5 Tips that prove focusing on your dine-in experience is the secret sauce that drives online orders for your restaurant | Neon Nights

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If you are in the restaurant business, you know that offering a takeaway service can be a great way to boost your bottom line. But what are the best ways to make the most of your takeaway business in 2022?
Here are 5 tips that will help you drive online orders and make your restaurant a success:
  1. Use more than one online system and develop your shop's profile
  2. Focus on your dine-in experience for online reviews and social media success
  3. Build your customer database
  4. Leverage your POS or restaurant online ordering system to cut out the middleman
  5. Offer a menu that cuts food costs to the bone
5 Tips that prove focusing on your dine-in experience is the secret sauce that drives online orders for your restaurant
Advice gathered from discussions with customers. We uncover what it takes to be a successful restaurant offering takeaway in 2022.

Use more than one online system and develop your shop's profile

Restaurants have been providing pick-up and delivery services for customers. Those wanting to experience great restaurant food in the comfort of their own homes. Large order aggregator companies have changed online ordering. We are seeing restaurants not only survive with online ordering but thrive on it. The top online food ordering aggregators in New Zealand are Menulog and Uber Eats.
 

Understanding online ordering is more important than ever for restaurant owners.

Time is money and so you need a reliable system for your takeaway that doesn’t fail you. Use more than one online system and develop your shop's online reputation. Use your profile to move your best customers to your own database to cut out the middleman.

Focus on your dine-in experience for online reviews and social media success

Collect reviews and feedback from your customers. Use online profiles and Google Maps to drive more footfall to your takeaway. Nothing destroys a food business like a bad review. All your marketing efforts can go to waste. If you do not have a good reputation management strategy in place. Keep a constant eye on your customer's feedback and reviews. Customers will often look up a restaurant and check out reviews before ordering. Listing your restaurant on popular sites will give you visibility. Positive reviews from existing customers make a real impact on attracting potential customers. Treat their feedback with care, listen to them and respond where appropriate.

A great way to get honest reviews and make your presence felt online is to let food influencers try your food. There’s no denying that Instagram is influencing the food and beverage scene. Hunger and thirst drive people on a daily basis to seek out great food. Food is one of the most posted topics on Instagram and it is here to stay.

What you can do to motivate customers for feedback? 

Nothing motivates customers like an incentive. Provide a worthy incentive to encourage customers to leave feedback. For example, restaurant owners can ask customers to leave feedback at the end of a meal. If customers leave feedback, they get dessert on the house. In return, customers are given an incentive that can be redeemed instantly.

Particularly when they have had a positive experience. What can you do to frame it so you get the sort of content that drives sales? Savvy operators are creating menu items to reward customers for their food back. The reason most restaurants get neon signs is the huge payoff of increased walk-ins. If you're creative there multiple other benefits you can get from neon signs. Brand recognition on location and in visuals. This makes user-generated content cheap and effective. Many happy customers provide social proof that you rock and it doesn't cost you a dime. Ask them to "snap a photo with our sign". Their posts will save a lot in advertising and in return, you can offer better deals to your customers. This leads to more profit and customer loyalty for your business.

Look at your pricing, one restaurant I spoke with increased prices by 30 per cent. They saw a decrease in order volume but retained more value by shipping each order at a profitable price.

Build your customer database

Takeaways need to connect, engage and convert their customers into spending loyalists. They can do it through Social Media and Email Marketing. If you want steady food orders, then use your social accounts to start talking to your customers. Competitions not only build brand awareness and entice your customers to take part. You can’t buy love so show it by offering your customers a loyalty program. With every sale offer loyalty points. Customers to redeem against purchases from your direct orders from your takeaway business. These programs will show your customers how much you value them. They bring them back for more time and time again.

Leverage your POS or restaurant online ordering systems to cut out the middleman. Your database is a gold mine for turning new customers into repeat customers. Offer an ‘order direct and save’ campaign. The same offer is popular for many online ordering services.  Encourage them to order direct via your website where there are no commissions to pay. There are lots of tools that are affordable, and simple to set up you can.

Food delivery services are growing rapidly because people love convenience.

Ignoring this hands business to competitors. Let’s think through the options to make delivery work for you, not against you. Offer a menu that cuts food costs to the bone. You don’t have to offer your whole restaurant menu for delivery, just items with the best margins.

It’s time to get more productivity from the kitchen and do it with less stress.
Menulog. You can also increase the delivery selling prices. Improve your kitchen productivity. These allow for precise tracking of orders and cooking times – once you know these, productivity can be measured and improved. Modern delivery services can be integrated with your POS, so the production of orders is smooth and organised.

You're all set at the restaurant, expecting the usual 100 or so people on a weeknight. What if you have to cook for 120, and the extra 20 are for delivery, not sit-down customers. The rent and the service staff are the same - you'll use a fraction more fuel, and the extra food needed for additional meals. If your food costs are a well-managed 25%, adding the 30-35% fee of delivery services like UberEats or Menulog still adds up to 55-60% of the total sale price. Let's add 10% for fuel, extra cleaning and a few more kitchen hours - we still have a margin of 30%.

Businesses complain that delivery services steal their customers

The reality is they have done very little to build their own list. Most people want the convenience of using one app, and they like the convenience of UberEats and MenuLog. There’s money to be made by joining the party and even developing your own. Delivery can be made by your own drivers – there are local people with a motorbike and ambition, looking for steady work.

You'll still need to use marketplaces to attract new customers. Search engines like Google, rating sites like Zomato, delivery services like Menulog or Uber Eats, or one of the many online restaurant directories, customers are searching for your restaurant, maybe even as you read this. Your website is no longer just a place to store menus and contact details. Websites are one of the most important marketing tools for your hospitality business.

Conclusion

Following the tips above, you can make the most of your takeaway service and attract more customers.

 
Focusing on your dine-in experience is the key to success, so make sure you collect reviews and feedback, use online platforms to increase your visibility, and offer incentives to encourage customers to leave feedback.
 
You should also leverage your POS or online ordering system to cut out the middleman, and build your customer database so you can connect, engage and convert your customers into loyal spending customers.
 
What are some other ways that you can think of to make the most of your restaurant's takeaway service?
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