Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on February 25th, 2014

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Online ordering on the rise in restaurant industry.

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It seems that restaurants are finally coming around to the digital age. Many now have modern day websites with real pages for menus versus having to download PDF's. On many, you can also find interior restaurant photo's, as well as testimonials and reviews. Now on many, you also have the ability to make reservations and even order online!

I find these to be welcome changes. Business Insider reported that online ordering is transforming the Pizza Business. Take Domino's Pizza app, for example, it has been downloaded 7.4 million times! Some reports show that 69 percent of people order food from their smartphones or tablets. The survey also showed that 50 percent downloaded a restaurants app.

Starbucks is starting to let customers order on their smartphone and pick up in stores and Taco Bell will begin testing online ordering this year. Jimmy Johns already offers online ordering for pickup or delivery. And, it's not just fast-food that offers online ordering. Take Outback Steakhouse, for example, they have offered their "Curbside Takeaway" via online ordering for several years now.

One of the reasons restaurants who offer online ordering is finding success is that it improves order accuracy, cuts down on wait/hold time on the phone and frees up the staff to work within restaurant customers. Food waste is cut down on incorrectly written down phone orders. Delivery items often come labeled by name of who ordered what if you have a large order. This is more sanitary. No longer does the person in your office open a sandwich belonging to their co-worker.

I for one prefer restaurants where I can see interior photos, find easy to read menus with entree photos has well as reviews or About information. Online ordering for takeout or delivery is a big plus for me as well. I do the lunch ordering in our office and it makes it easier if I can store previous orders for re-order later and have everything labeled upon delivery. I like that I have documentation of special dietary needs and proof for the picky people that I did actually order their item minus tomato!

More and more restaurants are getting on this bandwagon. Do you use online ordering from restaurants? Which ones have you had a positive experience with? Are you more prone to patronize an establishment that offers online ordering or has modern website versus lackluster sites with odd music and PDF menus? I like if I can make a reservation ahead of time via my tablet or phone and have a confirmation number at the ready for a popular destination. The statistics mentioned above are encouraging that restaurants are realizing they have to move forward with technology to thrive. If you have a restaurant and your website is outdated and you do not offer online ordering, I urge you to look at the statistics and make a digital change.