A new study on Restaurant Online Ordering published by the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research last month revealed some surprising and interesting results.
Of note, while 26.9% of the restaurants they surveyed currently offer online ordering, the number was much higher in the pizza industry (nearly 50%), and nearly ALL of these operators say that their online ordering is Exceeding or Meeting their expectations. But how is it benefiting these restaurant owners?
Traditionally, the industry touts "Higher ticket averages" as a strong reason to adopt online ordering. According to this study, ticket averages WERE higher, but only slightly so, for most operators. Download our Online Launch Guide for some great ideas on increasing ticket averages for your online ordering implementation.
One of the more interesting results is that order volume increased. What they found is that once customers start ordering online, they order more often. Imagine if you had a customer who ordered twice per month, and you could increase this to 3 times. How's that for a 50% increase in business! This increase in order frequency was the main contributor to increased profits for online ordering users.
Operators also found that customer satisfaction was quite high for online order users (about 50% of internet users surveyed have ordered food online according to this study). And the reason is NOT what most restaurant owners think. Surveyed restaurant operators felt that "Convenience" was the top reason customers ordered online, but that "Fear of Technology" and "Desire for Human Interaction" may turn some customers away. But consumers highlighted "Control" as their #1 reason, and did not agree that a lack of human interaction or technology fears would prevent them from ordering online.
Large orders and catering orders are especially well suited to online ordering, as the customer can carefully review every detail of the order before submitting.
Features such as order confirmation emails, secure credit card processing, delivery time commitment, and even a separate pickup line for online orders can help customers feel that online orders give them more control AND convenience.
Promotions Worked Better
Another interesting result is that restaurant operators felt that promotions worked better online. Now, with a direct relationship to your customer, it is easy to e-mail them offers and trigger their ordering behavior. Offering incentives that only work online is a great way to introduce customers to your online ordering.
Restaurant operators reported that they did save labor with online ordering taking care of a portion of their phone calls. While online ordering remains an average of less than 10% of all orders, the labor savings potential has room for growth. Learn more about how to shift more orders online with our Online Ordering Launch Guide.
Increased Order Accuracy
While some not-online restaurant operators worry that the technology has room for failure, those experienced with online ordering felt that order accuracy actually increased. When customers can see the choices plainly and can select their own items, errors in translation that occur over the phone are eliminated. About 50% of the operators who had online ordering had direct integration with their POS system. With the tightly integrated solutions that GRS offers, order accuracy can be counted on.
Online Ordering is a technology with proven benefits to both restaurant operators and consumers! To read the Cornell Report, click here. To learn more about how GRS can help your restaurant get online or improve your current online ordering results, click here.