What’s Dragging Down Your Restaurant’s Online Ordering Sales?

Posted on November 6th, 2017 by Breck Hapner

Giving your customers access to online ordering – whether through web development, mobile app development or both – can be an excellent way to increase sales and customer loyalty. But only if it’s done right.

Online ordering is not without its pitfalls, and you already know that if your online ordering platform seems to be failing you. There are several reasons why your customers might not be ordering from your restaurant online, and once you figure out what those reasons are you can make the necessary adjustments.

A UI/UX That Isn’t Easy To Use

If a restaurant’s online ordering option or options aren’t easy to navigate, there should be user experience (UX) development, or customers will be less likely to use them. Perhaps ordering on your website design is simple but it isn’t responsive – meaning it doesn’t “translate” for mobile devices or tablets.

Perhaps you haven’t allowed for customization options or the ability for customers to store their information. Or, worst of all, perhaps your site is routinely “down for maintenance.” Whatever the case, your online ordering platform should be reliably easy to use so your customers will want to use it. 

Lengthy Wait Times

Online ordering can create something of a double-edged sword. When successful, online ordering will increase your sales. However, those new orders can slow down your kitchen and some of your staff if you don’t properly prepare by API integration of your systems/platforms and using self-service kiosks.

Before launching online ordering, ensure that your kitchen staff can handle an influx of orders and, if necessary, hire additional staff to help handle the increase. If customers can’t get their orders as quickly as you promise, the consequences could range from lost customers to bad reviews.

High Fees

Many if not most restaurants that offer online ordering charge a service fee. You might have one fee for pick-up orders and another for deliveries. If those fees are deemed too high by your customers they won’t be likely to order from you again in the future – if they even complete their initial online order.

Compromised Food Quality

If online orders are increasing your sales, they are also increasing how busy you and your staff are. Combined with dine-in customers, customers who order online can potentially create a time management problem for your restaurant. Before launching an online ordering system, you need to be sure that you can successfully manage both dine-in and online orders and keep both sets of customers satisfied.

Outsourcing Deliveries

Mobile apps such as Eatstreet, Grubhub, Postmates, Favor and UberEats have certainly made restaurants more accessible for customers who might not otherwise frequent your establishment. However, there are some downsides to relying on third-party delivery services. You are relinquishing some control to someone who is likely a stranger, and though it isn’t fair, the driver’s professionalism – or lack thereof – could reflect poorly on you and your restaurant.

If you choose to rely on a third-party service rather than using your own team of delivery drivers, you’ll need to do some research on which service is the best for your needs and also be willing to risk some negative feedback. If you aren’t willing to take that risk, consider making an investment in hiring your own delivery drivers.

Optimize Your Online Sales

Does your restaurant offer online ordering? If so, has it been as successful as you’d hoped? Regardless of your answer, DineEngine® can help you optimize your online ordering interface and boost the number of customers who use it. We are eager to learn more about your restaurant and what you envision for your online ordering option or options. We design our digital experiences based on customer feedback, and we’re certain we can help you gain an edge in your market.