When it comes to technology, small businesses have an arsenal of tools to help them reach customers and drive revenue. Considering that 70% of Americans feel they don’t have enough time in the day to achieve all the things they need to get done, busy customers are increasingly expecting convenience and speed from businesses.
Hungry customers often turn to online ordering and delivery when they can’t find the time to cook a meal. Even when people are just spending a night in with friends, crunching the keyboard to meet a deadline, or simply looking for a new restaurant to try, they turn to online ordering platforms to find something to feast on. And the data proves this to be true.
According to Restaurant Business, 86% of consumers are using off-premise services at least monthly. And a third are using it more than they did a year ago.
Is your restaurant offering online ordering through third-party sites and apps?
The Impact on Your Restaurant
91% of Internet users use their desktop computers to search the Internet and 80% of them use their smartphones to do so. Enabling online ordering and delivery for your business can increase order volume and attract customers looking to purchase with a few clicks of a button.
The food delivery market currently stands at $95 billion dollars. And there’s no signs of it slowing down. Experts predict online ordering platforms will experience a 79% growth within the next 5 years. That’s a lot of Lo Mein and burgers showing up on doorsteps.
When it comes to your restaurant, this is prime opportunity to bring in new business you might not have gotten through traditional delivery and marketing methods. Online ordering apps are easy to download on smartphones and give hungry searchers plenty of restaurants and diverse cusines to choose from.
Plus, since you’re working with a third-party, the ordering process and delivery is, most times, completed by that third-party, saving you the handling the delivery arm of the business, including finding and employing drivers to get the job done. Further, these online ordering companies will advertise your restaurant on their apps in order to increase your visibility to the consumer.
The Popularity of Online Ordering
Why are online ordering platforms so popular with consumers? One word: convenience. They eliminate the need to call a business, the hassle of being placed on hold, and the risk of order inccuracy due to a miscommunication over the phone. Plus, a diners’ credit card is typically saved within an app so they don’t have to fumble around to find a credit card for payment over the phone or have cash ready when you arrive at their door. Combine the convenience of online ordering with the convenience of delivery and you are creating an efficient experience for your customers.
While online ordering and delivery are important features for any business looking to grow, determining the best platform to partner with depends on the type of business you have and what your specific needs are on a daily basis.
To help your restaurant choose which partner is right for you, we’ve compiled a list of the online ordering platforms available.
Online Ordering Platforms
GrubHub and Seamless are two of the leading online ordering services that partnered in August of 2013. This partnership allowed them to expand their presence internationally and increase the number of restaurants available on both platforms. GrubHub and Seamless have an extensive customer base of 15.6 million active diners and receive about 423,200 orders daily.
In addition to their far-reaching customer base, local businesses will be glad to know that the cost of becoming a partner is low. There is no upfront cost and the company boasts an ROI of 6x in monthly takeout revenue for restaurants. However, restaurants will need to pay Grubhub/Seamless a commission for their services. With an estimated 13.5% commission fee per order, as a restaurant owner you should evaluate your budgets to determine whether this service is right for you.
Keep in mind that your restaurant will be able to manage delivery orders from any device and either enable orders on your own website or allow GrubHub to help create your own customizable site.
Postmates is another online ordering platform to consider. They offer on-demand delivery of “anything” from over 250,000 merchants. There are 3.5 million deliveries through Postmates each month and they recently announced their expansion into Mexico. Postmates notes that businesses see an average of 4x increase in orders after partnering with them.
ChowNow’s tagline is “online ordering built just for your restaurant.” Their features include Facebook ordering, order management tools, customer insights, and marketing and website services. ChowNow gives diners the ability to order directly from a restaurant’s website instead of rerouting to a third-party site.
They operate on a SaaS model where restaurants subscribe on a monthly basis; ChowNow does not cook or deliver the food. Instead, the restaurant receives the order, processes it, and communicates to the customer to close the loop.
ChowNow promises “customers who order from ChowNow clients’ mobile apps order nearly 3x more frequently at that restaurant.”
Partnering with over 10,000 local businesses, Delivery.com has connected customers with the meals and products they’re looking for since 2004. Restaurants, grocery stores, wine and liquor stores, and laundry services have access to over one million users through their site.
With no setup fee and a system where businesses only pay for the orders placed through Delivery.com, the site allows virtually any kind of business that offers food or services to have online ordering and delivery capability.
In addition to online ordering and delivery, Delivery.com markets businesses using email promotions, social media marketing, and marketing collateral, as well as out-of-home and digital advertising.
With the capability of managing orders from any device as well as monitoring customer insights, Delivery.com allows local businesses in more than 38 cities the opportunity to grow their customer base.
We’ve probably all gotten from point A to point B via Uber. The popular carpooling service has taken on food delivery as well. It was launched in 2014 and provides much of the same to diners - food in their area delivered to their door. The meals are delivered on cars, bikes, or on foot and can be tracked as the orders are in process. UberEats has hundreds of restaurants for customers to choose from and currently operates in 200 cities around the globe. However, UberEast fees are higher than the rest of the market, with some sources saying commission fees can reach up to 30%. You’ll have to decide if this is the right move for your restaurant.
Amazon Restaurants allows diners with access to Amazon Prime to find popular restaurants based on location. The interface looks similar to the rest of Amazon’s shopping experience and works in the same way as many of the other online ordering platforms. Once a customer places the order, the restaurant is alerted and prepares the meal. Then, Amazon delivers the food to the customer and provides tracking and status updates. Amazon builds the restaurant profile for you and doesn’t charge an up-front cost. However, their fee is 27.5%, notably higher than many other companies. Restaurants also must have a Kindle tablet to receive orders. The service is currently available in 24 major cities.
Choosing the Best Online Ordering Platform For Your Business
While there is a vast range of online ordering and delivery platforms to choose from, understanding which is most compatible with your restaurant’s needs is essential in increasing reach and successfully serving customers through these sites. Do your research and decide what is best for your business.
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