Summer is fast approaching now, but as we well know, warmer weather can cause a noticeable change in consumer buying habits. So what you should be doing to weatherproof your sales for the summer months, and a different set of customer demands.
Well one thing’s for sure, demand is definitely still there. Just because customers might be ordering fewer takeaways on their sofas, doesn’t mean they’re not still after your delicious dishes. UK sunshine is often in short supply, so when it’s out, so are we! Here are some tips for how you can make the most of online ordering this summer.
Summer means warmer days, lighter nights and customers that are more likely to be out and about. So are you offering click and collect?
Click and collect really is such a win-win for the customer and the business, whether you’re a restaurant, cafe, bar, bakery or coffee shop. Walking in and skipping the queue is always a great feeling. It also gives you as the operator a chance to prep and get an idea of order volume for the day.
Last year, 4 in 10 orders on Slerp were for collection, so if you’re not offering it, think of the number of sales you’re missing out on. You want to ensure your customers can order from you in multiple ways. Our most successful partners are those offering customers both click and collect and delivery. For commuters and other busy customers, it pairs perfectly with app ordering too – our PressPay feature allows them to order in as little as six seconds, saving them from long queues! Find out how here.
And in summer it means the consumer can pick up their order and take it outside to enjoy. Maybe in the park, on a bench or back home. It’s versatile and it’s easy. Which brings us nicely onto our next point…
If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space, use QR code ordering on your tables. It will allow you to collect customer data for marketing and save your staff time. It also gives your customers a better experience when they no longer have to disrupt their conversation flagging down a waiter to order.
Park deliveries… the gen z answer to a traditional British picnic. Sushi in the park, pizza in the park, noodles in the park… the possibilities are endless. Is there really anything better than having a takeaway brought to the exact spot you’re sitting in the park? But how you might ask? Well you could just wing it and send your delivery driver into the depths of the trees to locate your customer. Or you could use apps like ‘what 3 words’ who have assigned 3 words to every 3 square metres in the world! Ask your customers to provide this in the notes of their order and you have an exact location without any faff.
This might sound like an obvious one but a seasonal menu is a great way to tempt customers into ordering with the excitement of new dishes. Take some photos and get them on your socials to drum up some buzz. In summer customers might prefer a lighter, fresher dish with the warmer weather. Take advantage of local seasonal ingredients, it’s better for the environment and a nice added detail to your menu when you can tell customers exactly where an ingredient came from.
This one likely brings some mixed emotions for some parents. But for the restaurateurs in the room, it brings opportunity and more families to your venue. Now is the perfect time to run a promotion such as ‘feed four for £x’ or create a bundle for kids and adults. Everyone loves a deal and the school holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of that. There is a big demand for family dining both at home and in-house. 54% of people want more kid friendly options when ordering. That can mean smaller portions, fuss free dishes and healthier options. Either way, you don’t want to miss out on that business, so make sure your menu caters to everyone.
54% of people want more kid friendly options when ordering
KAM Media X Slerp
So in short, let’s look at this summer as a great opportunity to make the most of the weather and the consumer habits that come with it. You’re already used to adapting to all sorts of situations, online ordering in summer will be a doddle.
We know you’re busy and have a to-do list that’s a mile long, but if you’re serious about growing your business, you need to start with the basics. Who are your customers, and where do they come from? We present to you: Google Analytics. Millions of businesses both big and small rely on this tool for web analytics. It’s a free and relatively simple tool to use.
We reckon google analytics is the perfect partner for your online ordering system. But in case you’re not familiar, we thought we’d give you a quick overview of some of the basics and how you can use them in your hospitality business.
It’s a tool that allows you to track visitors to your online shop, telling you where people have come from (through social media or email for example). You can then utilise this information to give you a better insight on how to convert these visits into sales.
You don’t need to track visits. You could just let them happen and hope for the best … just like you could continue to use marketplace apps and never own YOUR data. But as we’ve said before, if you’re looking for long term growth, you might want to reconsider. Here are a couple reasons
You want your customers to be able to find your store easily and from multiple channels. Whether they come through ads, social or just searching for your URL, you need to understand the role that each of these channels plays in your overall sales mix.
To find traffic sources for specific pages you just need to do the following:
Once you’ve grasped the basics and have learnt to navigate around your analytics, it’s time to start analysing. Looking at the data is really important and interesting but it’s what you do with it that matters.
Pay attention to what days and times are most popular with your customers and tailor your offering to what they need. Do you need to have more staff available to support your online shop on those days? Or might you need to stock up on a certain product! With analytics, you can start to anticipate customer needs.
Where are they ordering from? You might have grounds to expand your delivery radius or even think about adding ‘nationwide’ delivery to your lineup so that more people have access to your venue.
It can also give you insight into what you’re not doing well and indicate where you can improve. For example, are customers bouncing (leaving the site) before actually buying anything? Do you need to update your imagery, change product descriptions or offer a more affordable delivery rate? Analytics can help you answer all these questions and more.
Google Analytics can be intimidating at first, but it’s a really great tool when you get your head around it. Once you’ve mastered the basics and optimised your organic channels, let us help you level up. At Slerp we have an expert team of digital and performance marketers who can support you. They can increase your revenue, running ads on your social media and google search, and help you boost your search ranking through SEO, all of which attract new leads and convert them into orders.
Remember we’re always here for any questions you have or support you need, just drop us a line and we can guide you through the tools that are right for you and your hospitality business.
You don’t need us to tell you about the boom of food delivery. We’ve become so used to ordering from restaurants, takeaways and other hospitality businesses. We order our food to be delivered straight to our doors and expect it quickly and efficiently too!
If there’s one takeaway from the last two years for the hospitality industry, it’s the importance of having a strong infrastructure for food delivery. One of the key decisions you will need to make will then be between third-party and in-house delivery. So what is the best option for you?
When we say courier we are referring to a model where a third party service handles your restaurant or eatery’s courier logistics.
If your brand is only just starting out – choosing a reputable courier could make a lot of sense. You may simply not have the time, experience or resources to manage every aspect of your business’s food deliveries directly, and that’s okay!
By partnering with an outsourced delivery service, your time could be freed up, allowing you to focus on what you do best – cooking up irresistible dishes that will delight your customers’ taste buds at home, to the same standard as when they visit you on site.
And even if you could invest in self-delivery, you might still favour partnering with a delivery specialist who can help you scale your operations and handle a high volume of deliveries. At Slerp, we routinely empower hospitality brands to sell directly to the customer in the knowledge that we handle all the delivery logistics
We manage relationships with both local couriers and national delivery providers – big names such as Royal Mail, DHL, DPD and more – to ensure customers receive their orders ASAP. We can build the complete food delivery ordering system for your restaurant, so that your customers only associate your brand with the finest things in food.
Perhaps you’ve decided to invest in your own fleet which can handle local deliveries for you – if so, perfect! Slerp can set you up to receive the orders, and you handle the delivery logistics. If you’re concerned about the quality of hospitality and customer experience with managed delivery – don’t be! Standards are high, and issues are rare. But either way, we have options to suit every requirement.
Before making your decision however, it’s worth considering the commitment of self-delivery. Investing in your own fleet naturally comes with an initial set-up cost, and requires time to get started.
But if you are prepared to take on these responsibilities, building your brand’s own delivery service is a big plus! It gives you the opportunity to control every stage of the customer’s experience from start to finish. You could maintain direct communication with your customer from the moment they order, right up to the arrival of their food at their doorstep. Also letting you receive direct feedback, and implement changes as needed.
Restaurants that set up in-house delivery systems are actually often surprised by how good an option it is for minimising operational overheads.
Well ultimately the answer to this question will always be, “it depends”. Each solution has its own opportunities and downsides, and your final choice will come down to which one is the best fit for your business.
However, know that whatever decision you make, Slerp is here to help. Whether you need a little more time and information or you already know we’re the partner for you, contact the Slerp team today.