A Step-by-Step Guide to Increasing Restaurants’ Online Orders

October 9, 2023

Whether you're a small local eatery or a large restaurant chain, these comprehensive guidelines will empower you to leverage online ordering platforms effectively, attract more customers, and boost your revenue.

In 2023, the revenue from online food ordering is predicted to reach $220 billion, accounting for 40% of restaurant sales. According to MRM: “technology will continue to shape and enhance the restaurant industry and we will see operators adopting new technologies to create an even more seamless and frictionless experience for guests, while still maintaining unique and engaging dining experiences.” 

Despite their small size, delivery apps offer agile brands a competitive advantage over established rivals. In this demanding landscape, boosting online orders is paramount for restaurant owners. It not only increases income and operational effectiveness but also elevates customer satisfaction by gathering valuable data for marketing and menu enhancements. In essence, online ordering is an essential tool that every restaurant must embrace to remain competitive.

56% of restaurants and customers use restaurant apps for online food ordering. Online ordering provides several benefits for restaurants, making it a valuable addition to their operations:

  1. Increased Revenue: 91% make online purchases using their smartphone. As such, online ordering systems can boost revenue by reaching a broader customer base and increasing order frequency. Customers can conveniently place orders from their devices, leading to higher sales.
  2. Efficiency and Convenient Payment: Online orders simplify the ordering process, reducing the risk of errors and simplifying secure payments, enhancing efficiency and cutting labor costs by eliminating the need for extra staff to handle phone orders.
  3. Data Collection: Online ordering platforms allow restaurants to collect valuable customer data, including order history and preferences. This data can be used for personalized marketing and improving the menu.
  4. Higher Average Order Value: According to surveys, online order totals are, on average, 20% higher than on-premise orders. This is likely because customers have more time to browse the menu and add extras when ordering online.

Whether you're a small local eatery or a large restaurant chain, the tips below will empower you to leverage online ordering platforms effectively, attract more customers, and boost your revenue:

  1.  CTA Buttons: It may seem obvious, but many businesses, not just restaurants, often overlook the ‘Order Now’ button. A bold CTA button with text written in all capital letters can help make it more visible and noticeable. To funnel more orders through their website and pay lower fees, restaurant owners must remove third-party ordering buttons and links to promote ordering directly from your restaurant. Business owners can fill in a Googe form to remove CTA buttons linking to an online delivery option from their knowledge card. When it comes to newsletters, adding an ordering link can prompt customers to order directly from emails instead of using third-party websites.
  2. Optimize Your Presence on Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Google, and Yelp: "Restaurants near me" is the most searched "near me" query with 6.2M monthly searches.  Leverage apps, maps, and search engines for maximum exposure. Instead of linking to your main website, provide direct links to your online ordering, or in the case of Appfront users, a link to your designated online ordering website. Customize links for business owners with multiple locations to minimize clicks.
  3. Streamline Social Media Links: Social media platforms only allow you to attach one link to your bio. Every time you want to direct customers to a different link, you must change it. However, this problem can be solved using a Link Page that hosts a menu of links. Using one link can make all the links easily accessible to your customers. Create a mini-website using services like Link Tree/LinkinBio instead of placing your URL in your Instagram or Facebook bio. This simplifies the user journey and increases the likelihood of conversions. It's important to note that a significant majority of consumers, about 87%, read online reviews of local businesses. Consider linking to the websites mentioned in point #3 to promote positive word of mouth. 
  4. Incentivize Direct Online Ordering: Achieving continuous growth and ensuring that customers order directly from your mobile app or website is crucial, and creating successful customer acquisition campaigns can help with that. To get started with these campaigns, it's important to ensure that your customers are aware of the benefits that they offer. By using prominently placed QR codes along with the right mix of communication methods such as push notifications, SMS, and newsletters, businesses can ensure that their loyalty programs and special promotions have a significant impact on online ordering.

Appfront makes the online ordering experience simple, seamless, and rewarding while providing robust intelligence to personalize interactions, automate campaigns, and drive loyalty. Discover how to leverage great food with an unmatched digital presence today. 

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