Customers have near-divine expectations for today’s restaurants. The notion of visiting a restaurant solely for a dine-in experience or needing to go through the drive-thru is over. The new age of the restaurant ordering process has arisen, and omnichannel food ordering is on track to simply become food ordering. To stay competitive and increase digital profitability, restaurateurs need to understand the state of omnichannel food ordering’s challenges, how concurrent, omnichannel ordering improves business functions, and a few best practices to tapping into its true, profit-generating state.
Challenges of Omnichannel Food Ordering in the Restaurant Industry
Part of the problem with implementation and understanding the state of omnichannel food ordering in your restaurant derives from the problems created with an omnichannel restaurant operation. The restaurant needs an infusion of technology. The inability to easily process payments across in-person, over the phone, online, through mobile apps, and at kiosks is a major hurdle for businesses with limited technology. According to Christopher Sebes of FSR Magazine:
“Being able to accept the customer’s preferred payment type, whether its cash, credit or debit cards, mobile payments or gift cards, is equally important, as most consumers have a strong preference. And if they don’t, they soon will.
Putting tabletop tablet menus into guests’ hands provides them more control over the experience. They can spend time perusing menu items, including ingredients and nutrition information as well as photos. They can customize their orders. Guests can add more items later without summoning a waiter, which accelerates service (and check averages). When equipped with payment capability, a tablet also speeds up closing out the check, allowing faster table turns.”
Concurrent Orders Enable Faster Processing and Happier Guest Experiences
Omnichannel food ordering enables faster processing of orders and happier guest experiences. Remember that convenience is the preference of more than one-third of millennials, which order third-party delivery at least twice per week.
According to Pat Ward of DevPro Journal:
“The evolution of foodservice has made convenience a strong driver in how consumers choose where to spend their money. Incorporating solutions that give consumers the experience they want, through the ordering channel they use most often, is important when looking at solutions that will grow a restaurant.
Moreover, the same volume of diners pays more than $50 for online food orders. Online, omnichannel capabilities give restaurants a way to increase check sizes and increase volume. Unfortunately, the surplus of orders will trigger may problems in the restaurant if food preparation and delivery do not increase in speed at the same time. Since restaurants already have limits with staff availability and even ingredients, the only opportunity to ramp up operations lies in eliminating inefficiencies.”
Best Practices to Better Manage Peak Restaurant Times
Since delivery providers and online capabilities increase engagement with customers, restauranteurs must align their organizations with the state of omnichannel by implementing the following best practices:
- Access to the menu across any device.
- Using kiosks to give customers a digital connection point for dine-in guests.
- Leveraging the power of customers’ personal devices with apps and mobile ordering or payment processing.
- Collecting data across channels to understand customer trends and make predictions based on analytics-driven insights.
- Using data to plan the schedule based on expected demand between all ordering channels.
- Looking beyond the traditional operating hours, offering service around the clock, if possible, and in fact, 28% of customers would order breakfast delivery if available, says QU Beyond.
- Working with multiple delivery service providers says a past Tacit client:
“We have the online ordering through our own app, and then we have just about every delivery known to man that’s delivering for us.”
Since every new engagement venue represents another touchpoint or interaction between the restaurant and a servicer, integrated systems must be the most important step to achieve truly omnichannel food ordering capabilities.
SIR Corp Embraces Omnichannel Ordering Successfully by Joining Forces With Tacit
With concerns over the ability to offer digital ordering and third-party ordering/delivery, Service Inspired Restaurants (SIR), which operates major brands like Scaddabush and Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill, partnered with Tacit to aid in a successful kick-off of its omnichannel ordering.
The partnership provides the SIR Corporation with automated ordering and point-of-sale (POS)integration, reducing the costs of operating an omnichannel restaurant and improving kitchen workflows. The solution also leverages the UberEats and DoorDash delivery platforms, in an operationally efficient manner. Moreover, when Ontario returns to open dining rooms for full-service dining, the wave of technology in SIR will create more engaging experiences for customers and greatly augment staff’s ability to move more meals, serve more guests.
As further explained by Stephen Seymour, VP of Information Technology at SIR Corp:
“With automation provided by Tacit Innovations, Service Inspired Restaurants has just successfully launched Uber Marketplace in all restaurant locations. The solution is completely touch-free…from automated menu programming through orders flowing into our POS and kitchen management systems. It is partners like Tacit Innovations, bringing top-notch solutions and services, that allow our people to concentrate on what’s really important—high-quality food and memorable experiences for our guests.”
Without a doubt, this is a game-changer for the SIR Corporation.
Omnichannel Food Ordering Will Impact Your Restaurant
Omnichannel food ordering is here to stay. As customers have grown accustomed to ordering their groceries and household items online with the option to have them delivered at home, to a third-party location, or pick up curbside or in-store, the restaurant industry must follow the trend. Customers have the ultimate power in today’s world, and omnichannel restaurants will have the highest likelihood of seeing continued success. Recognize the challenges inherent in omnichannel food ordering, how concurrent orders contribute to better customer experiences, and the best practices to achieve success. Of course, the path is not always easy to follow, so consider working with an expert in restaurant omnichannel capabilities, like Tacit. Visit Tacit online today to get started.