How Your Restaurant Can Thrive as an Online Business
May 10, 2020
To encourage new traffic to your brick-and-mortar restaurant, one solution is to integrate an online system to promote pick-up and delivery orders into your sales and operations strategy. By adding this component, you’ll be able to connect with your loyal customers and engage with new audiences in an unique way.
An online strategy works holistically: each system has its own vital function, yet they work together cohesively to achieve a common goal. As a business owner, running an online addition to your storefront may seem like no easy feat, but with the right restaurant food ordering system in place, a robust marketing strategy and an enhanced web presence, you’ll be able to successfully boost sales and gain customer loyalty.
Here are 5 things that you, as a restaurant owner, can do right now so you can pivot your business to offer take-out and delivery options for your customers.
Enhance Your Website With An Online Food Ordering System
You can successfully optimize your website for online orders with a restaurant online ordering platform. There are many options available, but you should research online ordering system costs and find the best one that fits the needs of your business.
These are a checklist of things you should consider:
- Integration to your brick-and-mortar business. It’s important to ensure new technology seamlessly assimilates into your current business. Does the restaurant ordering system include a full-service POS (Point of Sale System), management tools and functionalities that include online ordering? Can the system allow you to accept in-person orders, and call-ins for to-go and delivery orders all at the same time? Does the system have the ability to process large group orders or marketing promotions to increase sales? Are you able to pull real-time analytics of your sales?
- Automation to streamline restaurant operations. Automation can help increase productivity and production rates, leading to more sales. Can you automate your checkout system on a website, tablet, or mobile device? Can you automate marketing activity such as receiving customer reviews after they purchase or have them sign up for a loyalty points program?
- User and mobile-friendly integrations and interface. 52% of worldwide traffic is mobile (Hubspot®) which means that you need to ensure your website is user-friendly and mobile-friendly, Additionally, some online takeaway ordering systems can integrate social media platforms such as Facebook or other mobile apps for delivery, customer reviews, and more.
Having an online food ordering website is the perfect foundation for success. It will enable you to set up your delivery and take-out business efficiently and effectively.
Capturing Data to Scale Your Business
As a business, especially if you are a brand new restaurant, you want to have control of your data. With data, you are able to increase customer retention, analyze which products are most profitable, and improve your marketing efforts.
Food ordering apps are an extremely popular revenue channel for restaurants. However, when you go through these third-party delivery apps, they keep your customer data in exchange for convenience. While they are a useful marketing tool for exposure, the convenience comes at a price.
Most food delivery apps take a 35% fee off each order made and, more importantly, data such as your customer’s full name, phone number, email, and home address. In order for you to acquire the data, you would have to pay a premium to buy the information back.
At Zambuki, we can help you build a stronger presence, connect with more customers, and grow a stronger brand. By using our business solutions for restaurants, your customers’ data are available to you at any time. Additionally, our solution charges only 5%, as opposed to the 35% fee, so you have full control of your data.
Remember, data is the most powerful tool to scale your business and increase your sales. It’s crucial to have it right at your fingertips.
Build Your Brand Story
Today, consumers buy into companies who are authentic. Every business, including yours, has an opportunity to showcase your brand story, your purpose, and your values. 57% of consumers feel that when they are more connected to brands, they increase their spending solely with that company, and 76% will buy from them over a competitor (SproutSocial®). By building real connections with your customers, it can positively impact your business revenue.
When customers feel they can connect with you, they will turn into your most loyal customers. They want to know your story, how your business came to be, what inspires you, and if possible, the origins of your food supply chain.
To craft your brand story, consider the following: are you a multi-generational, family-run business? Are you an entrepreneur bridging your culture and your love of food?
When crafting your brand story, the possibilities are endless. Keep in mind, it’s essential to be transparent with your customers.
Bring Your Social Media Presence to Life
Boost take-out and delivery orders with a successful social media strategy. Get your business establishment listed on Yelp®, Tripadvisor®, Google® and Facebook®. Instagram® is also an important tool to showcase your brand through highly visual photos. These platforms are all important because 94% of guests check out a restaurant online before dining (Tripadvisor®).
Photos, online reviews and ratings from previous customers highly factor whether they want to dine with your or not.
You can encourage customers to order online via social media by offering promo codes, discounts, or special menus (i.e. Happy Hour All Day). You can also do free giveaways, such as free beverage or dessert, with any purchase for customers who leave positive reviews for you.
Additionally, you want to make sure that all your restaurant social media accounts include important information such as operational hours, address, contact information, and a link to your online menu. The more information you can give your customers about your business, the better.
As you can see, there are many ways for your restaurant to thrive online. The most important thing you can do is research the ideal way to grow your business. For restaurant owners, we are offering a free 30-minute consultation to review your website and how-to optimize it for takeout orders. If you’d like to take the first steps to transform your business today, contact us below.