recent Tech Crunch article, it’s rare to see an industry grow so fast:

“While just $46 million and $25 million were invested in food ordering companies in 2013 and 2012, respectively, a staggering $600 million was invested in 2014. And so far this year, we’ve had approximately $360 million invested to date, which when annualized, comes out to approximately $1.2 billion. That type of growth is not something you see too often.”

You’ve likely seen examples of online ordering already. If it comes down to it, you don’t want to be in a situation where your competitors offer a convenience that you don’t.

Online ordering might not be considered a necessity now, but the same could be said about delivery not too long ago. Trends gain momentum quickly in the food industry, and online ordering is already a staple to many resaturants for their bottom line. Either way, the benefits it can offer your business are already there.

 

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Don’t worry about commission 

Online ordering might make things easier for customers, but most businesses aren’t in a position to pay commission on every order, especially on orders from repeat loyal customers over and over again – it’s unsustainable.

As you may know by now, not all systems run on a commission-based fee. If you’re looking to make online ordering for your restaurant an integral part of your business, use a system that charges a flat rate. That’s not to say one should abandon all other methods, that is usually unrealistic as they help with initial marketing.

Winter weather can be unpleasant enough to keep customers from your business. To keep receiving orders and keep your personal brand alive over the winter months, consider putting a commission free online ordering system in place. To talk more about online ordering, or anything else, contact us today.