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Delivery and takeout aren’t new concepts in the restaurant industry, but they’re certainly more popular than ever. Multiple online ordering options offer extra flexibility for customers who want to enjoy a restaurant meal in the location of their choosing. By providing both, you can capture additional orders and build a more dedicated customer base — and get ahead in a competitive market.

Adapting your operations to meet changing customer needs is always an undertaking. As you consider making the change, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of online ordering for restaurants.

10 benefits of online ordering

Whether you’re building an in-house online ordering system or using a third-party delivery service like Grubhub, the potential benefits are significant.

  1. More revenue. Digital ordering is an effective way to drive increased revenue — it gives customers another way to enjoy your food, even when they can’t dine out. And when you work with a third-party food delivery partner, you’ll also get your restaurant in front of a larger audience of existing users.
  2. Increased order accuracy. A finely tuned online ordering system uses trusted technology to reduce error-prone manual entry. That means orders are more accurate and your kitchen crew can prepare food correctly on the first try.
  3. Improved customer experience. Modern customers expect a flexible dining experience. An online food ordering system accommodates that desire, enabling your guests to decide exactly how and when they want their food. They can schedule delivery, pick up the meal on the way home from work, or direct a delivery driver to leave the order in a specific place.
  4. Streamlined ordering. When customers are inputting their orders in an online food ordering system — whether that’s a delivery app or a website — it streamlines the process and enables your restaurant to serve more customers in less time. Placing an online order means customers don’t need to call or wait in line, and your team can simply manage orders as they come in. 
  5. Better customer satisfaction. By putting the ordering power in customers’ hands, it adds an extra verification step; each guest can review their order before placing it. Then, they can pay with confidence. This process can go a long way toward reducing the number of frustrated guests. Diners also appreciate the convenience and speed of online ordering systems, which boosts satisfaction even further.
  6. Greater control. Restaurant owners know menu items can come in and out of availability, often due to external factors. Online food ordering systems give you greater control over the menu, so if the kitchen runs out of an ingredient or a delivery is delayed, you can simply mark the affected dishes as unavailable with a few clicks. Menu updates are also quick and easy — and there’s no expensive reprinting required.
  7. Easier upselling. Many online ordering systems come with built-in upselling tools; they’ll automatically suggest complimentary food items to increase order size. Platforms including Grubhub also feature promotions that can boost your restaurant’s visibility and encourage new customers to try specific dishes or order more food.
  8. Efficient restaurant POS integration. Modern online ordering systems can easily integrate with your existing point-of-sale (POS) system. Effective technology integration automates the ordering process and keeps your operations tight.
  9. Lower labor costs. Online food ordering reduces demands on your staff. They don’t need to spend time taking orders over the phone or entering them manually, which lowers labor costs. Instead, they can focus on preparing food and offering excellent service to in-house diners.
  10. Competitive advantage. Customers love the convenience of online food delivery and online ordering systems. Offering this in-demand service is one way to stay competitive — a critical advantage, especially if your restaurant operates in a challenging market.

What to look for in an online ordering partner

If your restaurant is ready for an online ordering system, there are plenty of third-party services to choose from. Use these tips to find the platform that suits your audience and business model:

  • Evaluate support resources. Does the service provide information, education, and tips to support your growth and encourage internal development? Is it focused on helping you build a more efficient operation? This type of resource can help you optimize your online ordering system and create a better customer experience.
  • Check data availability. Your online ordering system should provide access to your restaurant’s customer data, including their order history and most popular ordering times. If possible, look for a platform that includes built-in restaurant analytics to help you spot trends at a glance. This information can help you forecast sales and develop a better staffing plan.
  • Consider marketing tools. The best third-party food delivery partners offer in-platform tools to help you design targeted promotions that attract customers and increase orders. Services such as Grubhub also offer useful tips, resources, and templates to help you master restaurant marketing and social media.
  • Examine technology development. Does the platform invest in regular upgrades? Is the app reliable? A system that’s always looking to innovate helps your business stay at the forefront of new trends.

Online food ordering is here to stay

At Grubhub, we offer more than food delivery — we’re committed to helping each and every restaurant partner build the best possible operation. By partnering with Grubhub for Restaurants, you gain access to tools, resources, and best practices that help you maximize your business and make the most of your delivery and takeout capabilities. Get started with Grubhub to experience online ordering at its best.

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