It’s a common malady. Having had to go through pages of menu and wait for your food. All the while you’re already tired and short on time. So you move on to the next food joint where you can get better and faster service.
Would you really let your consumers go through that? Because nowadays, no matter how good your food tastes, most consumers won’t give you a second look if it means longer wait time.
That’s because more and more diners (especially the younger generation) are now switching to online ordering. It’s a faster and more efficient way for them to order food, and it’s projected to be one of the fastest growing industry.
All they need to do is search the restaurant, choose the menu they want, place the order and pay. All using their smartphones, online - without moving an inch. They can then choose to have the food delivered or pick it up, and by the time they reach the restaurant (or the food reach their place) it’s all warm and ready for them. No time nor energy wasted.
Some vendors might be reluctant to adopt this new method, due to the fact that the infrastructure will cost money and so will the re-training of the staff. But the benefits of this switch outweighs the negatives, and it should be given some serious thoughts
Increase Consumer satisfaction and more promotion
Just as we’ve mentioned, people are now busier and have shorter attention span; according to a research the attention span of a millennial is about 8 seconds; which is why they value their time a lot more. Using online feature saves those tired consumers the time that they have little of and energy of which they don’t have any.
Using an online menu also helps consumers narrow down their choices; which they can do with the search bar. A typical restaurant has on average about ~50 items on their menu, something that’s not good for their consumer’s decreasing attention span. Imagine having to go through pages and pages of menu, looking for that one dish you want. Then compare that to putting in a search keyword and get the results in about 3 seconds. Consumers will just put in the type of food they’re looking for and the best possible results will show – narrowing down their options and saving them time.
Studies also found that millennials are the largest group of phone users; which means just by having a mobile platform, vendors have a chance to actually get some screen time on their favorite device. So it also acts as a form of promotion by increasing the chances of being discovered.
Furthermore, millennials are one of the biggest spenders when it comes to dining out. According to Food and Wine magazine, millennials go out to eat 5 times a day – which is way more than the older generation. This is because as it turns out, millennials are workaholics and they have less time to cook for themselves. Which is why they would buy a ready-made food; and mobile ordering will just make it much easier and faster. All the more reasons for restaurant vendors to target them as one of their main market.
Mobile ordering also means less processing time on the vendor’s part as well, because waiters won’t need to come and collect orders anymore. This could mean efficiency in staffing for the restaurants as less people will be needed to be taking in orders. And by logging in their own orders, this also equates to less human errors; so say goodbye to returning that plate of food you didn’t order.
Another benefit of mobile ordering is the use of online payment. This means less transaction time, as all they need to do is click away and the funds will be transferred.
This is also a good way for restaurant vendors to make their consumers to spend more money. A research showed that consumers will spend way more money when it’s an online, cashless transaction compared to offline transaction that involves physical money. This is because they don’t really see the actual money being spent.
Consumers also won’t need to queue up to the cashier in order to pay, and vendors won’t need to prepare the change anymore or hire a cashier. This way, it saves the consumers time and the vendors can save up on wages. It’s a cashless, less messy and timely way of transaction.
If those previous facts still don’t convince you that online ordering is the future, here’s one cold fact: orders placed using smartphones will become a $38 billion industry in 2020, and will make up about 11% of all quick service restaurant sales. Furthermore, 48% of all quick service restaurants in the US are planning to add the mobile technology in the near future. That means nearly half of the competition is gearing up to use this technology. That, plus the ones that already adopted it; which means a majority of quick service restaurant will be using online ordering in the near future.
The competition is tough enough already, and adding the lack of reach to consumers compared to competitors will leave vendors at a disadvantage. It means the risk of losing consumers as they could easily switch to competitors. The switching cost for the consumers are getting lower and lower, as they could easily get another option just by a scroll of their screen – not having to spend any energy.
Looking at all the reasons mentioned, it seems logical that nowadays restaurants can’t just rely on traditional way of customer-service experience. As the direction that this industry is going is to be a more streamlined, efficient process; and sadly, those who fail to keep up will surely fall behind.