When we saw the rise of third-party online ordering websites, the restaurant industry feared the impact it would have. Now the restaurant scene is getting even more competitive with the introduction of delivery-only ‘ghost’ kitchens.
Surpassing the local chippy or Chinese takeaway, these kitchens are offering premium meals directly to people’s doors. Embracing the current demand for food on the go, they half their overhead by shaking off property driven expansions, high rent and labour costs.
By crowding the marketplace even more, the traditional sit-down restaurant is ever more in fear of becoming extinct.
With double the overheads of ghost kitchens, how can you prevent being priced out of the restaurant scene?
If you haven’t already started utilising technology within your restaurant, now is certainly the time.
There’s no doubt that online ordering, payment and delivery options are essential. If you fail to keep up with the demand of being able to offer your meals to customers who dine at home, your restaurant and brand risk being left behind as we move towards more digitalised dining in the future.
Being more technical with your ordering processes is a must. Gone are the days of diners ordering food by calling. Diners want to be able to order from an app or website that allows them to choose, review and pay in one smooth transaction. Having the technologies available to you to do this is one thing but having an integrated system to streamline the process will truly up your online ordering game.
Integrating your online ordering system with your EPOS bypasses those third party services meaning you keep all the profits from the sale and the order is sent directly to the kitchen, optimising communication and reducing order time. This not only ensures customers get their order as quickly as possible with less chance of mistakes but also works to engage the customer through their digital experience and means all transactions are accurately tracked through your POS.
As you no longer have the opportunity to engage diners in your restaurant with great customer service, you need to ensure that your brand ethos is visible to the customer in your technology solutions. Creating an easy and smooth transaction for the customer, whether in the restaurant or at home, will always win repeat custom. Online orders can also be linked directly with loyalty programs so your customers reap the benefits of ordering with you directly and are rewarded for their loyalty.
While there’s much discussion around if diners prefer to eat at home or go out for a meal, there’s no denying that the desire to be able to eat premium food at home is increasing. While being prepared is essential, taking it to that next level by engaging customers online will really help you to stay ahead of your competitors and secure your restaurant’s future in a digital world.