The global pandemic drastically changed how consumers interact with restaurants around the world. Face-to-face interactions suddenly made customers feel uneasy and, for the safety of their employees and the peace of mind of their customers, restaurants quickly pivoted to digitizing their offerings with takeout and delivery focused models as “contact-free” and “curbside pickup” became the buzzwords that gave consumers comfort.
The pre-pandemic norm of dine-in restaurant service from smiling servers and cashiers, longed for by so many for so long, is now gradually returning, but the widespread adoption and use of digital-type ordering brought forth by the pandemic are not going to subside along with it. Many restaurants learn this and positions themselves for a new, more digital reality as they look toward the post-pandemic future.
Digital Ordering is The New Normal
Having spent the better part of a year using only digital platforms to discover a restaurant, view menus, and place orders customers are not going to just switch back to old habits. Restaurant news discovery was a process that has happened online for years, but the pandemic brought forth the need for eateries to not only have an online presence but to now bolster that presence with accessible, easy-to-use ordering subscribe platforms that provide restaurant convenience as well clarity for their customers.
Most of these restaurant systems, be them online ordering through Google website, a 1st party app, a 3rd party service, or just simple list viewing, hit bumps in the road over the past year as we all adjusted to our new way of living. At first, consumers were willing to persist and give the restaurant the benefit of the doubt when using restaurant ordering methods that were awkward to use or clunky in their design. Now, a year on, consumers have used many apps and web ordering systems that are excellently designed and well thought out, so they’re much less likely to preserver with clunky, poorly designed online restaurant menus data and ordering via digital platforms.
Selecting the digitally ordering provider which not only best suits a venue’s visitors and brand, but one which also provides a streamlined, user-friendly experience management innovation is paramount to the success of elevating the digital-type restaurant ordering experience and providing an online restaurant ordering service that the guest would be happy with to return to use again and again.
In-Store Digital Online Restaurants Ordering
The customer-facing element of any restaurant has largely avoided the digitizing impact of technology of recent decades; with physical menus and physical checks still omnipresent across the industry. Last year, however, the pandemic quickly moved this element of restaurants into today's 21st-century news.
Some locations opted for single-use menus, whilst others took the digital root and have ditched paper menus altogether, replacing them with digital versions. These have come in many forms: QR codes, which customers use to pull up menus on their personal devices management, digital menu screens integrated throughout venues, booths for self-ordering, and apps allowing customers to browse, order, and payments for their order at their table with minimum contact.
These changes are here to stay and, whilst consumers may not demand them as highly as they will seamless ordering, these digitized options are becoming more commonplace as customers continue to strive for convenience and contact-free API data service.
Not only can these digital delivery options reduce wastage but these products can be updated with just a few clicks of a mouse, whilst also giving customers the freedom to browse digital menus at their leisure. This freedom to browse offers more opportunities for sales as a guest needs not to ask servers for menus once they’ve been removed after the initial order has been placed- allowing for more spontaneous ordering and, potentially, higher ordering check totals.
Be Mindful of Order Costs Incurred for 3rd Party Service
It has been no secret that the growth of 3rd party ordering and delivery systems have, whilst being great for the consumer, not been the greatest advances for eateries themselves. Some 3rd party services take up to 30% of the cost of the order, eating into the razor-thin margins that restaurants run on.
When choosing how to bring seamless digital ordering to the largest possible audience eateries must select whom they use and partner carefully, because the costs of these services, if not properly analyzed, can have a damaging effect on a venue's financials.
Options besides 3rd party partners include integrating with Google or having someone design and host a proprietary app for a venue or restaurant chain. Both of these ordering data system services have a much lower cost basis that can be a set amount per month, entirely unrelated to, or skimmed off the top of, a location’s sales. These options may not suit everyone but they are another option alongside the consumer-focused 3rd party services.
A Final Word
Digital ordering is an exciting prospect for restaurants that are looking to remain relevant and instill confidence in their customers. With a wide range of options out there each restaurant can choose the platform which they believe best suits their brand and their customer’s needs, whilst continuing to make every effort to keep their employees and guests' solutions safe.
Digital ordering, online and inside venues, offer new revenue streams for some restaurants that were slow to adopt these ordering functionalities management because they didn’t see their model as suited to takeout and delivery service. The pandemic has made everyone: proprietors, shareholders, and, most importantly, guests; see takeout and delivery as something universal, which they will now all expect to be a part of a location’s offerings.