Last year saw a huge rise in the popularity of online ordering among restaurants of all sizes. While the trends of mobile-app online orders, curbside pickup, and contactless payments had already demonstrated their many benefits, pandemic-related social distancing mandates quickly made those digital functions “the new normal.” Fortunately for many restaurant owners and entrepreneurs, the benefits of online ordering systems have largely saved the restaurant industry, proving that customer satisfaction is only one of many benefits to be gained from embracing this facet of digital culture.
Here, we will look at just four of greatest advantages that a digital transformation can have on your restaurant, as well as the elements of quicker workflow, greater accuracy, and overall customer loyalty it can provide.
1. The Benefits of Online Ordering
The most obvious digital transformation trend that benefits both restaurant owners and customers are the functions for takeout and curbside pickup that come with an online ordering system. Although customers may view an online menu on the restaurant website, new mobile apps such as DoorDash, GrubHub, and ChowNow have demonstrated that restaurant lovers wholeheartedly embrace the practice of selecting their meals through their smartphone and paying by credit card within one application, especially when it comes to their contactless delivery.
Restaurants opting to integrate a top rated restaurant online ordering software into their business operations can gain insights from customer data and order history in order to streamline the entire ordering process. When preparing the online order for pickup or delivery, this also creates a personalized customer experience that no longer requires in-house dining. Although last year’s pandemic shelter-in-place guidelines made digital technology the only way for many restaurants in stay business, the ease of use it gives customers has had a longer-lasting effect.
2. Inventory Accuracy
Well beyond the mere conveniences of online payments and curbside pickup, the new technology of online ordering systems has many other itemized benefits to restaurant owners. Among the most important advantages of digital transformation strategies is the use of analytics in calculating profit and loss through a point of sale system (POS system). One of the best practices provided by the ordering system’s key features is the automated tracking of inventory management and budget. By utilizing the POS integration features into everyday workflow, restaurant operators can keep track of used materials and loss with both ease and accuracy. And what’s more, the restaurant POS system is also accessible via its own mobile app, allowing management to place additional orders and track inventory deliveries while offsite. For both loss prevention and customer service, automation POS provides one of the greatest benefits of a potential digital transformation within your restaurant.
3. In-House Seating
Another of the new solutions provided by many online ordering system vendors is the ability to take in-house reservations and help organize customer management. While mobile device ordering options became invaluable during last year’s pandemic, now that many customer are returning to their favorite eateries in-person, having the ability to place a reservation with that same mobile app has kept the new technology relevant. With the same app system responsible for providing new customers with possible menu options and promotions, the added ability to reserve a table all in one place has expanded restaurant customer outreach.
In addition, a customer management application can greatly aid the restaurant itself by providing better results of nightly reservations and automatically giving weekly analytics for customer numbers and trends. As part of an entrepreneur’s ongoing business strategy, the advantage of accurate table management with an online ordering software truly proves its worth.
4. New Customer Outreach and Engagement
Other major advantages of integrating an online ordering platform into your restaurant include the new opportunities for fostering new customer relationships. Through the platform’s vendor social media profiles and websites, your restaurant is instantly touted as a participant. In essence, your licensing of a restaurant management software or online ordering platform makes you and the original vendor restaurant partners in expanding customer outreach.
This benefit provides your business with more PR and advertising, as well as the in-app options to give your target audience discounts, promotions, coupons, and offers for free gift cards via a customer loyalty program. Although your own restaurant website may offer all of these features, your participation with a vendor’s own advertising initiative can more than double your business.