7 tips on preparing your restaurant for digital orders and deliveries
According to Fortune Magazine in 2016, for the first time, the percentage of food orders placed online exceeded orders made over the telephone and over the last five years the online delivery industry has tripled.
It makes sense, as our urban landscape is expanding and people are working longer hours, it’s convenient to order your food on your computer or smart phone and have it at your door at a reasonable time ( ie. before your stomach feels like it’s going to eat itself)
This growth and innovation is a good thing for restaurants, it provides another source for revenue, but it also comes with some obstacles. Before your restaurant joins the online ordering & delivery bandwagon, read this. The folks at POS Bistro have some simple tips to help you get started so you can transition with ease:
Utilize food delivery services
When restaurants started accepting takeout orders, a big problem emerged: patrons would run late to get their food or abandon their order all together. To resolve this dilemma, third party delivery services such as UberEats, Postmates, and DoorDash emerged. The companies offer to coordinate the delivery logistics so that restaurants can focus on creating and packaging their food. If you are implementing a digital ordering strategy, it might be useful to get started with a third party delivery service. This way you can focus on understanding your delivery demand and packaging logistics without having to worry about the delivery. Make sure to shop around to see which services offer the best terms and have the highest customer satisfaction rates.
Prepare your restaurant layout
Once you start a delivery service, you’ll want to utilize your restaurants space effectively. This means that you want adequate, designated space for pick up and delivery orders. In some restaurants, there are shelves specifically for meals which are awaiting pick up. Since, during peak hours, people may crowd as they come to pick their orders, there should be enough space for people to for their items. It is also vital to including a parking space where drivers can easily pick their meals- some restaurants even have a pick up delivery window.
Open other outlets
If the volume of your pick up orders increases dramatically, it can be a good idea to create various outlets for pick up. These outlets can simply be pick up points that are distributed throughout the city. This can make pick up more efficient for the restaurant and more convenient for the guest.
In the digital ordering stratosphere- mistakes happen. For example, a customer might receive an order meant for another person or cutlery might be missing in the delivery. In order to avoid small mistakes like these, restaurants can organize their takeout order by investing in an intuitive and reliable point of sale (POS) software. More advance POS systems helps with accuracy which is vital when dealing with many orders.
Great customer service
An increase in digital orders comes with many perks, but there can also have drawbacks. One is the courier doesn’t deliver the meal on time (If you are utilizing a delivery service). It could be because of a delay in preparation or a traffic jam in the city. Some restaurants update their customers via text, while others use a dedicated mobile app that allow customers to track their orders in real-time. This is just an example of how restaurant managers can deal with disgruntled customers and prevent them from seeking other options.
Those who have been in restaurant business know that packaging is crucial. People want food the way they like it. You have to ensure that the packaging doesn’t break or leak. Some packages have reheating properties to keep the food warm. This shouldn’t be a problem because there are various packaging materials designed to keep meals in their original state. You wouldn’t want the number of customers to go down because of packaging.
Introducing a loyalty program
Most restaurants strive to build brand loyalty. When your restaurant is getting many digital orders, it’s only natural to look for ways to maintain the trend. A mobile application where customers can both, order online and redeem rewards, is one such way. You will not only retain the current customers but also get many more from referrals.
The number of restaurant digital orders continues to rise in the double-digit pace. People want ready-made food for lunch in their workplaces and they may be too tired to cook dinner after leaving work. Restaurants need to make all necessary changes to give their customers extraordinary services.