Improve Your Restaurant Delivery System in 3 Steps
With the COVID-19 pandemic still a huge threat and states reinstituting old lockdown orders as a result of rising case numbers, more and more restaurants are turning to online ordering platforms as reliable revenue streamsone of the few left since dine-in services keep being forced to reduce their capacity or shut down entirely.
Takeout and delivery actually make up a significant portion of sales now. Since the pandemic began, more than half of all customers have downloaded a new app to order food. Online ordering is more accurate than relying on a middleman and lets customers create their carts to their exact satisfaction. Why not open delivery to the public?
The problem restaurants then come up against is how to properly cultivate a satisfactory customer experience when they never come face-to-face with the guests, which was previously a key component of foodservice. Fortunately, there are a few ways to tailor each customers experience even if the most interaction you have together is a few clicks on a webpage.
A website that stands out draws guests further into your menu. Since reducing operations, you can minimize your options down to the best-sellers and those dishes with adaptable ingredients. Appeal to their visual senses with high-quality photos of your best food to give them an idea of what they could be having for dinner. Just make sure it really arrives in the promised condition, or you will get complaints.
The menu itself also needs to be appealing and unique. Make up clever, original names for your dishes and create telling but compelling descriptions so the food seems more appealing. You should also give guests the opportunity to build their own dish or at least make easy modifications to their cart. Specialized orders are very important to consumers nowadays, and allowing them to personalize their meal demonstrates care toward their individual allergies and preferences. This not only leaves you with more satisfied customers who are likely to return, but modifications increase the average check size too.
Don’t miss any chance to connect with your guests. So much happens online that you’re missing a significant chunk of your potential audience by failing to advertise on the internet. Form strong, personal customer relationships by connecting directly to them on your Instagram, Facebook, and other social media channels. Ideally, you can even convince followers to make user-generated content, which is essentially free advertising and thus a huge benefit for you.
Share behind-the-scenes stories, explain exactly what precautions you’re taking against COVID-19, and promote easy ordering from various mobile channels through well-placed links. You can encourage more followers to engage with you by hosting polls, Q&As and contests offering free delivery or another, similar prize. You can even use these channels to ask for direct feedback so you know youre making the right business decisions, tailor-made for your audience. Targeted marketing is made a little bit easier by the internet.
Just because you can’t interact with your guests face to face doesn’t mean that you can’t deliver every order in a memorable way that encourages their return. Even a simple, handwritten thank-you note slipped into the container or a message on the side of the bag goes a long way toward showing your appreciation for loyal customers. If you’re feeling ambitious and you have the resources, give away some branded merchandise as a bonus gift such as a sticker or a reusable straw with the business’s name on it.
If you’re caught up with the modern age, then your restaurant also has a personalized branded QR code that takes customers to a mobile menu where they can browse and order right from their smartphones. Leave similar codes in the delivery bag with a promo code for a discount next time they buy directly from you, or have it link to a feedback page for them to leave a quick review. Whatever you decide, find a way to personalize each delivery so your customers are left with a positive impression of the restaurant, even if they can’t sit down and enjoy a meal in person.
Guests have a lot of options when it comes to online ordering. From what type of food to eat, to the restaurant they pick, to whether they should order via a third-party app, website, or another service, it all goes to show why it’s so vital for restaurants to make themselves stand apart from the competition.
Give yourself a competitive edge by streamlining your off-premise ordering system to handle an influx of eager new customers. Everybody’s finding creative methods to enjoy their favorite restaurants during this troubling time. Make sure yours is prepared to answer the call.
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