Restaurant Advice: Why Online Ordering is More Effective Than Call-In Ordering

Restaurant Advice: Why Online Ordering is More Effective Than Call-In Ordering

It’s undeniable that we saw online ordering increase rapidly in the year 2020. With a 285% increase in the search for “take out,” you must maximize the way you let your guests order. 

If your restaurant is still only accepting call-in orders for takeout, you are missing out on big business. Today’s savvy consumers spend more than 7 hours and 50 minutes of digital time and want easy access to online ordering. 

Statista recently notes that in 2020, the restaurant-to-consumer segment for online food ordering reached 760 million users, a 20% increase year-over-year. This year the number is expected to reach 821 million. 

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Now more than ever, restaurants need to capitalize on online ordering. Offering this will meet the evolving consumer demand for convenience, and it has multiple advantages for your restaurant as well over call-in ordering.  

Here are six reasons why online ordering is superior to call-in orders:

1. Increases Order Accuracy

The first and most significant advantage of online ordering is that the guest controls their whole order. They choose what they want, write in modifications or allergies, and send it right to the restaurant. 

There’s no middle man with an in-house online ordering system. Online Ordering systems like CAKE are integrated directly into your POS, so the order goes straight to the kitchen. That’s not the case with call-in orders. 

online-ordering

With call-ins, there’s lots of room for mistakes when taking the order. Either you can’t hear the customer correctly, can’t read the handwriting after it’s written down, manually enter the order wrong, and the list goes on. 

Reducing order error is critical for contributing to less food waste and keeping customers happy.

2. Average Order Value is Higher

Another reason why online ordering is the better choice for restaurants is that they drive more revenue. Online order tabs average 30% higher than telephone or over-the-counter orders. 

This is because customers aren’t worried about rushing to place their order as they would in person or over the phone. Customers tend to spend more time browsing the menu online, and there are many opportunities to upsell. 

Online ordering menus are structured to see every add-on option for easy upselling and increasing the average order value. In a busy rush, call-in orders are taken as quickly as possible, and staff can often overlook upselling.

Also, when it comes to food, people eat with their eyes! With online ordering, you can showcase enticing photos of each dish. Research shows that adding good quality photos to your online page can boost sales by at least 30%. 

Read more: 3 Critical Tips for Improving Average Order Value.

3. Saves Time & Money on Labor Costs

Every restaurateur knows the struggle of phone calls and the amount of time we’ve all said: “I’m sorry can you repeat that? I couldn’t hear you”. 

Call-in orders can begin to get backed up, and then there’s a line of guests on hold. How long is too long for your guests to be on hold? Over 60% of consumers note they are only willing to wait two minutes or less

When there’s an overload of calls and maybe only one or two phones inside your restaurant, several things can go wrong. Here are a few: 

  1. Accidentally hanging up on a customer
  2. Rushing to input orders leading to order error
  3. Giving inaccurate pickup times 
  4. Miscommunication and extra time on the phone resolving the issue

Each of these can lead to costly mistakes. By implementing online ordering, you can help prevent this and save your staff and customers time. 

order-pickup

Guests can minimize their waiting times that they would have over the phone because online orders are instant and on their own time. This way, your staff can spend less time on the phone and more time on the floor where they belong with guests. 

4. Captures Customer Data

A huge benefit to online ordering is that it captures customer data for your customer relationship management system (CRM). This data can be used to retain your hard-earned customers and drive repeat purchases. 

An online ordering system provides valuable analytics about your customer’s spending habits, purchases, preferences, and more. It will track order patterns to make personalized recommendations.

Read more: Using Restaurant Analytics to Improve Your Profits.

One thing to note is that some third-party ordering systems will withhold this kind of information from your restaurant. Hence another reason why having an in-house ordering system is crucial so that way you have full control over the guest’s online experience and data. 

Phone-in orders are costing you more than you can track; data and time.

5. Payment Comes First

When guests order online, they pay in advance for their food, meaning you have guaranteed payment. Unless your guests were to pay over-the-phone when they call in, they usually pay when they pick up their order. 

But what happens if they never show up? That’s now a loss in payment, product, and labor. 

Most online ordering software can also save the card information when submitted online to allow for easier checkout on the guest’s next order. The goal is to make it as quick and convenient as possible for the guest. 

online-payment

6. Enhances the Customer Experience

Paytronix Systems did a recent study and found that 93 million U.S. consumers would spend more in a restaurant that offers loyalty programs and online ordering.

Online ordering software is an excellent customer retention tool, as mentioned above, because of the data it captures for your customer management. But, when integrated with a loyalty program, it becomes even more valuable for customers to order again. A helpful thing to note is that free delivery is rated the number one loyalty perk across all generations. 

The bottom line

Customers crave convenience and efficiency; thankfully, that’s what an online ordering system provides. The days of call-in orders are in the past. 

Make sure you have a system that’s easy-to-use and is going to save you money. CAKE Online Ordering eliminates 3rd-party fees and offers industry-low rates on every order.

Ready to get set up? Use our saving calculator to see how much money you can save with CAKE Online Ordering.

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