The internet has connected our lives in more ways than we can count.
We pay our bills using online banking.
We hail taxis using a smartphone app.
We communicate through apps and Facetime more than we do with a regular phone.
We track our steps, make buying decisions, and plan our trips using a device that literally fits into our pocket.
Here’s the thing: this is never going to reverse. We’re on track to make almost every aspect of our lives digital, and it’s for a simple reason…
…it makes life easier.
All the technology at our fingertips shortens the time needed and reduces the number of steps towards pretty much anything, and restaurants are not an exception.
Let’s dig into the experience of dining out and the impact of integrating digital solutions into it.
Digital ordering benefits your restaurant across the board
Did you have a drawer or a shelf with all the menus for takeaway and delivery restaurants?
Do you still have it?
How often do you reach for it?
Here’s my confession. I actually still have dedicated (although tiny) part of my kitchen shelf where I keep some of the menus I receive in my physical mailbox.
The confession part? I have no idea why I still keep it.
When I decide I’m ordering a meal instead of cooking one, I head to Deliveroo, JustEat, or Google and look for a restaurant I like that also happens to be open and delivering to my area.
I don’t have the patience to call a number from a printed menu to find out that the restaurant doesn’t deliver to my location or that they’ve changed their menu.
I’d much rather melt into my couch with my laptop and choose from options that are 100% current.
It seems simple, but ensuring your restaurant offers this level of convenience brings a huge number of long-term benefits:
- Digital ordering is faster, requires less effort and fewer steps, and involves fewer employees which streamlines the entire process
- The chance for inaccurate ordering is reduced to the absolute minimum
- Data collection becomes easy and makes it easy to understand the most popular orders and most loyal customers, which drives overall marketing and retention efforts
- Customers have more options to upgrade their meal which can increase order value and profit for you (as seen below)
This convenience and easy upsells have led increases in revenue for many different brands.
When Taco Bell enabled digital order placement, they reported a 20% increase in digital order sales over those made with a human cashier.
According to the National Restaurant Association, almost a third of operators think their business is lagging in restaurant technologies. This means that the intention to innovate restaurant experiences is there, but it’s still considered out of reach.
Restaurant online ordering isn’t a new thing
Here at jumper, we’ve developed a solution for taking orders and payments directly through your social networks. We’d love nothing more than to say we’ve invented it and thought of it before anyone else…
…but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
JustEat, an online food ordering and delivery service, was founded all the way back in 2001. Newer solutions include Postmates (2011), Deliveroo (2013), and Uber Eats (2014), each with their own unique selling proposition and modus operandi.
(And let’s not forget that Uber also sometimes delivers ice cream and kittens!)
Here’s what all the companies listed above realized early on: many restaurants don’t have the budget or headcount to go digital or even just offer delivery on its own.
It’s another overhead to maintain and keep track of. And what if something breaks?
The solution: outsource it to a third-party solution that hosts the menus of all the restaurants they work with, pass orders to the restaurants, and then pick them up and drive them to the customer.
The benefit to the restaurants is clear. You’ll be able to take more orders online which will lead to greater profit for you.
And when the online ordering industry is growing like gangbusters, this is a no-brainer.
But what about the perks for the customer?
Well, they never have to dedicate extra attention to anything other than what they feel like having for dinner. No worrying about whether a restaurant is open, the cost of delivery, or the time until the food arrives.
It’s all just a click away in the app or dashboard of the ordering service.
Digital experience from the moment your guest enters the restaurant
Another scenario worth discussing is dining out, or in-restaurant guest experiences.
With all the solutions to make food delivery business digital, it’s the real-life, in-person restaurant experience that poses a special challenge.
Here’s the truth: your guests want to have as frictionless experience when choosing restaurants and selecting their meals when dining out as they do when ordering from the comfort of their home.
They don’t want to wonder if your server remembered their complete order because your restaurant is overflowing with guests.
They also want to feel confident they’ve chosen the perfect meal based on their preferences and dietary requirements.
McDonald’s had this realization back in 2015 when they rolled out their famous kiosks, which will be at more than 14,000 locations by 2020.
Image source: Business Insider
Not all digital food ordering solutions have to be 8 feet tall. Solutions like Ziosk provide tablets that customers can use to filter their options, order food, pay for their order, and collect loyalty points right from their table.
Except for maybe when customers need clarification around certain menu options, it’s easy to see why this solution is convenient for restaurant guests.
But how does it impact the food businesses that decide to adopt it as part of their food ordering and serving process?
It maximizes output in any given hour
When your restaurant isn’t packed, things usually flow nicely. In peak hours, however, your customers have to wait longer to order their food, receive it, and pay for it.
Digital order solutions reduce the need for human intervention in many of these steps, which allows for a better allocation of your staff behind the scenes while the orders can still come in as soon as guests are ready to order.
It’s basically fuel for the fire you’re already burning.
It drives more sales
When asked on the spot, many guests aren’t yet ready to order another drink or think about the dessert. If the server isn’t there at the right moment—or is simply too busy to notice—the opportunity to make an upsell disappears.
With the always-available digital ordering system, your guests can order whatever their heart desires—as soon as it does.
It reduces friction and makes restaurant staff more productive
It’s a long-known fact that switching between tasks costs us focus and reduces the output our work can produce.
Think about this: when paying the bill through a server, it can take as many as 10 to 15 steps for just one table. It includes bringing the bill, bringing the POS device, printing a receipt, walking between the table and the main registry, and so on.
Same goes for taking the order in the first place. Both of these scenarios allow plenty of room for mistakes and distractions and simply take a lot of valuable server’s time. With digital food ordering, these hurdles disappear.
Integrate digital ordering into your restaurant with jumper
We’ve build a service for taking orders (or pre-orders) through a simple, automated messaging sequence.
Setting up is as easy as adding your address, opening hours, delivery and dine-in options, payment methods, and uploading your menu to your jumper dashboard.
This jumper solution makes the experience of ordering food and drinks in a frictionless and instant manner through the power of conversational commerce.
The entire process is checkout-focused so that the chance of losing your customer in the process is reduced to the minimum.
Test it out for yourself:
The best thing? You can get set up in literal minutes. Click here to create your free jumper account and start taking orders and payments digitally!