Ever wondered how much money you’re losing every time your phone rings and no one answers? We did the math and — brace yourself — it’s a huge amount.
Phone orders represent a significant portion of income for many restaurants, but they’re also a huge drain on your labor, which is why many calls go unanswered. But if you want to continue to grow your restaurant while keeping your labor costs in check, you need to field calls and take those orders.
In this article, we cover:
- How to answer phone calls without stressing out your staff and disappointing your customers
- How AI phone ordering can boost sales while freeing up your staff
- Plus, how Jet’s Pizza used AI-powered phone orders to increase profits by 14%
Ready to learn more?
The Hidden Cost of Phone Orders
At peak hours, your restaurant’s phone might be ringing off the hook. The average QSR receives between 50 and 75 calls a day. If it’s busy, you might get 8–10 simultaneous calls. According to our own research, 91% of customers expect to be on hold for 3 minutes or less — but if you have 8 calls at once, the wait will be much longer than 3 minutes. Let’s estimate that 10% of your calls are lost.
If this is the case:
- About 150 calls go unanswered every month.
- Out of those 150, 60% may have placed an order, so you miss out on roughly 90–100 orders.
- With each order worth $25 on average, you lose $2,250 in revenue every month — or over $27,000 a year.
That’s a lot of money to lose. With an extra $27,000 a year, you could renovate your kitchen, hire more staff, or expand your marketing. Or you could just pocket the difference and enjoy a higher profit margin.
Phone orders are an important sales engine, but you don’t have to settle for inefficiency and frustration. There is another way — leveraging the power of AI.
AI-Powered Phone Orders Are Making Labor Shortage a Thing of the Past
Modern advances in AI have changed the game completely when it comes to ordering. AI is no longer defined by clunky chatbots and robotic voices that frustrate customers. Restaurant owners that invest in the latest technology and staff their phone lines with AI see the following benefits:
- Zero Bottleneck: AI can handle as many calls as you get — eliminating hold times and missed orders. OrderAI even adjusts the order completion estimate during rush hour to ensure your business doesn’t accept more orders than you can fulfill in any given period, and customers get a realistic estimate of how long their order will take.
- Native Integration: Modern AI natively integrates with your POS for real-time and accurate menu data, pricing, delivery zones, hours, and even payment processing. Your staff don’t have to enter orders manually anymore, so you can deploy them where they’re most needed.
- Automatic Upsells: AI never gets stressed and never forgets to upsell. By syncing with customer profiles, OrderAI will attempt a personalized upsell on every call. No more faux pas like recommending your vegan customers order chicken wings. OrderAI also invites customers to join your Text Marketing program after placing an order — closing the marketing circle and helping cultivate repeat business.
How does it all come together in practice? Here’s a step-by-step explanation of our very own OrderAI:
- OrderAI learns your menu items, prices, ingredients, and brand references.
- OrderAI handles incoming calls from customers.
- OrderAI verifies order details and repeats them back to the customers for confirmation.
- It then automatically attempts an upsell: How about some fries with that?
- OrderAI collects payment information and ends the call.
- Customers receive a text message with the expected delivery or pick-up time for their order.
- Customers also receive a text inviting them to join your Text Marketing program, which sends them personalized coupons.
Of course, some demographics will still prefer a human touch and may choose to talk to someone in-store. OrderAI transfers calls to your staff if it detects any frustration or simply has trouble understanding the customer.
How Jet’s Saved Hundreds of Hours of Labor with OrderAI
Using AI to take phone orders saves staff ample time and — with the ongoing staffing crisis — serves as a vital long-term solution to a big problem.
But how does it work in reality?
Jet’s Pizza was one of our first customers at HungerRush. They piloted our AI tech in over 70 stores, and, well, we’ll let the results speak for themselves:
- 92% order completion rate for phone bot customers
- 3,000,000+ successful orders placed
- 14% more profit than orders placed through third-party delivery services
- 29% of customers who received text remarketing placed one or more orders
- 9% increase in transactions annually
- $100,000,000 in orders processed by AI
As their CIO, Aaron Nilsson, told the Wall Street Journal: “It just feels different in stores when the phone bot system is on. The tension is lower … the crew feels more like a well-oiled machine. You get a better overall experience.”
Stop Leaving Guests on Hold. Get OrderAI Today.
AI is not only a smart choice for your restaurant, but also a win for your customers and staff. AI can help you save time and money while increasing your labor efficiency and driving up sales.
Ready to leverage the power of AI? Not sure where to start?
Try HungerRush. We’re more than a tech partner — we’re a team of ex-restaurant owners and industry veterans passionate about helping you grow your business and build genuine connections with your customers.
Contact us today for a free (personalized) demo of HungerRush, and see what we can do for you.
“I am never going to order any other way again. My repeat orders take 10 seconds tops!” —OrderAI customer, Louisville, KY
The post Here’s How Much Revenue Your Restaurant Loses from Unanswered Phone Calls appeared first on HungerRush.