Maximize Your Revenue: Improving Your Restaurant Strategy for Digital
In today’s increasingly digital restaurant industry, restaurateurs need to consider how to make the most of their technological investments. Customers are demanding convenience through online ordering, and being available online for them through a commission-free marketplace or your own online ordering system is the key to maximizing revenue. This is why it’s so important to consider a restaurant strategy that makes online ordering streamlined, easy, and even more profitable.
First things first: Use the most profitable platform for online ordering.
Does your restaurant have its own commission-free online ordering system? Or do you work with a costly third-party marketplace app like Grubhub or Uber Eats?
Many third-party delivery apps charge paralyzing commissions (up to 30% of every order), withhold your customer data, put their brands before your own, and steal your digital traffic. If you rely solely on them for your online ordering, your profit margins will suffer.
Some restaurants have their own commission-free online ordering systems but continue to work with third-party marketplaces for marketing exposure. While this can temporarily be a costly proposition, it can work if you pursue the right digital strategies. Follow our tips below for maximizing your profits with your branded online ordering, whether or not you use additional services.
Your restaurant strategy for digital should put a focus on your branded, commission-free ordering.
Access to your restaurant ordering system within your website is crucial to a convenient and pleasant online ordering experience for your guests.
Customers should able to find what they are looking for within the first 15 seconds of visiting a site. If they are unable to locate the desired information, research shows the majority of consumers move on to the next option. This means that your guests can’t find a way to order online from you, they may move onto another restaurant without giving yours the attention (and business) you deserve. Unfortunately, this sometimes costs both you and them more money, if they choose a third-party app that charges high fees.
Either way, your restaurant’s digital strategies need to keep your customers on the channels that grow your profits. So, what’s the best way to ensure guests who want to place an order online find what they are looking for? Make it the item that catches their eye.
Ensure your website has an “Order Online” call to action.
The moment your customers land on your website, they should know where to click to order online. Your call to action (CTA) or button should be immediately noticeable. A button that is hidden, or small with muted colors and font, will not be easily identified by the customer and will therefore limit engagement. Instead, the online ordering button should be one of the initial things a customer notices upon reaching your site.
The call to action should be:
- Placed at the top of your website.
- Eye-catching, with colors that contrast the rest of the site.
- Written in an easily readable font.
The more accessible your ordering button is, the faster your customer will get to check out–and they’ll remember how easy it was for next time!
Don’t give your diners too many options.
A popular myth is that giving your diners every choice available will lead to more sales–you’re covering all possible bases, right? In fact, this can work against you by overwhelming the diner, when one simple option would have helped them get to check out faster. Too many choices create unnecessary confusion and forces a customer into some form of decision-making. Forbes noted that there is a “357% increase in sales when switching from multiple calls to action to just one on a page.”
In other words, it’s okay if you are listed on multiple online ordering platforms, but choose a single preferred vendor to highlight on your website–perhaps the one that charges you the least. For example, if you use ChowNow’s commission-free online ordering, make sure to direct your website visitors to only your ChowNow ordering system. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t send your diners to a commission-based online ordering that will cost you money while also charging your diners more in service fees.
Alternately, if you use ChowNow for pickup and another provider for delivery, then explicitly tell your customers which they should use. Have one button that says “Order for Pickup” and another that says “Order for Delivery,” and leave it at that. Customers don’t care about how they order—they care about getting their favorite foods as quickly and conveniently as possible! Ensure your restaurant’s digital strategies give them a simple and direct road to that craving.
Make sure you’re not committing any other online ordering mistakes! Read our ebook, “The 7 Biggest Online Ordering Mistakes Restaurants Make,” to avoid missteps and lost profits.
Consider your restaurant’s digital strategies beyond your website.
It’s critical to use the above restaurant digital strategies to offer an easy online ordering experience. However, you also must ensure that your customers can find your branded online ordering no matter where they look.
You should understand their online presence, and how customers are finding you across the internet. It’s important that you communicate consistently across platforms and with online ordering specifically; these platforms reflect your restaurant’s full scope. This is why your restaurant’s digital strategies must take the following platforms into account:
Your Google presence has a profound impact on the success of your digital takeout business. Make sure you claim your restaurant’s search engine listings, and then read our ebook to start turning Google searches into takeout orders.
Similar to Google, your restaurant should claim its Yelp Business page to ensure that the most up-to-date website and ordering information is available to your customers. Learn how to claim and update that page here.
Brand consistency doesn’t end at social media. In fact, there are numerous restaurant digital strategies specific to social media that you should use to create a consistent and engaging experience. You need to have your website URL listed on your restaurant’s Facebook page under your business information, and regularly post about your online ordering.
Instagram is a must for reaching millennials, and it’s very simple to ensure that your audience on the photo- and video-sharing app can easily order from you. Just put your website URL in your profile. Ideally, use a direct link to your branded online ordering so customers don’t have to navigate much on their own.
Get more expert social media marketing tips for your restaurant’s digital strategies by reading our ebook, “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Restaurants.”
Ultimately, your restaurant’s food and service still matter most when it comes to pleasing diners – but the more convenient you make it for new and repeat customers to order from your website, the more you make your business a preferred digital destination to order food online.