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There has been a shift by many restaurants towards online ordering over the last few years. We’ve certainly witnessed it ourselves. However, COVID-19 has shown us all that online ordering is more than just a fad, or a secondary money stream for businesses. Instead, it’s vital if restaurants want to successfully compete. 

Improve customer experience

First and foremost having an efficient online ordering system allows customers to enjoy your fantastic food from the comfort of their own homes.

In an age of Amazon Prime and Netflix it’s all about convenience and ease. Online ordering makes it simple for diners to get great food and in that way encourages them to spend more.

  • In 2019 60% of consumers ordered delivery or takeout at least once a week. (Source)
  • 31% of diners said that they use these third-party delivery services at least twice a week. (Source)
  • When ordering food online over 1/3rd of those surveyed said they spent over $50 per online order. (Source)
  • Over half of millennials order food to eat at home so that they can enjoy their favourite TV shows at home while they eat. (Source)
  • 59% of restaurant orders from millennials are takeout or delivery. (Source)
  • 87% of customers surveyed who use third-party food delivery services agree that it makes their lives easier. (Source)

Grow faster

While Corona Virus has highlighted the necessity for many businesses to develop an effective online ordering system, survival isn’t the only reason they’re making the move.

Everyone needs to seriously consider how online ordering systems can help them increase profits, improve customer perception, and ultimately grow their business.

  • The digital ordering and delivery industry has grown rapidly, outpacing dine-in growth by over 300% in the last 5 years. (Source)
  • Consumers want to support their favourite restaurants. Because of this 70% would rather order directly from a restaurant rather than a third party. (Source)
  • 45% of consumers say that the ease of mobile ordering would encourage them to use online ordering services more often. (Source)
  • In 2019 pizza restaurants reported an 18% increase in customer spend from online/mobile orders vs. phone orders. (Source)
  • At least half of Domino’s and Papa John’s sales are through digital channels. (Source)

The trend’s already happening

The online ordering trend is already well underway and has only been accelerated by recent events. Additionally, with evolving technology and digitisation it’s never been easier for customers to place an order. Those restaurants that do utilise options like restaurant apps, and social media marketing are going to be able to ride that wave to future growth.

  • Delivery sales could rise an annual average of more than 20% to $365 billion worldwide by 2030, from $35 billion. (Source)
  • Orders placed via smartphone and mobile apps will become a $38 billion industry by 2020. (Source)
  • 43% of restaurant professionals said they believe third-party apps—many of which withhold data—interfere with the direct relationship between a restaurant/bar/pub and its customers. (Source)
  • Customers who place an online order with a restaurant will visit that restaurant 67% more frequently than those who don’t. (Source)
  • It’s estimated that mobile orders will make up close to 11% of all QSR sales by 2020. (Source)
  • Visits to U.S. restaurants where guests paid by mobile app increased by 50% from 2017-18. (Source)

Other online restaurant trends

Being online isn’t just about taking and delivering orders. In the same way that restaurants spend money and time making their restaurant’s decor stand out, creating not just great food but a great experience for customers, restaurants also need to manage their online presence and create a seamless online experience.

  • 67% of restaurants paid for social media ads in 2019. (Source)
  • 1/3rd of consumers would be willing to pay extra for a faster delivery service. (Source)
  • If offered, 41% of consumers would buy a make-at-home meal kit from their favourite restaurant. (Source)
  • When receiving an online order, guests ranked speed as the most important, followed by value, and then the quality of the food. (Source)
  • 35% of diners said they are influenced by online reviews when choosing a restaurant. (Source)
  • 54% of millennials say a self-ordering kiosk improves the guest experience. (Source)

Final words

It’s not just online ordering that is changing the restaurant game. In addition, as new technology is created savvy restauranteurs are increasingly optimising their operations with the addition of things like Kiosk ordering, table ordering, improved POS systems, and better stock management. 

To properly take advantage of the current and future market trends restaurants, cafes, and bars need to expand their offering to cater to an increasingly digital ordering demand.