by Grace Barone
You're at work and lunch time is getting closer and closer. You open your phone and open up one of the many different 3rd party online ordering apps you have downloaded. The options are endless, your scrolling is making you salivate. Do you want pizza? No, you had pizza yesterday. Maybe today is a burger day. Yeah, a burger and fries sounds good. You proceed to hunt for your favorite burger joint amongst the hundreds of other restaurants offered on the app. A new restaurant that you've never tried catches your eye. You decide to give the new place a chance instead of your tried and true. Its just a burger and fries, that's an order that's hard to mess up right?
You complete your order and go to check out on the app. The food comes out to $10.50. There's a delivery charge of $3.99. Okay, that's typical. But, there's also a $4.05 fee and tax charge. Alright that's annoying, but what can you do? Oh, and you need to tip the driver too. $3.00 is on the lower side but I mean, this order is starting to get pricey. Your $10.50 meal just turned into $21.54. You bite the bullet and place the order. 40 minutes later your lunch comes. It's cold and a little smashed. Your lunch is only 60 minutes so you scarf it down. You realize you should have just gone with the restaurant you were originally planning on ordering from. This new place didn't cut it. It was a disappointing lunch break to say the least.
The New Wave of Online Ordering
The scenario I just described isn't dramatized at all. Of course it doesn't always go that way but... for the most part, it kind of does go that way. Online ordering has become the norm for just about everything. Restaurants have jumped on the train of online ordering because that's the way customers want to order now a days. And why wouldn't they? Online ordering is extremely convenient and is the preferred way to order take-out. Every option available is at your finger tips. You don't need to call the restaurant and risk human error. You know exactly what you want, you do a few taps, wait a little and your food shows up at your door. 31% of Americans use 3rd party food delivery services at least twice a week.
Increased Profit from Online Ordering
Online food ordering has grown 300% faster than dine-in since 2014 and makes up roughly 40% of total restaurant sales. It is projected that by the end of 2023, revenue from online ordering will rise to $220 billion. Restaurants with an online ordering system are able to raise their take-out profits 30% higher than those who do not. Restaurant owners see how much money there is to be made from online ordering and do not want to miss out on the increased profit. Many restaurant owners go with the option that is pushed as the most convenient way to offer online ordering. Which is 3rd party apps. You know the main players, Grubhub, UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates.
The Pitfalls of Third Party Apps
While it is simple to get your restaurant on those apps, it gets expensive and complicated for restaurant owners and their staff to manage. It's extremely costly to have your restaurant offered on these apps and they take a hefty percentage of each order. Restaurant's typically need to have a separate system, either a computer or an I-Pad for these orders to come in. Which means staff now have to deal with dine-in customers, call-in orders and now one or more third party apps. I used to be a waitress. And let me tell you, the ding on the I-Pad notifying an in coming order during a rush, is the sound of nightmares.
Another issue that restaurant owners may not think of when signing up for these third-party apps, is the fact that they may be loosing customers to competition. Every restaurant available is being advertised in the same place. This means loosing a customer to the other guys is just one tap away. Customers may go into the app with a specific restaurant in mind, but after a few seconds of scrolling through the options, they may change their minds.
Customers themselves aren't totally thrilled with the idea of these third-party apps either. They get stuck paying high fees as well. Delivery fees and tips for drivers is nothing new but third-party apps seems to have unusually high fees. Depending on which app a customer is ordering from, they could end up spending as much as 46.6% of the total order price in fees alone. 70% of consumers prefer ordering directly from restaurants anyways. People don't want their money going to these food delivery overlords, they would much rather have all the money go straight to restaurant.
Smart Online Ordering
With all of these downfalls of offering online ordering through these third-party apps, wouldn't it be nice if it was easier to just offer your own online ordering? Well, its easier than you may think. Clover has made setting up online ordering simple and much more beneficial for restaurant owners with Smart Online Order. With Smart Online Order, restaurants can offer mobile ordering of their own. No more high fees for restaurant's or customers, no more loosing business to competition and no more giving away profit.
When a restaurant uses Clover's POS devices, setting up is simple. First, create a dedicated website for your restaurant where customers can order online. If you already have a website, you can easily add the online ordering option. You will have full control over all non dine-in orders. The online ordering portal connects directly with all Clover devices. This means that if you are utilizing an automated inventory software, it will also account for online orders through inventory. The kitchen printer or any other designated printer will print orders that come in online. Since everything is synced together, no orders will be lost or forgotten. If you have your own delivery drivers, Smart Online Order will help create routes. This feature improves delivery time and efficiency.
Having control over online ordering decreased the hectic nature of having customers place orders through a middle man. Restaurants know exactly what's going on, this decreases room for error all around. There's also more freedom and flexibility with Smart Online Order. Restaurant owners can manage their online orders for multiple locations, give the option to pay at the time of pick-up, maintain and customize customer loyalty programs and crate customer specific offers based on the customer database that's integrated with the software. These features are not offered with third-party apps.
A new feature of Smart Online Order, it the option for restaurants to create their own branded app. This is a game changer since the reason third-party online ordering sites are so popular, is the fact that they can be downloaded as an app. Now restaurants can have their own ordering app on the IOS or Android App market. This makes sending out special offers and push notifications to customers incredibly easy. When a restaurant has their own app, the chances of customers downloading, ordering and returning is much greater. So not only are restaurants bettering their chances of customers ordering directly through them, they now get to be at the level of large chains like Starbucks and McDonalds. Check out our online ordering app to see how easy it is to create and customize! You can download it on the google play or apple app store.
Getting Your Restaurant Started With Online Ordering
If you're a restaurant owner, and this is sounding like a no brainer, visit getvms.com or fill out the form below. We will help you get set up with a Clover POS system if you don't have one already, and completely set up with online ordering. Never give money to third-party apps again, but still allow your business to offer the same, if not better quality of online ordering.