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Why Restaurant Owners Should Think Twice Before Ditching Phone Orders

You might think ditching phone orders is a convenient solution to free up staff for your busy restaurant. You have an online ordering platform and third-party apps, after all — why waste precious staff energy answering individual calls?

But despite some recent headlines that seem to indicate it’s a trendy thing to do, ditching phone orders is actually a costly mistake. In fact, phone orders are more important (and profitable) than ever in this golden age of AI.

Let’s explore this new opportunity for phone orders together. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why restaurants are dropping phone orders, and why this is a costly mistake driven by old assumptions
  • How AI-powered phone orders can increase profitability and overall labor efficiency
  • How Jet’s Pizza used AI phone orders to grow their annual transactions by 9%

Let’s get started.

Time to Cut the (Telephone) Cord? Maybe Not

You might think most of the phone calls you get on your restaurant’s landline are a waste of time. And you’d be in popular company — a growing number of restaurant owners have decided to ditch their phone lines and stop taking call-in orders.

What’s behind this trend? Staff shortages. Taking employees away from prepping food or serving customers to answer never-ending phone calls can feel like a waste of precious resources that only drives up stress levels for everyone. It’s understandable that some restaurant owners have chosen to just stop answering the phones entirely.

But some demographics prefer landlines, even now. Cut the cord and you’re at risk of alienating loyal customers, not to mention losing the additional revenue from phone orders.

There is a better way. Restaurant owners can leverage the power of the phone without compromising on efficiency, quality, or profitability. How? By leveraging the power of AI.

Learn More: The Wall Street Journal Predicts a Bright Future for AI-Powered Phone Orders

How Restaurants Can Keep Their Phone Lines Open and Profitable

A constantly ringing phone is a significant source of stress in busy restaurants. And if your restaurant even sounds busy over the phone, a study by HungerRush shows, 57% of customers aren’t confident you’ll take their order modification correctly, while 19% will actively avoid order modifications.

With AI, you can avoid the constant stress of the ringing phone, while providing a smooth, peaceful ordering process to the customers calling in. Smart AI bots turn a manual ordering channel into an automated digital one, freeing up your staff to focus where it matters.

AI can handle thousands of customer calls simultaneously, process orders and payments, and integrate them with your POS. And it does all that without calling in sick, getting stressed, or ever forgetting to upsell.

You really can have your cake (or pie) and eat it. Just like Jet’s Pizza. In 2022, Jet’s Pizza piloted our AI technology in more than 70 of their stores. The results speak for themselves:

  • 92% order completion rate for phone bot customers
  • 14% more profit than orders placed through third-party delivery services
  • 29% of customers who received text remarketing placed one or more orders
  • 20% of customers who used text ordering placed two or more orders per month
  • 9% increase in transactions annually

As Aaron Nilsson, CIO of Jet’s Pizza, told the Wall Street Journal:

“When it’s 5 p.m. on a Friday and the phones are ringing off the hook? It’s a real challenge — dogs are barking, babies are crying, and phone connections can be poor. Plus, with high staff turnover, you’re not going to get a 100% upsell rate. But with OrderAI, you do — computers are always pleasant, no matter the circumstances.”

AI Phone Bots Boost Orders & Customer Satisfaction

Restaurateurs who were wise enough to keep their phone lines ringing and leverage the power of AI to optimize them saw the following benefits:

  • Better Phone Order Experiences — AI never misses calls, has no background noise, is fully dedicated to each call, and is built with the leading natural language processing system. That means your customers get a more predictable and enjoyable phone ordering experience.
  • Streamlined Labor Hours AI answers calls independently, without the need for a human operator — unless the bot determines escalation is required. Restaurants save hundreds of hours per month on reclaimed labor time.
  • Increased Order Ticket Value AI uses a customer’s order history to identify upsell offers that are more likely to convert, increasing average ticket value. It also invites guests to opt in for Text Marketing at checkout, turning one-off or anonymous phone orders into repeat customers within your marketing ecosystem.

AI is only getting smarter, with OrderAI now able to handle food metadata. That means if a customer asks your bot, ‘’What do you have that’s vegetarian?” or, “How many calories are in that pizza?” it will be able to answer with confidence.

Learn More: 9 Ways Restaurant Phone Artificial Intelligence Is Different Than Old-School Chatbots

Join 3,000,000 Restaurateurs Leveraging the Power of AI

Phone ordering is still a vital channel for many restaurants in this post-pandemic era. It also comes with many challenges, such as missed calls, long wait times, and labor costs. 

How can restaurant owners overcome these challenges and make the most of their phone ordering channel? The answer is OrderAI Talk, a smart bot that revolutionizes the way restaurants take phone orders.

OrderAI Talk is the best solution for optimizing phone orders and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Get your personalized demo of OrderAI today.

The post Why Restaurant Owners Should Think Twice Before Ditching Phone Orders appeared first on HungerRush.