Are you thinking of including online food delivery into your restaurant’s services? Or maybe you already have, and you are successfully taking orders on your website. But there is something that can make the ordering experience even better for your customers: an online ordering app.
An app is an answer to your success in this increasingly digitized world with an easy-to-use interface, fast loading speed, and personalized ordering experience.
The article below will look at the main benefits of having an online ordering app for your restaurant. Then, we’ll go through five of the must-have features it should contain for peak customer satisfaction.
10 Benefits of an Online Ordering App for Restaurants
1. It’s easy to use
One of the chief advantages of having an online ordering app instead of just an online ordering system on your website is that an app is easier to use. Many people use their phones when browsing the internet, watching YouTube videos, and even placing food orders.
It’s true; you can use a restaurant website builder to create a mobile-friendly and responsive website on all devices. However, it’s still easier to access an app on your phone when ordering food.
Restaurants that can provide this new type of service to their customers will stand out in the crowd.
2. Allows customers to pay online
Paying in-app is another convenient way to shorten the amount of time spent ordering food. Allow customers to save their credit card information in the app and pay with just one tap. And don’t stop there.
Mobile apps have a wide range of payment methods you can take advantage of, from online via credit card to PayPal or services like Apple Pay. The more options customers have, the more likely they are to order using your app.
3. You can take advantage of push notifications
Push notifications are an excellent marketing tool for any business. However, remember that to send customers push notifications, you need to ask for their consent and specify exactly what type of communication they’ll receive.
Once you’re sure you are abiding by the local laws and regulations, use push notifications to send customers exclusive offers and promotions, tease new restaurant menu items, promote an event at your restaurant, and more.
4. It provides a streamlined ordering process
From beginning to end, shopping apps provide a streamlined experience for shoppers. The same is true of food ordering apps. Having your own ordering app can make your entire online business more efficient.
Even users who are not internet-savvy should be able to order food using your app without running into any issues. If they do, take their feedback into account and improve your app until it’s flawless.
In fact, consider adding a section in the app where you collect feedback. There, customers can tell you what they enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about the ordering process.
5. It can include a loyalty program
If you already have a loyalty program, have it join forces with your online ordering app to provide even more benefits for your customers. If you don’t, now is the perfect time to implement one directly into your app.
Users will be able to keep track of loyalty points, bonuses, rewards, and more just by checking their profile in the app. They can also get a virtual card that they access on their phone instead of walking around with countless plastic cards in their wallet.
6. You take some of the pressure off your staff
Accepting phone orders is messy and takes a lot of time from your staff’s already limited schedule, especially if you don’t have a dedicated person for this task. By accepting orders via an app, you cut that time in half.
Not to mention online orders mean fewer chances of errors since most order issues are caused by human error. Having every detail of the order centralized in the app will help both you and the customer, so it’s a win-win.
7. It eliminates useless paperwork
Online orders also mean less paperwork for your staff to deal with. Depending on how much you want to digitize your restaurant, you don’t even have to print paper receipts anymore. Some customers already prefer online receipts, and that number will grow in the future.
Instead of sifting through past orders and order receipts, and keeping track of customers’ information manually, use an app to collect their personal and order information.
8. Your restaurant will stand out
Not that many restaurants have online ordering apps, although this number continues to grow every day. You can still be one of the first small restaurants in your area to boast an ordering app if you create one ASAP.
This will make you a novelty in the neighborhood, and word will spread fast that people can download your app and place an online food order within minutes.
9. Customers can place repeat orders faster
Rather than visiting your website and filling out their information each time they want to place an order, customers can open the app where they have all their data stored and place a new order faster.
You can take it one step further and also allow the option to repeat the same order for customers who have a favorite dish they order often. Regardless, using an app boosts the customer experience and, in turn, your sales.
10. You will boost your online profits
Last but not least, consider getting an online ordering app for your restaurant to increase your online profits quickly. If you’re not offering food delivery and pickup yet, it’s time to take advantage of these services and rely on more than just dine-in.
GloriaFood is a free online ordering system that allows you to take unlimited online orders on your website with zero commissions or hidden fees.
If you’ve been taking orders on your website or through third-party delivery apps for a while, switching to your own app will make all the difference.
5 Essential Features of an Online Ordering App
1. Order tracking
Customers love the option to track their delivery riders in-app to see where their food is and how long they have to wait. Add this feature to your app to improve customer experience and encourage repeat orders.
Live order tracking on an interactive map is best in this case because it allows customers to pinpoint the exact location of their rider.
2. Multiple payment and order fulfillment options
As we mentioned above, it’s ideal to offer people who download and use your app the option to pay using multiple providers. The same goes for order fulfillment, where you should cater to everyone’s needs.
For example, if people prefer to pick up their order at the restaurant, you can offer both regular pickup and curbside pickup. For delivery, we also recommend no-contact delivery, which became increasingly popular during the pandemic.
3. Exclusive discounts and special offers
One of the ways in which you can entice people to download and use your app to place online orders is to provide them with benefits they won’t find anywhere else. This will give them a sense of exclusivity, like they’re part of a special club.
Come up with promotions, discounts, and freebies constantly, and your customers will keep coming back for more. You can even create a loyalty program with multiple-tiered rewards and special prizes.
Don’t forget to also send push notifications with new offers, so people don’t miss them, especially if they’re limited edition. Limited-time offers also motivate customers to hurry and get their hands on them until they disappear.
4. User registration
Ideally, your app should allow customers to create an account where they save their preferred address, contact information, and payment method. That way, they will be able to place an order much faster, without having to input their information every time.
Even if they can’t create an account per se, you should give them the option to check a box to save their information for future orders.
5. Real-time order confirmation
The trust that comes with a person confirming your order in real time is unparalleled in the service industry. Use a pop-up to notify customers when their order has been accepted in-app. If they choose to close the app while they wait, send them a push notification.
Whenever an order is confirmed, customers should also get an email informing them of that. When sending such notifications, always include the estimated delivery time too.
If you want to get ahead in the restaurant industry and beat the local competition, consider getting a restaurant app for online ordering. We hope the many benefits listed above convinced you that such an app would improve your customer service and increase your profits.
A final piece of advice to keep in mind throughout the process of creating the app: put yourself in the customer’s shoes. The goal is to make an app that is easy to use and that delivers a flawless ordering experience. Ask people to help you test the app before releasing it to get feedback on it.