Online ordering has been booming since COVID-19. It looks like this trend will continue to rise in 2021 since the dine-out option is either restricted or unavailable. According to UBS Evidence, the total “dine-in restaurant sales in the USA decreased 69% in the week ended Nov. 29. In that same week, takeout and delivery sales rose 59%.” Unfortunately, the revenue from “dine-out” is not enough for restaurants to remain sustainable in their business.
High Commission Problem at Dine-out Option
The “Dine-out” option is not profitable because restaurants pay high commission fees for the 3rd party delivery platforms. Commissions and extra charges eat restaurants revenue and while the 3rd party delivery platforms grow; restaurants go out of the business permanently. This means that restaurants must find new ways to optimize their online delivery to stay in the business.
One of the easiest ways to increase profits for restaurants is to digitize their own digital menu and receive online orders and payments.
Solving the High Commission Dine-out Operation Problem
In-housing online order & delivery means restaurants receive their orders from their customers directly through their online platform and take care of their delivery with their own vehicles. As a result, restaurants have full control over their ordering process and their delivery. Restaurateurs can simply create their menu online, share it via social media and website, receive orders, and use their vehicles to transport the items.
One of the main problems restaurateurs face is that they can not promote their own online ordering tools. As a result, unaware customers continue to purchase their meals by using 3rd party apps and restaurants lose profits.
So how restaurateurs can directly receive orders from their clients?
Restaurants should promote their online menu across different channels
Did you know that 63% of consumers prefer to order delivery directly from the restaurant, versus 18% who prefer third parties? Well, the majority of the consumers actually prefer to support their favorite restaurant. However, they are not familiar with what restaurants offer.
It is restaurants’ jobs to promote direct ordering on their website, social media channels, and newsletters. Communication through these channels is the best way to teach consumers about how they can order their food directly from restaurants’ websites. So promoting the online menu across different channels is critical to educate consumers to order their food by using the restaurant’s website and app.
Restaurateurs can leverage printed materials to educate consumers about online ordering
Educational marketing by using online channels is great. However, it must be supported by printed materials to reinforce marketing efforts. As a result, restaurants should also leverage printed materials such as flyers, brochures, magnets, and other materials to educate consumers about online ordering.
Including these printed materials in delivery bags, despite which ordering channel is used, is a must. A flyer that encourages customers to order through restaurants’ websites/app or printing QR menu codes on magnets could be beneficial to encourage customers to order directly from them.
Restaurants can encourage their customers with incentives and benefits
If customers are not changing their ordering behavior, it might be because they don’t have an incentive to change it. Restaurants can change their customers’ habits with certain incentives and benefits designed exclusively for online orders coming from their own website/app.
Exclusive promotional tactics such as discounts on orders, free food/beverages, or loyalty cards will encourage customers to place their orders directly from the restaurant’s website or app.