It’s not exactly news that restaurants can be extremely busy places to work in. Your waiters, chefs and other team members are part of a well oiled machine. But, with staff shortages and rising costs, navigating the industry successfully calls for flexibility and innovation. Not only this but consumer preferences and demands are constantly changing. Increasingly, customers like to place orders with their favourite quick-serve restaurant or takeaway online.
With pressures like these, you’re probably keen to know how your restaurant can handle its online orders more efficiently. You might already be accepting online orders through a third-party marketplace app. That’s great, but could you be doing it better?
The short answer is: yes, we think you can. And here are some suggestions for how you might do that.
Start selling D2C
Serving large volumes of customers without compromising your standard of service can be difficult. We get that. This is why you should look seriously at digital tools that not only help you take orders, but that help amplify your brand experience.
For customers who are on premise, an at-table order system could help speed up the process of placing an order. It also means you can do more with less staff, and focus the teams that you do have on providing the best experience possible instead of taking orders.
Got local customers who order again and again? Let them skip the queue and ‘click and collect’ on their way past. Already taking online orders through marketplaces? Great! You’ve got a captive audience of customers who are ready to order direct!
Shout about your online ordering options to customers
Once you’re up and running the next step is to start getting those orders in. This will help you justify investing more into this area of your business and achieving greater efficiency in order handling.
And if you want to attract more online orders, you need to take the time to market your ability to accept and process online orders.
There’s so many ways to do this but a great place to start is by including a bold and obvious ‘call to action’ button on your restaurant’s website. Make your customers journey from hungry to ordering quick and easy. Advertise the option of ordering online on your restaurant’s social media profiles, communicate it to your customer via newsletters, and/or invest in paid ads, flyers, and leaflet drops. Anything to get the word out there.
Train your employees in your online ordering capabilities
Informing and training your team members, so that they know your restaurant accepts online orders is important. Sounds obvious but if you’ve got multiple stores and a steady stream of new staff it’s not as simple as you may think. You also don’t just want them to know, you want them to ‘sell’ your online ordering capabilities and to promote this to customers – remember, if your customers don’t know, they won’t order direct.
Simplify your menus
Sometimes, a large menu can do more harm than good. You may think that you are offering a variety of dishes to your customers, but is that what they want? And does that work for your kitchen?
Take a look at your menu and what’s selling, and focus on those dishes. It’s better to be known for a smaller menu that packs a punch, than a long menu that leaves customers uninspired.
Offering fewer dishes that utilise similar ingredients or cooking methods will also help take the pressure off your kitchen staff and make it easier for them to prep and cook the dishes. So, if you already have a complicated menu, try reducing the number of different types of dishes you produce. Both your customers and your team will thank you in the long run!
Creating dishes only available when ordering direct online is also a great way to push online orders – keep it simple with just one or two ‘chefs specials’ available only online. You could even make this a daily/weekly chef special. This could give your chef greater freedom and excite your customers with new options (without overwhelming them with all of them).
Hungry for more?
Are you ready to discover more about how Slerp could help your restaurant grow it’s online ordering capabilities? It could be the perfect step to power your business’s growth;