Because online ordering negates the need for several employees taking orders by phone or in line, more orders can be made with the same number of personnel, increasing productivity and service capacity. In-app features that allow customers to pay online without having to pull out their wallet when they pick up their food can further speed up lines at busy cafes and quick-service restaurants. And by removing human error—online orders are more accurate—less food gets wasted.
With a mobile ordering app, you may never lose another customer during the lunch or dinner rush.
2. Increased Sales
In addition to increasing revenue by allowing restaurants to serve more customers in a shorter amount of time and with fewer employees, studies show that customers order more when they’re in control—often up to 30 percent more! Online ordering apps can be customized with prompts for add-ons, which also increase the customer’s ticket size. And, according to Mobile Commerce Daily, customers who order online are more likely to reorder within sixty days than walk-in customers.
3. Promotes Brand Awareness
Many online ordering apps can be customized with a restaurant’s logo, colors, and theme to increase and solidify brand awareness. And for franchise owners, using one app that displays all locations is good business sense, maximizing name recognition and capturing customers who may live in one location but work in another.
4. Boost and Reward Customer Loyalty
As diners are spending more and more time staring at their phones, mobile is one of the most effective ways of connecting with customers and creating brand loyalty through rewards programs. The digital version of the traditional punch card, loyalty programs reward frequent customers and draw in new customers by providing something free—an entrée, beverage, dessert, etc.—after they spend a certain amount of money. The best online ordering apps utilize automated rewards programs, which encourage guests to continue ordering on their phones using the app.
Starbuck’s, one of the pioneers of mobile app ordering and in-app rewards programs, grew its mobile rewards membership by 14 percent during the first quarter of 2019. By utilizing mobile apps to implement loyalty rewards programs, any restaurant or coffee shop can increase customer loyalty and engagement, resulting in higher revenue and a healthy bottom line.
5. Send Out Targeted Promotions
An online ordering app allows restaurants to cultivate a customer database that they can use to send out targeted and personalized promotions with push notifications. Regularly engaging customers with hot offers and discounts keeps businesses in the forefront of their customers’ minds, and increases both sales and customer following.
6. Level the Marketing Playing Field
While a restaurant behemoth like McDonald’s may have more marketing dollars to spend than a local family-owned restaurant, an online ordering app levels the playing field, giving smaller merchant’s a cost-effective way to reach customers and potential customers through a medium that everyone uses—their smart phone.
7. Ownership and Access to Valuable Data and Insight
Perhaps the greatest and most underrated benefit that mobile ordering apps provide restaurants is the access to data and analytics specific to their customers. This data provides restaurant owners with invaluable insight to understanding and predicting customer behavior. When restaurant owners can see what’s selling or not and trends in purchasing—such as when customers tend to buy what, and what items are purchased together—they can plan better, order food and supplies more cost efficiently, and target advertising and promotions for maximum sales.