By Jerome Laredo – Co-founder & Chief Revenue
Food delivery has seen significant growth over the past five years – ecommerce is now the food industry’s fastest growing trend, with delivery services like Uber Eats, Just Eat, and Deliveroo now household names.
COVID-19 has propelled the industry years into the future, as millions of people in lockdown across the globe started ordering (more) food online. Pre-millenium, queuing up outside of the local chippy on a Friday night was commonplace; in the 2000s, the telephone was the essential tool for ordering food at home, mainly used on game day or rare occasions; but now, online ordering is a regular habit for a significant portion of the population.
The arrival of the smartphone has enabled people to order with just a click on the restaurant’s website or via delivery platforms. In fact, a recent Just Eat Takeaway.com report observed a 79% increase in online orders in the first quarter of 2021, nearly double its forecasted growth rate, as a boom in eating at home during the coronavirus pandemic continued in Britain (and other markets). While this surge in demand may settle some once the UK returns to normality, online ordering and food delivery are here to stay.
This means restaurants and other food services offering delivery should create an effective delivery strategy, not only as a means of survival, but as a way to capture the most basic of consumers’ interest. A solid delivery strategy should also eliminate the common problems that are associated with online food ordering.
Here are the main challenges restaranteurs face and the best tech solutions to overcome them:
Online orders are typically processed by restaurant staff, accepting delivery and take-away orders on the aggregators’ tablets, and entering them into a point-of-sale system by hand. This manual task, which is both time and labour intensive, creates a delay in the order flow. Additionally, once the kitchen receives the online order tickets, they usually all look different based on the delivery service’s specific ticket layout.
Enter confusion – and even slower delivery times. Another issue with rekeying orders is that it’s prone to error. Making mistakes is only human, but errors in the customer’s order will lead to complaints, frustration and loss of revenue and repeat business.
By automating the online order process, restaurants can eliminate human error to allow more time for staff to focus on customers. With orders automatically sent to the POS and tickets printed in the kitchen in a consistent format, the entire restaurant will run far more smoothly.
Manage menus efficiently
Managing menus across different online ordering platforms takes up a lot of time. Never before have there been so many restaurants offering delivery and takeout; therefore it’s crucial to stand out. One sure-fire way to do this is with a delivery-proof menu that is clear, attractive and customisable.
Creating online menus across different third-party platforms and keeping them up to date can take up hours of precious time. This means it’s hard to stay agile and make quick menu changes.
Fortunately, it’s possible to easily and efficiently manage multi-location and multi-platform menus, all from one screen. For example, Deliverect’s omni-channel restaurant technology comes with an easy menu builder that enables restaurants to create, duplicate and automate menus, and publish them to multiple channels with a few clicks. This makes it easier to adjust descriptions, promotions and pictures, giving businesses the opportunity to experiment with audiences and segments.
Analyse data better
Analysing sales data is one of the best and fastest ways to optimise and grow any business. However, if a restaurateur is working with multiple delivery service providers, that means all of their sales data will be fragmented between different online platforms, as well as sales generated offline. Another common problem delivery restaurants face is that they don’t have real-time data about their online sales.
A seamless integration between online sales channels and any POS system is all it takes to solve this pain. By doing so restaurants will soon see all sales data in realtime, in one screen.
Some of the biggest operational issues of food delivery and online ordering can be easily dealt with by optimising your delivery management and integrating your online sales channels with your restaurant’s POS system – not to mention a boost in revenue. You’ll gain back time to focus on your core business, and on what matters most of all: making your customers happy and conquering the world with your food.