The restaurant industry seems to be changing from a dine-in model to an off-premises model—and it’s doing so at an accelerating rate. A recent survey reported that 60% of restaurant experiences are fully off-premises, which includes drive-through, takeout, and delivery. What’s more is that this survey was conducted before the onset of COVID-19; now the numbers have skyrocketed as dine-in options halted at the start of the pandemic and are just starting to reopen with many restrictions.
This is resulting in a major cultural shift. Off-premises sales for restaurants is becoming a must across the industry, as many states continue to enforce strict social distancing guidelines. It remains true as some experts predict that these guidelines may last long into the summer months. Moreover, prematurely lifting the enforcement is causing concern of a second possible wave of outbreaks, which would no doubt lengthen the impact of COVID-19. It’s important to note the importance of driving off-premises sales to continue your restaurant operations, should this become a reality.
Online ordering apps and platforms go hand-in-hand with off-premises dining. Not only are they convenient, they are essential to keep operations competitive as fewer restaurants are able to rely on in-house dining to drive their business.
This presents a huge opportunity for restaurant owners looking to increase sales, as 70% of consumers prefer to forego third-party ordering services in favor of a restaurant’s website or mobile app. What’s more, only 18% of restaurant operators even offer mobile ordering on their own app, compared to the 43% of consumers who wish they could order directly from a restaurant’s mobile app or service.
Further, here are three reasons why your operation absolutely needs a restaurant online ordering app in order to handle evolving customer demands:
The Ultimate Customer Convenience
For a quick bite or family meals, customers rely on convenience when placing takeout, curbside, and delivery orders. To give customers that convenience, why not allow them to order with the devices they already have and know how to use?
Websites and smartphone apps give customers an extra layer of convenience, and confidence in the restaurants they decide to spend their hard-earned money on. It’s even better if they can also pay directly through the app. This adds not only convenience, but safety for both themselves and the restaurant’s employees because non-remote payment methods add to the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other viruses.
Thanks to the convenience factor of a restaurant online ordering platform, you are encouraging repeat business and boosted sales. By allowing customers to save order information right in your app, you are facilitating a quick, easy, and seamless repeat order in the future that your customers are sure to appreciate.
Request a demo and get ready for the rush.
Today, modern restaurant customers want orders crafted exactly the way they want. Whether it’s a pizza with six toppings or a burger with a lettuce bun, customers gravitate towards customizing orders themselves.
Compared to third-party ordering services, over 35% of consumers agree that ordering on a restaurant’s website or mobile app provides an added layer of ease. This also goes for customer satisfaction. Because customers typically know exactly what they want—and when features are available to customize their orders, they feel in control. This increased satisfaction also increases the chance that happy customers will recommend a restaurant to family and friends, thus building your business and increasing the scope of repeat orders.
There’s something to be said for accuracy, too. Order customization through a website or app elicits more accurate orders, since the customer places it themselves and the order goes directly from the app to the kitchen. Cut out the middleman, and cut out satisfaction-decreasing errors.
Foster Deeper Customer Relationships
Mobile ordering apps aren’t only an added layer of convenience for customers—they offer new ways that you can offer personalized experiences for your customers. They can even increase your reach beyond traditional marketing, advertising, and social media.
With apps, various promotions and offers can be tailor-made to fit a customer’s order history and preferences. Sending customers push notifications to their smartphones helps keep your brand top-of-mind, while also presenting deals created specifically for the things your customers desire. You can even give coupons and timely-relevant offers by geo-fencing.
Engaging customers in this way and encouraging them to make purchases via your app helps build a sense of loyalty to your brand, and will have your customers coming back time and time again.
Getting Started with a Restaurant Mobile Ordering App
Why is a mobile ordering app right for your restaurant? As restaurants plan and prepare for a future of off-premises sales, a customized restaurant online ordering platform will help your operations drive success.
“Customers that are ordering online produce higher ticket sales, reduce order errors, free up my staff to do other tasks, and reduce overall costs.” – Estel Powell, The Slice Pizzeria
Your customers want apps, and without one of your own, you’re chancing the competition swiping your sales.
When choosing your app, there are a few things to look for to make sure it’s equipped with the necessary capability to give your customers the best experiences:
- Compatibility with both iPhone and Android devices
- Custom branding opportunities
- Ease of use, such as intuitive design and simple navigation
- Integration with your current platforms
- Potential for scalability as you grow your business
- High levels of encryption and security
- Transaction reporting for important customer data
- High level of support and maintenance for continued use
HungerRush offers custom-branded apps designed specifically for restaurants. We eat, sleep, and breathe the restaurant industry and have designed a mobile app solution to help you better reach your customers, market like a pro, and gain actionable insights to improve your business operations.
Add a mobile app to your strategy and master your operations with HungerRush Online Ordering and loyalty, making it easier than ever for your customers to get the delicious food they know and love and for your business to thrive no matter the conditions. Request a demo with our experts today.
Survive, Thrive and Revive
COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to the restaurant industry. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide with tips and resources to help you and your restaurant maneuver effectively through the COVID-19 pandemic: