The restaurant industry is evolving. Today’s customers want their favorite foods delivered right now, regardless of how far it is between the restaurant and their current location. According to FSR Magazine, restaurant operations have expanded significantly, and mobile ordering jumped 50% in the US in 2017 alone. At the same time, food-service sales remained near-stagnant during the third quarter of 2017, reflecting the growing demand for omnichannel ordering experiences, especially among millennials. Restaurant operators need to understand the limitations of traditional workflows and how technology plays a critical role in empowering omnichannel ordering experiences to improve restaurant operations.
The Challenge of Omnichannel Ordering
Let us face the elephant in the room. How can restaurant operators improve restaurant operations if they never connect with customers in the material world? This is the biggest challenge with online, digital ordering capabilities. However, third-party delivery services and delivery drivers for a company’s in-house team serve as a connection between customers and the restaurant. As a result, the level of engagement still exists. In addition, creating omnichannel ordering experiences requires fast integration between all systems and an understanding of how third-party delivery services work best. Even if a restaurant manages to integrate existing systems, the current layout of the facility itself may be insufficient and result in delays in service. However, those that take the time to understand the challenges can position their organizations to succeed.
Streamlined Restaurant Operations Are Crucial to Success
The only way restaurants can succeed in the age of mobile, and omnichannel ordering capabilities lies in focusing on the problem as a whole. Restaurant operators must carefully evaluate their existing service options, connect with consumers, and take advantage of all available resources. In other words, operators must tackle everything at once, and customers will be unforgiving if a restaurant does not offer omnichannel capabilities. It is also essential to understand that omnichannel capabilities include:
- ordering food online for delivery,
- ordering food online and picking it up in the store,
- ordering food online and having it delivered to a nether location, ordering food online for delivery as a later date,
- setting up recurring orders,
- ordering food from a mobile app and paying in-store, using an in-in-store kiosk and more.
It is an endless list of possibilities, and today’s restaurant operators must take a proactive approach to offer a thorough, omnichannel ordering experience to improve restaurant operations.
Best Practices to Improve Restaurant Operations
Instead of recounting the basic steps of integration, retraining staff members, and more in the course of offering omnichannel operations, restaurant operators should focus on these specific steps as well:
- Improve brand loyalty by connecting and engaging with consumers through all applicable paths, including social media, third-party delivery service apps, and branded systems.
- Offer faster service by taking advantage of any third-party services available in your area to cast a broader net and capture more revenue.
- Ensure consistency by implementing quality assurance controls to maintain brand image and value regardless of how customers receive their meal.
- Get feedback from customers to enable continuous refinement of operations.
- Think like a startup, says QSR Magazine. Regardless of size, companies must explore new possibilities for food prep, cooking, and delivery, including the creation of “dark kitchens” and other new ideas.
Offer a Better, Omnichannel Ordering Experience to Drive Growth and Sales Volume
Omnichannel ordering experiences are the new standard in the restaurant industry. According to Fast Casual, two-thirds of customers expect to place an online food order within the next year, and more importantly, that statistic was based on data collected at the end of 2017. The actual figures for 2019 will likely be higher. Thus, companies that do not embrace the omnichannel restaurant revolution will effectively lose out on at least 10 percent of customers. Make sure your organization is geared for success by developing omnichannel-encouraging processes that improve restaurant operations and delivery. Get started by speaking with an omnichannel restaurant expert at Tacit; contact Tacit online today.