Mar 3, 2021

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant digital orders were growing by 23% annually. With restaurants having to adapt to off-premise dining over the last year, that number is sure to skyrocket in 2021, just as we’ve seen the adoption rate for contactless payments jump. Add it all up and online ordering promises to be one of the biggest revenue sources for restaurants, even as business slowly goes back to normal in the coming months. To help you maximize profits with this growing trend, here are seven tips for getting the most from online ordering.

1. Streamline your online ordering menu

Make sure you’re considering the customer experience when creating your online ordering menu. Some items that are popular on-site simply might not make sense for take-out or delivery. Consider removing menu choices that don’t travel well or won’t taste good if they’ve sat in a box for a while. Similarly, make sure that the items you are offering are profitable for you. (If you’re not sure, dive into your POS reporting!) Just be careful not to limit your menu too much! Studies show that online ordering customers spend 18% more than customers placing phone orders, so make sure to give them plenty of options and upsell opportunities.

2. Integrate online ordering with your POS

Integrating your online ordering with your point-of-sale is the #1 way to boost efficiency of your offering. By having orders go directly from the customer to your POS, you’ll get three key benefits. First, you’ll drastically reduce labor by cutting out the process of manually entering orders into your POS. Second, you’ll eliminate costly mistakes from entering orders incorrectly due to human error. Third, you’ll gain all the benefits of being able to see your online ordering data and insights, right alongside the rest of your point-of-sale reporting, meaning you’ll be able to refine your online ordering menu over time and make it even more profitable.

3. Make it easy to order right from your website

If someone searches for your business online, chances are they’ll click on your website first, assuming you have a professional quality website. That’s why it’s important to prominently display a banner or button on your homepage with your online ordering. By grabbing their attention and making it easy for them to order right from your website, they will be far less likely to use a third-party delivery company, which means more money in your pocket. How much more? With an average 25% third-party commission and ticket of $25, a busy restaurant could easily be losing $250 a day, or $90,000 a year!

4. Make sure customers can order in-app

70% of customers prefer to order directly from a restaurant, but they can only do so if you make it easy for them. Making online ordering prominent on your website is an important first step, but don’t discount the popularity and ease of mobile apps. Of course, creating your own mobile app from scratch can be costly and time-consuming, and that’s exactly why SpotOn created the SpotOn Consumer App, which enables customers to order directly from you—commission-free. Additionally, the SpotOn App makes it easy for your customers to receive and redeem any marketing offers or loyalty rewards you might want to offer.

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5. Tell your customers about online ordering via email

Having a great online ordering system won’t do you any good if your customers don’t know about it, and email marketing is still the best way to reach your existing customers, with a $42 return on every $1 you spend. With SpotOn and our integrated marketing, this couldn’t be easier. Simply log in to your SpotOn Dashboard and use one of our eye-catching templates to send an email to your entire customer list in moments with a link directly to your online ordering page.

6. Spread the word on social media

Social media is another great way to reach your customers and let them know about your online ordering, with one huge added benefit—it can also help you attract new customers when your existing followers like, comment, and share your posts. Again, with SpotOn, social media marketing is easy. Simply create a new campaign from your dashboard to share the news about your online ordering, or even offer an exclusive limited-time deal.

7. Create incentives for online ordering

Sixty percent of customers prefer to order via a mobile app when they can get exclusive discounts, meaning offering a limited-time deal is the perfect incentive to get people to order directly from your restaurant on the SpotOn App. Another great option to consider is a digital loyalty program, which enables your customers to earn rewards for repeat visits. Whatever incentives you create, make sure to spread the word far and wide via email, social media, and on-site with signage in your restaurant. Online ordering customers already visit 67% more often than other customers, so anything you can do to drive that number up even higher means more revenue for your business.

Don't have online ordering for your restaurant yet? SpotOn is here to  help.

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