How do you get your restaurant ready for the best summer season ever? Start offering online ordering and delivery!

A whopping 60 percent of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week, and 79 percent of millennials report using online ordering services. If that’s not enough to convince you to implement online ordering this summer, here are five more reasons why it’s a smart investment.

Customers Have Better Experiences When They Order Food Online

It takes 12 good customer experiences to make up for a single bad one, so why not make every interaction amazing? With an online platform to take orders, you minimize the chances of:

  • Orders being missed or overlooked
  • Inaccurate order fulfillment
  • Miscommunications regarding out-of-stock items
  • People leaving due to long lines or wait times

Customers also enjoy a more personalized order experience online. They have the freedom to customize their meal and drink choices based on preferences, dietary restrictions or even budget.

This keeps service running smoothly during busy times of day, since restaurant staff are free to work instead of being tied up taking detailed phone orders.

You Get to Leverage the Value of Repeat Customers

It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to bring back a loyal patron, and this can represent a significant chunk of change for a small business!

Sixty-seven percent of diners who have used online ordering services are likely to return to the same restaurant in the future, so simply adding the option of ordering from a computer or mobile device can skyrocket your repeat business.

Returning customers make your ad campaigns a lot more effective, too. Conversion rates are impressively high among people who have already made purchases – around 60 to 70 percent.

That means the guy who raved about your special last week will probably show up again this week and several more times during the summer. You might even want to consider taking on a couple extra staff members to handle the seasonal rush.

Online Ordering Tools Offer Convenience

Today’s restaurant patrons crave more than food; they want convenience, and they’re willing to pay for it. You only have to look to the popularity of subscription boxes for proof! That’s why online ordering is better for your restaurant and your customers.

Sixty-three percent of diners in the U.S. say delivery services are more convenient for them, and speedy delivery would convince 31 percent of people who haven’t tried online ordering to give it a shot. Adding an ordering service lets you cater to both crowds.

The user-friendly interface eliminates the time restaurant staff spends on the phone so that they can focus on food prep and have takeout orders ready to go faster than ever before.

Online Ordering for Food Increases Sales

If you’re wondering how much an ordering system can pay off, take a look at TGI Fridays. When the chain started offering online orders, its sales jumped 30 percent. Today, almost half of consumers order food online and spend 20 percent more than when they dine in.

You might not see quite as much of a sales boost as a well-known brand, but with 34 percent of customers spending at least $50 on their online orders, you could get 10 to 20 percent more sales this summer. One of the reasons for this is the ability to order any time.

Customers can put in orders when you’re closed and request pickup or delivery at specific times the next day. That means a sleepy office worker could get daily coffee and bagel run taken care of before bed and not feel rushed on the way to work in the morning, making for a happier day all around.

You Get the Benefits of Customer Data Analytics

Every time someone places an order through your website or app, you capture critical data, including:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Food preferences

This information comes in handy when creating targeted marketing campaigns.

Customer profiles easily translate into audience segments to which you can send out announcements and coupons tailored to individual tastes. Increased opportunities for engagement build relationships and brand loyalty to drive more repeat sales.

How to Finance Your Restaurant Online Ordering System

Tools and platforms for online ordering don’t come for free, but you can’t ignore the potential ROI. Whether you go for third-party software or an exclusive branded app, the money you put into a customer-facing order system is more than likely to come back to you over the course of the busy summer season.

Software for ordering or POS systems with integrated ordering options generally require a monthly fee and let customers place orders on your website, through an app or even on Facebook. A business line of credit provides a handy source of cash to handle monthly payments until the system gains traction.

What if you’re looking for a more customized approach? With online ordering services from National Business Capital and Services, you can proudly declare “Online Ordering Now Available!” in all your advertising.

Get in touch by calling (877) 482-3008 to find out how National can help you make this critical sales tool an integral part of your restaurant’s plan to better serve your summer customers. Or, fill out a simple 60-second application online to get the funds you need in as little as 24 hours.