In a previous blog, we discussed the growing customer trend towards restaurant take-out and delivery services, and its growing importance as a core revenue center for restaurant businesses.
In this article, we will focus on how restaurants can leverage food delivery technology to capitalize on the explosion of demand in online ordering, by seamlessly integrating their delivery channels directly into their restaurant point of sale system.
Online ordering for food delivery is the future
The internet has made it easy for customers from virtually anywhere in the world to find food around them, look up a menu based on what they’re in the mood for, and have a meal prepared and sent their way either pre-paid or to be paid on arrival, with the help of a few finger strokes.
Though phone orders were once commonplace for your late-night pizza craving or even a fancy family dinner, today, online ordering is the norm for customers preferring convenience-based dining experiences. In a Hotel Technology study published in 2018, 74% of restaurant diners order food online or through a mobile app.
When we think of who is more likely to use online food delivery services, often we think of hungry couchbound Millennials and Gen Zs with their passion for indoor recreation, like gaming and streaming. We now have data to prove these assertions.
Data compiled by Tacit Corporation highlights that 59% of all millennial orders are for off-premise dining, and a higher percentage of Gen Zs (93%) are more satisfied with online food orders than Millennials (87%).
However, more interestingly, the propensity for off-premise dining and online ordering is not limited to these demographics. In a National Restaurant Association report to Restaurant Business, 51% of Baby Boomers want to order food using online delivery more often than they do, and 49% of Gen Xers express a strong desire for off-premise meals. More about demographic-based dining preferences here.
In recent times, online ordering has become an essential service for a large segment of the population around the world that are still cautious about leaving their homes due to the pandemic.
Therefore, not only is online ordering carving a sizeable section for itself within a restaurant’s revenue stream, but it’s also reshaping the restaurant customer relationship. Customers across all demographics exhibit a strong preference for omni-channel dining, and as a result, online delivery has become a focal touchpoint within the contemporary restaurant guest experience.
How can restaurants use technology to capitalize on online delivery?
The easy answer to this question would be to expand the reach of your restaurant by enlisting your foodservice on as many third-party delivery aggregators as possible.
This, however, isn’t the most effective approach to respond to online delivery demand, as doing so makes it easy to lose focus of more complex challenges with online delivery such as, ensuring your online delivery business is profitable (navigating the high commission fees on third-party delivery orders) and providing a customer experience that’s engaging and personal.
To ensure your business is set-up to manage the new business arising from these delivery channels efficiently requires a more careful look at your restaurant operations, and specifically technology investment to harness the true operational efficiency and revenue potential of providing online delivery.
What are third-party food delivery integrators?
Third-party delivery POS integration providers, like our partner Chowly, serve as a middleman between your restaurant POS software and third-party delivery aggregators like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub.
They help restaurants regardless of operational size or foodservice type manage online and omni-channel food delivery orders obtained through third-party delivery platforms, by seamlessly automating order input directly into a point of sale system.
How can third-party delivery POS integration support the food delivery business at my restaurant?
Improves the accuracy of online food order capture
By pushing orders directly into your POS system, a third-party delivery integration gives you the confidence that orders are processed as directed by your customers and ensures food preparation preferences are accounted for and relayed to the kitchen accordingly.
This automation capability of the integration also avoids unnecessary expenditures on multiple tablets just to take and process online orders from different third-party platforms.
Allows you to focus on food quality and service
Phone orders meant having a dedicated staff member to man the lines, scribble orders hastily, and input them into your POS all within a single breath. This leads to poor labor efficiency, which is especially problematic during times of reduced business and shortened staff.
With a third-party delivery integration for your POS, you can use staff to focus on more essential tasks such as, doublechecking orders and ensuring restaurant sanitation practices have been followed.
Gives Chefs stability and comfort with order fulfillment
Having to read nuanced preferences that customers might indicate is one thing but doing so while struggling to understand poor handwriting is a whole different story. A third-party food delivery integration for your POS ensures uniformity in how orders are recorded and need to be processed by your kitchen staff.
Centralizes menu management for delivery
A third-party delivery aggregator to POS integration provides restaurant operators with features to easily manage or update their delivery menu without having to update their menu on each third-party delivery platform. It also allows restaurants with multiple locations to push custom delivery menus for specific geo-location through their partner third-party delivery platforms.
Extends the online ordering guest experience
An online ordering integration for your POS allows third-party food delivery orders to get scheduled and processed at the same time as dine-in and other orders. This allows for faster food delivery service for your hungry diners with the added security that orders have been processed correctly by removing manual order transcribing from the process.
Can a third-party POS integration improve revenue efficiency with online food delivery orders?
We understand that although this POS integration helps improve your restaurant’s operational efficiency with regards to managing third-party online orders, there are concerns that restaurants share over the loss of online ordering revenue via commission paid on these orders.
Overcoming this challenge is simple if your restaurant is committed to investing in further infrastructure to efficiently capitalize on the rise of online ordering. The first step is to take advantage of a third-party food delivery POS integration for the myriad of benefits they bring.
Once you have this integration in place for your POS, follow these ideas we have compiled to help you effectively address the issue of lost revenue.
At Squirrel, our partners include third-party aggregators that provide online food delivery integrations for the Squirrel POS to support our customers in their goal to meet online food delivery demand.
These integration features are currently in development and have been launched for pilot testing to help us learn how to deploy this to a wider group of our customers in an effective and frictionless manner. Visit our contactless and off-premise dining solutions page to stay updated.