In the past, it was perfectly fine for restaurants to solely offer phone ordering for takeout and delivery. Cell phones were not yet “smart”, and online ordering technologies were still lacking in functionality. Well, times have changed. In order to keep up with the new “on-the-go” mentality of their customers, restaurants need to keep pace with the ever changing world of technology.
NRA Study - 38% percent of adults said they would be likely to utilize a smartphone app if it was offered by a quickservice restaurant.
Stats like these are popping up all over the place, and it’s plain to see that the mobile and online trend is one that cannot be ignored. People are turning to the internet and their smartphones to make their lives easier, and the restaurant industry is directly affected. People don’t have time to pick up the phone and call, and for those that do, they are finding an antiquated system that is full of errors and causing frustration on both ends.
Business Insider - Smartphone sales will dwarf PC sales this year and reach a staggering 1.5 billion per year by 2016.
Cost has been a major factor for restaurants trying to decide if they are going to invest in online and mobile ordering. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to build a system, and maintenance alone can tack on extra thousands per year. But with the introduction of tablet devices, we’re seeing new ways to process and accept orders, as well as a sharp decline in service, setup, and maintenance costs. ChowNow is one such company that utilizes a tablet to accept orders. The tablet is placed in the restaurant and when orders are placed through the restaurant’s Facebook page, website, or mobile app, the tablet rings/flashes, and the restaurant simply fulfills the order as normal. The order is already paid for and having the tablet allows them to communicate back with the customer and let them know exactly when their order will be delivered or ready for pickup.
Nowadays, not only does a restaurant need to offer online and mobile ordering, but social ordering through FB is the newest technological trend that can catapult a restaurant’s success and increase profits. Being able to harness the power of social media to engage customers, as well as offering them online ordering where they can place orders directly through their Facebook page, is an extremely valuable tool that doubles as a revenue generator and marketing platform. Here is a recent study done by FastCasual.com to show just how beneficial Facebook ordering can be for a restaurant.
We are entering a mobile and social era. This is great for restaurants, as they now have all these amazing new platforms to offer a more convenient and personalized ordering experience. Having these tools has proven to be a great way to encourage customer loyalty and repeat orders. Restaurants can utilize all the free social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, to name a few, and really develop a solid bond with their customers.
Cornell University Study - 40% of all adults have placed restaurant orders through some form of online software.
One main thing restaurant owners should keep in mind is that even though initiating online and mobile ordering will show signs of immediate success, it’s always a good idea to devote some time to marketing efforts. Keep involved with social media, and make sure customers know about the new online and mobile ordering capabilities by word of mouth, and other advertising opportunities. Online and mobile ordering have limitless possibilities, and with just a little time and effort, you can take your business to the next level.
About the Author:
ChowNow is a cutting edge provider of mobile and online ordering for the mobile and social era. Now any restaurant can accept orders through their website, Facebook page, and via a custom mobile app, for only $89/mo. Online Ordering. Reinvented.