Should Your Restaurant Take Orders for Food and Drink Online?


Many restaurants offer delivery services to customers living within a certain radius of their restaurant, but this service usually depends upon customers phoning and placing an order with the restaurant.

A new concept that has become very popular is to order food and drink online. Several companies, especially those in the larger centres, are offering customers this service. Should you be considering this ground breaking service?

It’s Not a New Idea

Although this is a new concept for South Africa, it is very popular overseas, especially in the USA. In 2007, one American food chain, Papa John’s International, earned $400 million from this service and reported an annual growth of 50 percent. In South Africa, it has been possible to purchase food and groceries online from several retailers, but ordering restaurant food online is relatively new phenomenom.

Related: How to Drive Traffic to Your Restaurant Website That Gets Customers Though the Door

Why Take Orders Online?

The concept of internet shopping is well established in South Africa, and many customers find it more convenient than visiting physical stores. For starters, it’s much faster, and secondly, it’s easier to browse online catalogues from the comfort of your own home.

Is there any reason why your customers won’t feel the same about ordering their dinner online?

Some of the advantages of taking orders for food and drink online include:

  • • Wider exposure: It’s a convenient and effective way of advertising your restaurant to a wider group of potential customers who may never know about you otherwise.
  • • Convenient: Many of your customers enjoy online shopping, so they are sure to appreciate being able to peruse your menu and select the meal they want without the need to go out.
  • • Attract new customers: Besides those existing customers who order meals for delivery, new customers will be attracted to your restaurant and use the online menu to choose what they want to eat.
  • • Online booking: It’s even possible to allow customers to book a table at your restaurant online.
  • • Flexible payment systems: An online ordering system can be configured to allow easy payment for food and drink by credit and debit cards, a facility that is much more secure than cash based COD deliveries.

Financial Benefits

Online ordering of food and drink offers many potential benefits to your restaurant:

  • • Your sales will increase.
  • • No additional service staff will be required.
  • • Your business will not be constrained by the locality and confines of your restaurant.
  • • You will be able to offer special menus that suit home delivery methods or just stick to tried and tested menus.
  • • Profitability will increase.

Related: Is Your Restaurant Website Mobile Friendly?

Don’t Be Left Behind

The first adopters of successful new concepts are the ones who reap the greatest financial benefit. Entry into this innovative concept of online ordering of food and drink is facilitated by several service providers who provide the basic infrastructure. In this way, your additional outlay to set up an online food ordering service is not excessive.

This is a great opportunity to grow your business while limiting the risk; the possibilities as demonstrated by overseas experiences are enormous.

Do you allow online ordering in your restaurant? What has been your experience? Leave a comment below.

For more info on Ideal Software’s Inventory Management system follow the link IdealStockControl


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