The last year has had a profound impact on both restaurant operations and customer preferences, resulting in permanent changes. The impact of the global pandemic has fast-tracked the restaurant industry's need for digital ordering, particularly for off-premises dining options. Research company eMarketer forecasts that by the end of 2021, there will be 44.1 million users of food delivery apps in the U.S., and up to 53.9 million by the end of 2023.
Digital ordering channels are vital for your restaurant’s success in 2021. Learn how to leverage your digital ordering experience to grow your business.
Centralized Customer Data with Digital Channel Integration
The best part of integrating your digital ordering channels is that you reap the benefits of owning your customer data, which is a gold mine of information. The real, long-term success of your restaurant lies in understanding the insights provided from your customers’ orders.
Whether customers order via text to order, online, or through an app—these orders will automatically connect to your restaurant management system. Access unmatched insights to learn more about your customers’ preferences, what items are performing best at your restaurant, and where there are opportunities to scale your business.
Use detail reporting to market to the right customers at the right time based on their preferences. If customers only order via text, this will simplify the text marketing process for you. Their order histories will tell you what they order most, and when, so you can send personalized, targeted promotional offers that will be more effective than general messages with generic discounts. Whether you contact customers via email marketing, mobile app or text marketing, you’ll increase sales with nurtured marketing because you appeal to their needs. Plus, with centralized data, you can turn first-time guests into loyal, repeat customers.
Complete Consistency for Your Restaurant’s Brand
Your brand is the crux of your restaurant, and your digital ordering experience is a direct reflection of your brand. Consistency is essential for optimal user experiences, especially if you are a multi-unit operator. When you have several locations, your menus and offerings need to be correct and clear for customers. This consistency can help your restaurant stand out from the competition and reinforce your brand equity in a massive industry.
Providing off-premises, self-service ordering options will give you access to an ever-growing market: The National Restaurant Association reported in November 2020 that 66 percent of surveyed adults had ordered takeout or delivery for dinner during the previous week. When you integrate your digital ordering experience, you can make sure your site shares all the information across the board that will keep your brand top of mind. All the must-know information needs to be clear and cohesive for all locations. Reliability builds customer trust and increases their brand loyalty.
Fast-Track Your Online Time-to-Market
If your provider handles your website updates, including online ordering updates, on your behalf, there will be delays between when the updates go into effect and when they are published on your site. But if you’re in control of making changes such as updating your specials for the week, promotions for new customers, and meal deals for a unique holiday, you’ll save time. This is crucial when it comes to making sure all your digital ordering options are in sync and can change at the drop of a hat. When you have multiple ordering channels like text to order, online ordering, and mobile app ordering—it’s essential to make quick changes.
As the operator, you should be in the driver’s seat of your online ordering experience to make updates anytime and anywhere. As soon as a promotion is over, you can remove it from your site without skipping a beat. If there are menu discrepancies between locations for multi-unit operations, you can update them within seconds.
Robust Digital Ordering Is Your Key to Success
Customers’ desire for digital ordering options will last far beyond the pandemic. The most important solution your restaurant can have right now are the ones that are focused on your digital ordering channels. These solutions, when integrated with a multi-functional platform with a host of modular apps, can boost revenue and customer satisfaction by allowing you to maintain your digital brand and make the most of your marketing data.
Whether you’re a multi-unit operator, or a single business with an extensive customer base, you can benefit from leveraging your restaurant’s digital ordering channels.