By adding an online ordering option for your restaurant, you can boost your take-out revenues by almost one-third in practically no time! In today's market, a strong online ordering presence is essential to stay ahead of the competition.
Restaurants handling take-out orders is nothing new, but the move to a digital platform will increase efficiency while saving time and money in the process. No longer will an employee need to be tied to a phone, responsible for taking orders and accurately entering them into your POS system at the restaurant.
Instead, with more customers seeking out the ease of take-out -– and especially delivery –- it is essential for restaurants to satisfy those cravings without hurting their dine-in business.
Take it from Bruno Zacchini, chef/owner of the Orlando-based pizzeria Pizza Bruno. Zacchini actually tossed his landline phone into the garbage after mounting frustrations with phone-in orders reached a boiling point.
“We immediately realized it was requiring a lot of time, in addition to an employee dedicated to just taking orders,” Zacchini told the Upserve Restaurant Insider. “Plus, the non-stop ringing of the phone was really affecting guest experience. One Friday, I decided to just throw the phone in the trash and find a better way.”
Almost immediately after making the switch to an online ordering platform, Zacchini says sales increased 10 percent. The landline phone remains in the local landfill, never to be used again. Zacchini revels in his decision, which is the same reaction shared by Karen Moran of Charleston-based Sweet Lulu’s Bakery & Cocktail Caravan Bar.
As a catering bakery, Moran said he "added online ordering delivery for those who aren’t able to hire us,” thinking it might result in a handful of orders and enhance brand awareness within the community. But she got more than she expected.
“It now accounts for 25 percent of revenue,” she said of the online ordering option.
That matches up with a nationwide trend. Back in 2016, online orders comprised 6.6% of all restaurant business for the calendar year, beating out the percentage of phone-in orders (5%) for the first time. The separation between the two percentages will only continue to grow in the future.
Recently, Upserve launched a new restaurant online ordering platform that integrates with its existing POS. Instead of requiring a phone call and quick note-taking, or even fax printouts, orders now arrive directly in the kitchen as if they had been entered by a server.
Karan Verma, general manager of New York’s Masala Box, reported a 17 percent increase in delivery and take-out orders after integrating an online ordering platform from Upserve. Immediately, time spent managing an order dropped from a minute and a half to just two seconds. In addition, Verma no longer pays commissions to third-party online ordering providers.
As the industry evolves, more tech integration will mean more changes to the brick and mortar experience diners have come to understand. But before restaurateurs can think about changing their business model, they have to make sure they’re taking advantage of every customer that comes through the door or places an order from the comfort of his or her couch.