Omnichannel ordering, also known as multichannel ordering, is when sellers employ numerous sales channels to make it easier and more efficient for customers to complete their orders.
This was once a term singularly applicable to retail, however, those restaurants that have begun to think and operate through multiple channels have been able to optimize the ordering process both in-store and online to create a more efficient ordering process and improve customer experience.
Ultimately, the result of efficiently employing omnichannel ordering is an increase in order numbers and restaurant profitability.
Omnichannel Restaurant Trends
There are various strategies restaurants use when deploying multichannel ordering. Generally, speaking this involves utilizing technology within the restaurant to optimize the customer experience.
A few omnichannel restaurant trends that have grown in popularity over the last few years include:
Online ordering allows customers to place orders through a restaurant’s website or a third party service. Managed well this can create an entirely new revenue stream for a restaurant and encourage loyal customers to eat their favorite foods from the favorite restaurants more often (as they can do so from the comfort of their own home).
Almost everyone now owns a smartphone so it’s unsurprising that food orders made through mobile devices are increasing. Mobile orders now in fact make up around 11% of all QSR sales. Launching your own mobile app makes this process even easier and allows you to take full advantage of this growing trend while improving your customers ordering experience. Additional benefits of launching your own mobile app include integrated loyalty programs and improved customer communications.
Order in-store (carryout)
One of the most popular options for customers, this allows people to take advantage of all the advantages of takeaway while simultaneously allowing them to avoid delivery fees. This option works great for restaurants too as they can side-step any third party app fees.
Kiosk ordering is becoming increasingly popular with QSR brands. It allows customers to place their own orders through an intuitive interface optimizing the ordering process and removing any potential for human error. Additionally, it’s been found that kiosk ordering actually increases the average order value.
Table ordering is another strategy restaurants are looking at to optimize their in-store ordering process. Customers simply use their phone to scan the QR code on the table, then they place their order and pay when they are ready. This massively reduces customer wait times and means customers have complete control over their orders.
Integrating your Omnichannel Strategy
Efficiently managing multiple channels and integrating them with things like secure payments, browsing the menu online, tracking delivery orders, and inventory tracking wouldn’t be possible without today’s extensive suite of available technologies.
More than this though, your restaurant needs to actually be able to handle all the demand from each of the various transactions seamlessly. If you can’t handle orders coming through from multiple platforms then the multichannel strategy could quickly backfire as your kitchen and staff become overwhelmed.
This is why it’s crucial to find the right solution to handle as many of your restaurant’s channels as possible. For example, your solution should be able to integrate with your POS system. It should actually make inventory management and reporting easier, rather than harder. By ensuring that your takeout orders, whether that’s through a mobile app or in-store, as well as any additional channels like kiosk ordering and table ordering, are all managed through a central system you can focus on delivering the best possible service and customer experience.
Multichannel ordering is all about removing barriers for customers, allowing them to more easily order and access your food, whether that’s by optimizing the ordering process with a kiosk, or delivering a fast and effortless online ordering experience. Restaurants that are able to execute this invariably see both an increase in the numbers of orders as well as an increase in average AOV.
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