As you know, the "if you build it, they will come" strategy for marketing your restaurant is not the ideal way to maximize profits. There is a little more to it. Here are some tips to developing an online strategy for your business:
- Takeout Customers are Different than Dine-in Customers. Dine-in customers enjoy the ambiance and the ability to relax. Takeout customers look for accuracy, convenience, and quality. They want to get in and get out with as little fuss as possible. What can your restaurant do to ensure your takeout customers have optimum convenience?
- The Takeout Lunch Crowd is Huge. Many people like to pick-up a quick lunch so they can take it back to their office and continue working. Office parks, large service employers, and others are gold mines for online ordering. How can you promote your online takeout business to nearby offices?
- Think Like a Takeout Customer. We didn't know we needed cell phones until we all bought one years ago. Now we can't live without them. The same can be true for takeout. Often times, after a customer places their first order online, they never call-in again. Thankfully, this helps with restaurant efficiency. How can you inform ‘phone-in’ customers about your online ordering site?
- Realize the Growth of Mobile Ordering. According to Cornell University, 60% of respondents between ages 18 and 34 ordered online – more than any other age group. Younger respondents are also more likely to order via Smartphone (8%). If the last figure does not impress you, bear in mind that study was published in March 2011. Since then, mobile has gone crazy. According to a May 2012 figure, released by the National Restaurant Association, 46% of those surveyed said they would order via Smartphone if available. How does your restaurant accommodate customers with Smartphones?
Online and mobile ordering is a boost to business. Realizing that online and mobile customers have different needs will allow your restaurant to reap the maximum benefit. If you need help answering any of the above questions, NetWaiter can help.
Check out the May issue of Washington Restaurant Magazine for an article from NetWaiter on what to look for when considering an online ordering service for your restaurant.
WRA Industry Tools - Online Ordering.pdf (830.35 kb)
How important is it for your restaurant to offer online ordering through a mobile site? According to a 2010 study by Morgan Stanley, access to the Internet using mobile devices will overtake desktop/laptop Internet access by 2013.
Smartphone owners tend to use their handheld devices to help with everyday tasks. If given an option, will they call your restaurant from their cell phone to place an order? Probably not. The last time they called, they were put on hold and rushed to complete their order. With their smartphone, your menu is in front of them, they don’t have to wait on hold, and it’s accurate, fast, and paid for.
Online ordering is all about using technology for greater customer convenience. We at NetWaiter want to extend convenience to your customers any way possible. Mobile ordering is a great step to providing the ultimate convenience to your customers and is only getting bigger. If your customers are going mobile, your restaurant needs to go mobile.
Restaurants across the country offering online ordering through NetWaiter can now offer the same service to diners using their Internet-enabled Smartphones. The service, launched in early November, automatically became available to restaurants using NetWaiter, and their customers.
Mobile Ordering.pdf (132.37 kb)
As of early November, all NetWaiter clients have their own custom mobile site.
Restaurants across the country offering online ordering through NetWaiter can now receive orders from customers using Internet-enabled smartphones. The service, launched earlier this month, automatically became available to NetWaiter clients and their customers. Analytics from NetWaiter already show a brisk business from this new mobile capability.
NetWaiter’s technology is able to determine when a customer is accessing a client’s site using a mobile device. Customers can simply access any NetWaiter site from a smartphone (i.e. iPhone, Android) and the system will automatically recognize the mobile device and display the appropriate mobile site, making navigation simple.
Based on conservative estimates, there are more than 50 million smartphones operating in the U.S. Knowing that most smartphone owners quickly adapt to everything they do, including online ordering, NetWaiter expects this capability to be huge for clients and their customers.
Nothing is required by restaurants to enable this new feature. Mobile accessibility is part of every service package at no additional charge.