Restaurants and food trucks are both struggling with increased pressure to increase revenues and lower costs, while maintaining or improving the quality of their product. There are many ways to do this; one of the simplest and most effective ways is to make use of an online food ordering system. Online food ordering systems give you the opportunity to grow your business significantly, by giving customers another way to order outside of calling in or waiting in line at your counter. They also give you insight into how customers view your business, offering you the chance to improve existing strategies and make use of industry trends to benefit your restaurant.
Table of Contents
Why is the Online Food Ordering system now trending?
Online food ordering system, or e-food as it’s known in some parts of Europe, is becoming more popular. According to one estimate , around 2.5% of American consumers now use some sort of e-food service each month and that number is expected to rise, fueled by growing smartphone adoption rates, which will allow customers to order from their phones. But why are people using these services? And what are some of the risks associated with them? Below we’ll discuss three ways e-food services can help your restaurant increase revenues and capture new market segments—as well as three potential dangers you should be aware of if you decide to go down that path.
Convince users to download your app
Convincing people that your online ordering app and food delivery app is valuable and worth their time may seem like a daunting task, but having just one person do so will help tremendously. A prospective user is more likely to try out your app when they see that other individuals use it, as demonstrated by sites like Buzzfeed or Reddit. Posting on these sites can be a great way to get people interested in trying out your software; however, be careful not to spam users or you may end up alienating them rather than converting them into clients.
You can also rely on social media posts. If you know anyone who has a large follower base, try asking them to tweet about your product once it’s live. Again, be sure not to come off as pushy or spammy in your request and make sure that you provide an incentive for users if they decide to share your app with their friends. For example, offer discount codes or free shipping when someone decides to give your business a chance.
Give them something valuable in return
Offering a free trial period is a simple way to upsell customers. For example, if you offer your product or service at $100 per month, offer your customers two months free. This gives them time to see how it works out and helps you see whether or not they’re actually interested in paying you on a monthly basis. If they stick around and pay after those first two months, great! They’ve essentially given you their long-term commitment as a customer (and are less likely to go hunting around for another option). If they don’t continue, then at least you know that your money was well spent on identifying someone who wasn’t going to be buying from you anyway.
Offer them a free Delivery offer! To minimize your risk, put a time limit on it. This ensures that if you don’t enjoy being a customer or if there are technical issues that cause you problems during your free trial, you can simply discontinue your service before it charges you. Of course, make sure your terms of service allow you to do so without consequence (i.e., make sure there is no automatic contract renewal after those first two months). The idea here is just to let potential customers know that they won’t be locked into a lengthy commitment with you immediately.
Increase user retention
According to Forbes, user retention is one of the biggest metrics by which a restaurant’s business model can be measured. If your restaurant has a loyal customer base, it’s likely that you have achieved customer retention. However, if people are visiting your restaurant and never returning, there are steps you can take to turn that trend around. An easy way for restaurants to increase customer retention is by delivering a quality dining experience. In order to do so, restaurant owners should focus on creating a positive atmosphere and better manage employee performance by reinforcing professionalism at all times during shift management. These factors will contribute greatly in increasing user retention over time as customers become accustomed to frequenting your establishment for lunch or dinner.
Grow recurring revenues
While one-time restaurant sales are important, recurring revenues are a great way to ensure that your business will continue to grow—even when things slow down. There are many ways you can increase recurring revenues, including software and marketing systems. Looking for a way that can help you increase both customer satisfaction and your bottom line? Try an online food ordering and delivery system! Having such a platform in place allows customers to order from their smartphones or computers—which means higher retention rates and even more ways of increasing sales. It’s also much easier than it used to be; these days, most platforms have apps so you don’t even need access to a computer!
Use analytics tools to stay on top of the data
Studies have shown that about 20% of online users account for 80% of a website’s traffic. To understand your customers, analytics tools such as Google Analytics can be extremely helpful. It’s not just enough to know which pages are popular, you should also find out what generates traffic and what doesn’t. Digging into Google Analytics data will allow you to see how long customers spend on each page, how they interact with certain content and if they bounce off or stay on your site and continue browsing. This can help inform your future marketing efforts and improve overall conversion rates.
Beyond Google Analytics, your business should also make use of a range of other marketing tools. There are a number of social media sites that can help increase brand awareness and drive traffic back to your website. Facebook is one option that offers great audience targeting, helping you pinpoint your ideal customers and connect with them through content they will find valuable. Other effective options include Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. For more traditional forms of advertising, some businesses choose to work with local media publications or invest in paid advertising on Google AdWords.
Get people talking about your brand
No matter how great your idea is, it won’t amount to much unless people are talking about it. Start by identifying your super fans—the people who love what you do so much that they would tell their friends. You can then encourage your super fans to spread the word by giving them something meaningful in return, such as free services or content (articles, photos and videos). If you want more ideas on how to get people talking about your brand, check out our list of top 12 ways.
Getting people talking about your brand can be difficult at first. However, there are some techniques you can use that help get you on your way. A good example is by encouraging user-generated content; it shows that you’re paying attention and allows people to take ownership of it. Most social media sites allow users to submit their own posts and images, which then are published on a page that includes a link back to your website (which makes it free advertising). Another technique is by offering incentives for people promoting your brand or services; these could include discounts on merchandise or gift cards.
Partner up with large companies or brands who want to reach your target audience
There are lots of companies that want to reach a large audience, and they’re willing to pay you—in some cases, a lot—to help them do it. Partnering up with these brands can be hugely beneficial; not only do you get monetary compensation, but you also get access to a much wider consumer base. Plus, there are plenty of examples out there where brands have bought entire blogs and turned them into their own personal advertising platforms.
If you don’t want a company to make drastic changes, or if your site is heavily branded and doesn’t match a brand’s aesthetic, offering up cross-promotion can be a good alternative. Cross-promotion typically involves companies sharing links between their social media accounts—for example, each company might post about one another on Twitter once or twice per week. While you won’t get paid for it, cross-promotion is a great way to build relationships with other brands and businesses that can benefit your business in various ways down the road. It also helps develop trust from consumers who see brands working together.
A great menu and signature dishes are, of course, important. But they aren’t a secret ingredient or silver bullet. Without a strong strategy and actionable tactics, even delicious dishes won’t save your restaurant. Use these three tips as guidelines to get started on boosting revenues by building your business around time-tested fundamentals.
Most importantly, you need a top-notch marketing plan in place. That includes using your website to collect contact information from your customers and establishing a good social media presence that drives traffic back to your website. By building your restaurant’s reputation on solid foundations, you can find new ways of making money as your business grows. In order to stand out, be creative. Adapting proven strategies is one thing; thinking outside of the box is another entirely. With these ideas in mind, you can leverage timeless fundamentals and create a winning plan that works for you!