There are few things from COVID-19, many of us are keen to retain forever (does anyone know anyone still making sourdough loaves?) Still, for restaurants and hospitality businesses, mobile order and pay – also known as digital ordering – may be one innovation that is here for the long term.
If you adapted to the technology as a stop gap, but are unsure whether to fully invest, or have managed to keep things traditional and are considering a change, look at some of the reasons we believe that mobile order and pay is here for good.
Mobile order and pay future proofs your business
Hospitality was ripe for innovation, and during the pandemic, D2C or direct to consumer was rolled out at pace by many supermarkets. (Take a look at our case study and how we helped provide Morrison’s Food Boxes.) It was a timely move, as stats show that we are becoming less patient than ever. A survey of 2000 adults showed the average person grows frustrated after waiting 16 seconds for a webpage to load or 25 seconds for a traffic light to change. For a new generation of diners, the expectation is that even ‘slow food’ isn’t a laborious process, and that orders taken at speed, drinks delivered in a snap and with great service on the customer’s terms.
Ordering pre COVID-19 wasn’t perfect for the customer. We all know the feeling of trying to get a server’s attention. ‘Put the menu down!’ you would hiss to your companion, fearful that the impression you are still deciding on starters would set you back 10 minutes of having an order taken.
With mobile order and pay, customers have started to realise that ordering and paying at the table or on collection is not only easy, but that they also get served faster, that they don’t have to wait at a line or distract themselves from their dining companion by trying to catch an eye. They also want to order ahead of time and save valuable minutes. The future is based on speed. For smart businesses, that will see them using systems that integrate with kitchen screens, so teams can utilise an order production feed that helps them manage orders and collection slots on a simple tablet interface. It’s a future where servers are no longer responding to the ‘here and now’ – but looking ahead to orders coming through the day and gaining insights on what’s selling and working well. It turns any business into an operation that’s forecast led rather than responsive to demand.
Mobile order and pay could improve your profits
Taking things digital is of a huge benefit to an operator’s profits too.
The barrier to ordering more – whether that’s being seen as greedy, or having to queue for one last drink or extra serving- is eradicated in a few clicks, meaning that order value goes up. This figure has been estimated as a very healthy 15% above a typical order in the traditional methods. Paying on order also decreases the time it takes for a fully served customer to leave, or encourages them to re-order if they are staying longer. For a busy environment where every available table represents potential cash in the till, the ability to have a quicker turnover or ensure that their time enjoying the experience is accompanied by a paid-for item from the menu is a true asset.
Mobile order and pay safeguards your business against complaints
We live in a world where there is far more awareness and catering to dietary restrictions. Anyone who has worked as a server will know this requires a comprehensive knowledge of the menu or multiple trips to the kitchen to learn more about each dish. With many businesses now adapting to eliminate food waste and produce ready dishes based on best availability or local produce, this presents a challenge in updating detailed nutritional information.
Guests may also be following a diet that meets their needs as a vegan or vegetarian or consider peanut allergies, lactose intolerance, and gluten intolerance. Mobile order and pay software caters to these needs and makes it easier for the customer and the service staff. Your app or site can display allergens and ingredients, and ideally, it will be integrated with real-time inventory for ingredient substitution – supporting Nathasha’s Law.
With mobile order and pay, gone are the days of reprinting menus regularly to update on potential allergens, and flags and filters can be added to each menu item, even on the day of production. It’s a more inclusive experience.
Mobile order and pay creates a data-led business
Eliminating silos between the front and back of the house is the sweet spot where food waste is reduced, and the best opportunities are found. A digital menu and payment system that updates with specials updates as items go out of stock allows perfect synchronicity. It also creates loyalty from one-off customers.
Not only are customers adding in their data to purchase, but they are also giving you attention. For the savvy business, turning this transactional experience into a marketing add-on is the next obvious move, with discounts for social media likes, surveys or other participatory marketing or fact-finding activities. With customers sitting down, with their attention just where you need it to be, it’s a real asset that the sector hasn’t had since the arrival of printed placemats or on table flyers.
What to look for in a mobile order and pay system:
- Does it integrate with a range of payment methods?
- Can it display allergens and ingredients integrated with real-time inventory for ingredient substitution?
- Are your team able to list your products and make changes at each of your locations in real time?
- Does it integrate with your point of sale, stock, accountancy and analytics systems- and can it tie in with your forecast management software to provide further insight into anticipated stock levels for future orders?
Ensuring your mobile order and pay solution offers a full range of solutions means that as well as the ability to manage customer orders, menus, payments and process orders, you’re also able to cater for what the future customer will come to expect – namely, speed, service and simplicity.
Just as some preferred vinyl to tapes, and tapes to CD’s, or MP3’s to streaming, any adjustment in our way of life takes time and major widespread adoption before it is fully accepted. In a Go technology report, over 40% of surveyed consumers now say they have used a technology to order food or drink.
Hospitality technology is constantly evolving, but there will always be people who would disagree that mobile ordering is the way forward. However, it is the best establishments that will use technology as an additional way to improve the guest experience.
Orderly offers a user-friendly, contact-free order and pay platform where guests can order and pay using their mobile device on a fully customisable, branded interface. If you’re interested in seeing how it could work for you, get in touch today.