Navigating the Future of Off-Site Operations in 2021
Last year, many restaurant owners had to adapt to changing circumstances with lightning speed. Customer convenience has never been more critical for the success of your restaurant. You’ve already had some time to get used to off-site operations. Now, it’s time to optimize them.
Look for long-term ways to invest in your restaurant’s off-site dining because customers will still flock to off-site options like takeout, drive-thru, and delivery even after the pandemic. If not for their safety, then for the ease and convenience they offer. Here’s how:
As this past year has proven, the more options you have for customers to get their food, the better—especially when it comes to takeout. According to research from restaurant.org, 90% of consumers state that they have opted for takeout at least once in the past month. That trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, and it’s easy to see why.
Takeout offers an easy, positive guest experience that allows customers to enjoy their favorite meals safely on-the-go. Takeout is immensely profitable when paired with solutions that make it easy for customers to place orders. While you may be familiar with online and mobile app ordering, text ordering has entered the spotlight.
Text ordering solutions are a great way to expand your ordering options. They make placing orders as easy as sending texts and are readily available for any customer with a smartphone. Once a customer establishes a PIN and payment method, they can place repeat orders in seconds. They also don’t require customers to download an app or look up a website, which speeds up the ordering process and offers added convenience.
Beyond the ease of use, easy ordering solutions like text ordering free up restaurant staff from operating the phones, especially in loud restaurant environments. They help improve order accuracy by sending orders straight to your restaurant in an easy-to-read format and saving customer ordering data for quicker repeat orders and better customer retention. It’s a must-have to improve your off-site operations for customers.
As a restaurant owner, you must maximize your digital ordering options. Make sure there’s an option for every type of customer looking to order from you, whether it be through online ordering, text ordering, or a mobile app.
Customers Craving Customization
According to the same research from restaurant.org, 79% of consumers say they’ve placed orders using a restaurant’s website or app within the last year. Another 35% agree that it’s easier to customize their order using a restaurant’s online ordering site or mobile app.
The demand for order customization is nothing new. Customers have wanted to make substitutions and modifications to orders since the dawn of the restaurant industry. What is new, however, is the methods they can use.
It’s crucial to ensure that whatever digital ordering solutions you are using include customers’ ability to easily and quickly modify their orders to their preferences. To ensure there are no hiccups in the ordering process, update your website and app as often as possible, leaving extra space for customers to add notes when placing orders for peak accuracy.
By now, you should be using a restaurant management system (RMS) to consolidate all of your data in one place. This can load all of your customer data for future use, so you can better personalize your offerings and tailor them to your customers. This will make your digital marketing efforts efficient and straightforward.
Your RMS will show you which customizations are most popular. If there are repeat special requests that are not on your menu, it’s a sign that you should add them. Your management solution can help you identify what to change so that your menu better reflects your customers’ tastes.
Don’t forget about on-site solutions that offer off-site operations and dining. Technology that supports all your drive-thru, curbside pickup, and takeout ordering operations is paramount.
Self-ordering kiosks put your customer in the driver’s seat to place a to-go order with ease. Not to mention, guests feel safe and confident when visiting your restaurant for drive-thru options. The most successful restaurants leverage tablet POS to optimize their lanes.
If you have space, it may be worth it to utilize dual lanes, along with a face-to-face ordering crew. Arm your staff with tablets and allow them to place mobile orders in the line to keep them moving. Consider installing a presell menu board so that customers have something to reference when deciding what they want in line. These can minimize inaccuracies and prevent other bottlenecks in your drive-thru.
Digital ordering solutions also require digital payment methods. Utilizing these allows you to do even more to streamline your drive-thru and curbside pickup operations. You’ll want to invest in multiple options, offering customer-focused technology. This includes tablet POS with EMV “tap” card reading capabilities and digital payment options.
Elevate the Restaurant Experience with HungerRush
To grow your business, you have to invest in yourself. Smart restaurateurs are the ones that take customer demands into account and make data-backed investment decisions. Optimizing off-site operations and dining are small investments that will offer significant returns.
This increases sales, customer satisfaction and provides customers various choices for how they’d like to enjoy your food. Plus, simple investments also provide expanded data that you can utilize to identify future demands. When you leverage this data, you’ll have a digital roadmap that helps you navigate your restaurant’s future.
To get started, schedule a consultation with HungerRush. We offer a range of cutting-edge solutions that can help you better meet your customers’ needs, from ordering solutions like TextAI to website solutions like Designer.