Setting up your own online food ordering app is important for the growth of your restaurant business. How? You do away with the middlemen and get direct orders through your portal.
So why should you be investing your time and resources in going online? Be it placing orders directly on your food ordering app or through a food aggregator, the bottomline is when it comes to ordering food, people prefer ordering online.
Quick Fact: Did you know that Statista predicts that the market size of the online food delivery segment to be around 1137 million USD by 2022?
We know that it is quicker and more convenient to sign up with food aggregators. But connecting with your customers via a food party aggregator is riddled with various business problems. We will be taking those up later in this article.
Why should you be investing in an online food ordering app?
Data suggests that Revenue in the online food delivery segment is estimated to reach 7.12 billion USD in 2022. A mammoth figure, isn’t it?
This can be attributed to the rise of the internet generation at the back of affordable technology. This has resulted in more number of people taking to smartphones to solve their problems.
Added to that, it is increasingly convenient for the consumer today to place an order through the app. Restaurants have noted an uptick in the average basket size per consumer when orders are placed online. A well laid out Online Food Ordering system will put you at an advantage in more ways than one. In this article, we will focus on the importance of an online ordering app. Let’s get started.
Here is the list of benefits of having your own Online Ordering App.
1. Brand your app the way you want
This needs little explanation, when you have your own website or ordering app, you will get to brand the screen exactly the way you want. When you tie up with a 3rd party company to market your product, they give you a tiny space on their app. This gives you very little room for expressing yourself. On the other hand, your own app will allow you the freedom to do your advertising and marketing your way.
2. More Virtual Orders and Chatbots
Well, in many restaurants ordering still happens via calling the outlets and placing orders. This is a big pain for the restaurant management as staff has to juggle between the people eating at the outlet and the online deliveries. Through your food ordering app, you would be having a team of virtual assistants who would help your customers place the order. This would enter the databases, without the need of a staff representative. Virtual assistants or Chatbots allow your brand to engage with customers should they have any questions. A database of FAQs fed into your chatbot will make your chatbot very effective. This automated setup will help you save your staff time and ensure orders are placed more effectively
3. No commissions
Once you have your own mobile restaurant ordering app in place, the direct orders will bring you more revenue. Third party aggregators have been heavy spenders on digital marketing. This has helped them create a strong presence in the online space and allowed them to hike commissions (now in the bracket of 20-30%). It remains to be seen if this rate goes up, further reducing the margins of the restaurant.
4. Cost benefits
When your brand gets popularity in the online ordering space, you would also benefit from a cost perspective. How is that? It will help relieve the pressure on your physical outlets by dividing orders between online and your offline outlets Thus, the burden of infrastructural expansions are likely to get eased. Also, staff time and effort is saved and they can focus more on the customers at your outlet and not bother about the online restaurant orders.
Especially if you’re venturing into newer models like a cloud kitchen/dark kitchen, a robust online ordering platform/app will be the source of most of your orders.
Features of an online food ordering app
Now that you are somewhat familiar with why you should be investing in an online food ordering app, you may want to conduct a quick research on the best food ordering apps which are out there. Here is a list of 11 must-have functions that your mobile restaurant app should have. This would serve as your checklist while shortlisting the best order online food app for your restaurant.
1. Multiple Log-in and registration options
When users download the online food ordering app, there should be an option to log-in via your email or social media platforms. This should be further authenticated with one time passwords triggered to mobiles or email to verify users. Restaurants are thus able to maintain a database of subscribers for further monitoring and marketing.
This feature helps both customers and restaurant management track orders. On each step of the delivery process, customers are kept updated about the whereabouts of their order gaining visibility in the logistics process. Also from a repeat order perspective, your subscribers are kept in the loop in all the new things that you have to offer. This becomes an important part of your customer engagement and retention strategy.
3. Table Reservation Feature
Table reservation features on your app work very well with your dine in set-up. Popular restaurants have always had the issue of running out of space on a busy day. And on many occasions, customers are made to wait for their turn. Table reservation features on the online ordering app help customers book their tables well in advance, thus improving their eating out experience.
4. Integration with restaurant software
Mobile restaurant ordering app, when integrated to restaurant software, contributes to a robust restaurant management system.
Integrations include those with operations and marketing setups which allow greater automation in your restaurant processes. Checking for software compatibility is a must at the time of purchase of your own online restaurant ordering app. This helps safeguard against old or incompatible versions of restaurant software.
5. Ability to feature interactive menus and shopping carts
Customer experience is crucial. Your restaurant order taking app must allow you the flexibility to make changes to the menu and shopping carts thereby constantly elevating your customers’ experience. Also it is important that the order placing journey is more convenient. Like customers enjoy easy menu navigation and quick order placements.
Read about how technology can be used to improve your restaurant customer’s engagement here.
6. Supports multiple payment options
Your mobile restaurant app should support all kinds of payment modes for the customer to choose from. Be it debit/credit cards, online wallets, Cash on Delivery, your online food ordering app should include as many payment options as possible.
7. Loyalty and Discount for improving customer retention
Customer Loyalty is an important metric for companies to keep a track of. Repeat business forms a significant chunk of revenue of any restaurant and should not be neglected.
Loyalty points are great incentives for your customers to revisit your outlet or order again from your app. Keep your customers updated about the points they have through the push notifications to make them order on your platform. Repeat visitors are important as they not only give you business themselves but also promote your brand both online and offline. Likewise, discounts drive at value which is a very effective tool that marketers make use of. So, do frequently update your food ordering app with all the latest discounts. Your customers should be aware of all that you have to offer at all times.
Check out this resource to elevate your Restaurant CRM game.
8. Pre-Order feature
Customers should be able to pre-order or schedule their meals. this allows them the flexibility of placing orders at times outside the typical order delivery time.
9. Available on all platforms
Your customers may use different kinds of mobile operating systems (iOS, Windows and Android).
10. Social Media Integrations
Your restaurant’s online food ordering app should link to social media. This integration helps customers login and get themselves registered. It also facilitates easy interaction between your customers and your brand via reviews. Ratings, referrals and so on. Activity on the food app then gets pushed to social media. Social media is an excellent platform to amplify your brand reach further. Also app subscribers should be able to invite their social media friends to sign up for the app.
11. Feedback collection
Mobile Ordering Apps nowadays consist of feedback forms. Feedback forms help customers share their opinions about the food and order experience.
Are you new to the restaurant feedback collection process? Here are some restaurant feedback ideas to help you get started
Over to you!
We hope this article helped. Do let us know your thoughts on this, we would love to hear from you! 🙂