Restaurants have gotten the online ordering systems, but now they need a way to get their customers to actually use it. The statistics are very good for these systems. According to the National Restaurant Association, nearly 20% of quick-service restaurants provide their clients with an online ordering option. They also found that about 60% of customers aged 18-34 claim to like dining at home instead of a restaurant. The problem that restaurants face is actually getting customers to use their online menus. Certain steps can be taken to insure that a restaurant put their online menu to good use.
- Increase awareness: If customers do not know that a restaurant has an online mobile ordering system, there is no way that they will be able to take use of it. They can use their email list and send out a promotion email stating they have just started accepting online orders. Restaurants can also tell their customers about the new feature when they visit the store. If they have an online presence, they can post about the availability of their new online ordering system for customers.
- Provide coupons only useful online: Restaurants can provide things in their email that are only redeemable online. These could be coupons or promo codes which can only be used at check out on their website. If people want to take advantage of these deals, they will have to go online and order.
- Loyalty programs: Restaurants can create a loyalty program that rewards customers who order online. This keeps repeat customers coming back and gives them an incentive for ordering online. Restaurants can also make tracking points and rewards available online through their site so people can see how many points they are receiving for ordering online.
- Make the online menu and website visually appealing: Customers like to visit engaging and interactive sites. Restaurants should post pictures with descriptions, and maybe even video if it’s appropriate, in order to keep their customers on their website longer. These pictures and videos will help bring their food alive and give them the extra push to buy.
- Complete all content: Customers like honesty and completeness. Restaurants need to make sure their site is complete with all its content because this is very important to customers. They want all the facts, and they want them to be truthful. They need to fill in everything they can and make is sound so good customers can’t resist buying it.
- Deliver certain orders for free over certain amount: Customers who get their food delivered expect to pay delivery charges for it. To get people to buy more, restaurants can offer them free delivery over a certain dollar amount. This will make customers buy an extra soda or sandwich just so they can get free delivery. It will also make groups order more because it is convenient and it will cost less for the individuals to order together rather than separately.
- Customer service is still important: Even though customers will be ordering online, if they have a question restaurants should be ready to answer it. Customer service is still the golden rule for restaurants and although it may not happen as much with people ordering online, they still need to be courteous and helpful when their customers ask them a question. It would also be helpful to provide contact information which is easy to find so if customers do have a question they can easily find a way to contact the restaurant.
- Make it even more convenient: Ordering online is already convenient for customers, but if the site is hard to work through they may not visit again. A restaurant needs to make everything easy to see and read. They can put things into categories so customers can quickly search for what they are looking for.
- Offer limited time offers: Restaurants can post options that are only available for a limited time online. When customers visit and see these offers they will be more likely to take advantage because they are only offered for a limited time. This is a good way for restaurants to get trail purchases or impulse buys from customers.
- Add new options: To get people to order more online, restaurants can add new items to their online menu. Customers will like the fact that they can customize their orders to fit them. Restaurants can then make some of these options only available online so that customers have to order online to get the options they want.
These are just some of the ways in which a restaurant can spice up their online menu and get more of their customers to visit and use their site. Online ordering is a convenient way for customers to offer from restaurants and a more efficient means of business for restaurants. When set up properly, it can be a very advantageous means of seeing an increasing in profits and customers for restaurants.