Before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, restaurants employed carrier pigeons to receive delivery and takeout orders. Today, the restaurant industry is the one taking flight as online ordering streamlines order fulfillment even further.
Before Online Ordering for Restaurants
When restaurants relied solely on the telephone to communicate with customers, an influx of orders was a mixed blessing. Revenue increased, but it also came with certain drawbacks:
- Front-of-house employees were tied up on the phone, so they were less able to handle important tasks such as in-house customer service.
- Noisy phones disrupted the atmosphere of the dining room.
- Order inflow was restricted by the limited number of phone lines and/or available employees, leading to hang-ups and lost revenue.
Online Ordering Benefits Restaurants and Customers
For many customers who order delivery and carryout online today, it’s difficult to remember what it was like when calling up the restaurant was the only option. Restaurants and customers alike can’t imagine going back to the days before online and mobile ordering systems were the norm. For restaurants, the benefits are simple: more orders and new customers.
More Orders. Online ordering provides a vital sales channel that has begun to rival the telephone in order volume for many restaurants. Online ordering has a number of sales-boosting benefits, including:
- Saved customer orders and payment information, encouraging repeat business
- Bandwidth to handle multiple orders at the same time
- Instant receipts and estimated delivery/pickup times
- Time-saving automation, freeing staff to focus on other tasks
New Customers. When you offer online order options, you create opportunities for new customers to find your restaurant online. Having a search-optimized website and listing your restaurant on GrubHub will attract more eyeballs to your menu. And when customers can order their food online, they are more likely to give your restaurant a try than if they had to pick up the phone. When you’re ordering online, you can take your time and figure out exactly what you want before placing your order. This level of convenience is especially helpful when experimenting with a restaurant for the first time.