The way people eat food from restaurants is changing. While many still enjoy eating out and the full-service dining experience, online orders are growing in popularity. In fact, food delivery is expected to reach $200 billion as an industry by 2025. If you are a restaurant owner, tapping into the growing demand for food delivery is vital to your success. This guide will outline four specific ways you can boost your food delivery sales and get your hands on some of this potential income.
1) Use Reliable Online-Ordering System (like INFI)
To increase restaurant sales through your delivery service, you must have a way for customers to make orders for delivery. While third-party delivery apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats work well for some restaurants — especially those just starting out — you lose money to those third-party delivery services when you rely on them for your order delivery service.
Instead, look for a reliable online ordering system your restaurant can own completely. This type of system offers you better branding options and more potential income from those services. INFI is an excellent example of an online food ordering system that can help your restaurant business find success.
Here are some tips for choosing and setting up an online ordering system that will help you increase your delivery orders:
Look for a system that integrates with your POS.
Choose a system that collects orders and sends them to the kitchen in an orderly manner.
Opt for a program that makes it simple to integrate your menu items and change them when you want to.
Check that the system has an ordering platform that customers can easily access and utilize to place orders.
2) Implement Technology To Generate and Display Customer Reviews
When new customers are looking for a place to order food, you want to give them a reason to choose your restaurant — and their reasons typically come from customer reviews. For restaurants, reviews are a powerful way to draw in new business: 55.5% of consumers see reviews as influential when choosing to dine at a new restaurant.
One way to capitalize on reviews is using the right restaurant technology to show reviews to potential new customers. The most effective tech will not only display the reviews but also work to generate them by asking your customer base to leave a review after they make an order.
Positive customer feedback will help your potential customers decide that you are the restaurant they want to order from. This, in turn, will increase food delivery sales.
You have many options to generate and display customer reviews. Your Google My Business page is one of the best places to show reviews. Take advantage of the popularity of this website, and link your online ordering system to your page. Other review pages like Yelp or Tripadvisor can also be beneficial.
If you are actively seeking reviews, know that you will get some negative ones. Don’t let these discourage you. Instead, use them to make positive changes to your delivery process. Also, address your negative reviews, if you get some, and apologize for any mistakes. Customers who see the review and your response will know that you are a restaurant owner who takes responsibility and strives to make things right.
Here are some tips to help you use customer reviews as one of your marketing tools to drive more customers to your in-house delivery service.
Link your online reviews to your online ordering system or menu. When people read these good reviews, they can then quickly put in an order while the reviews are fresh in their minds.
Have an active social media presence, as this can help generate reviews. Turn on reviews on your social media pages to encourage more of them.
Provide an incentive to customers who post a review, which will encourage more reviews.
Keep review websites and platforms readily accessible to your customers, and this may inspire more of them to take the time to leave a review.
Address customer complaints quickly so they do not escalate. If you make a mistake or have a delivery problem, make it right with the customer.
3) Provide Excellent Delivery and Customer Service
In order to get good reviews that will help new customers choose your restaurant, you must deliver an excellent customer experience. When people order takeaway from your restaurant, make sure you give them quality food delivered on time and in a container that keeps it fresh.
But good food is just the start of the customer experience; the delivery process is also important. If you have great food but a terrible delivery process, you will have unhappy customers.
When it comes to the delivery process, you must have a food delivery app that keeps your customer informed. Can they track the delivery driver? Do they get updates about the delivery time? These features improve the customer’s dining experience because they know when they can expect their food to arrive.
These tips will help you improve your customer service so you can get those positive reviews:
Focus on communication. Proper, clear communication with customers — from the moment they log on until after they receive their delivery — will encourage more people to give reviews.
Consider a customer loyalty program. The discounts and perks provided can improve your customer’s experience with your delivery service and restaurant.
Use a GPS tracking system and map so your customers know exactly where their food is.
Make any delivery fees clear, so customers are not surprised by the cost of their delivery order.
Choose a delivery process that will get the food to your customer while it's still fresh and hot.
Train delivery drivers in good etiquette and ensure they represent your brand well.
4) Create an Engaging Online Menu Experience
Your online menu is where you will get the most delivery orders. A robust, effective online ordering system with an engaging menu will increase sales and repeat customers. You need to spend some time carefully engineering your menu so it will function well for your restaurant.
First, make the menu engaging. This starts with a good landing page for all online orders. Make the “Order Now” button big and bold so that customers can find it. Funnel your online advertising and social media posts directly to this landing page, so interested customers can quickly find where to order.
Focus on your page’s layout. People tend to start looking at a website in the middle of the page, then their eyes move to the top right and the top left. You can place your most profitable items or engaging photos in these locations to gain more orders. Also, use the descriptions of your menu items to make them sound appealing. Sensory-rich wording helps with this: The more tantalizing the descriptions of your food, the more food you will sell.
As you build your online menu, make sure you test it on both desktop and mobile devices. You want your customer to be able to order food easily, no matter what device they use.
Finally, make the menu interactive. After someone puts an item in their cart, suggest a side, drink, or other add-ons that would pair well with it. This may generate larger orders directly through your online ordering system. This increases your bottom line, so make sure the app automatically puts the upsell opportunity in front of every customer.
Here are a few quick and dirty menu engineering tips:
Show your customers ingredient lists to ensure they know what is in the cuisine they order. Many people have food allergies, and this can be an easy way to accommodate customers with these sensitivities.
Allow customization through the online menu, as this will give your customers exactly what they want — even if it means no onion on their burger.
Use beautiful images of your menu items and bold, carefully selected colors to help customers visualize what they are ordering.
Allow customers to search for food based on ingredients or cuisine type.
Organize the menu in clear categories so customers can click through to find the type of food they want.
Build a loyalty program into your app and online ordering process. This increases customer engagement and drives increased sales for restaurants.
Make important areas of your online menu (such as the shopping cart or the main entrees) easy to find from the home page. The harder it is to navigate to your checkout screen, the more likely they are to abandon their cart before completing their order.
Make Online Ordering Easier for Your Customers With INFI
As you look for a program that will make it as easy as possible for your customer base to make online orders, helping you to increase your profit margins through your online orders, consider INFI’s restaurant mobile app development service. Our team will help you build a custom-branded app for your restaurant that contains in-app loyalty programs and improves customer engagement through an online menu and ordering process.
Schedule a demonstration today to learn more about INFI’s self-ordering kiosks for restaurants.