The preference for restaurant delivery and takeout has been a consumer trend for several years. The North America online food delivery market grew to $18.8 billion in 2018, and, according to ResearchAndMarkets, it was on a trajectory as of January 2020 to reach $37.7 billion by 2024, a CAGR of 12.3 percent. That growth drove the adoption of restaurant online ordering systems, but value-added resellers (VARs) and managed services providers (MSPs) know that technology hadn’t saturated its market.
Then, the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country. When government leaders issued stay-at-home orders in March 2020, Statista surveyed U.S. consumers and found more than 70 percent of them were likely or probable restaurant online ordering customers, compared to about one-quarter of consumers who ordered takeout or delivery at least once a week before COVID-19. Restaurants that had implemented online ordering solutions were well-positioned to handle the surge. Others faced tough decisions so that they could stay in business.
GloriaFood online ordering system Senior Online Marketing Expert Andreea Dobrila says, “In this day and age, it’s becoming clearer that every retailer, from pretty much all industries, needs to have an online presence. It’s the most important challenge that every entrepreneur has to consider doing, sooner rather than later, since this one thing can make or break the success of their business, especially during this pandemic.”
“Being online is like a rite of passage if you will, that will help them get over another major challenge: that of keeping all of their employees and their business afloat,” she continues. “They’re all intertwined. But, on the bright side, there are tech solutions that can help entrepreneurs overcome these challenges.”
“Being in the restaurant industry ourselves, we knew and actually expected the trend of offline shopping to shift to online shopping, over time. This is why we centered our business around this concept,” Dobrila explains.
Keys to Providing a Restaurant Online Ordering System
If your clients with table service eateries were caught off guard by the sudden demand and no restaurant online ordering system, they had a few options. Some took phone or walk-up orders, which, depending on the volume, could have become a labor-intensive and error-prone process. Additionally, restaurants relying on manual methods probably had a limited market of “regulars” who knew what the restaurant offered—and that they hadn’t shuttered until dining room closures had ended.
Other restaurants quickly signed with third-party online ordering and delivery platforms such as DoorDash, Uber Eats or Grubhub. Although many of these services waived or deferred fees for a period, using them still had an associated cost—which restaurants attempting to stay open by operating at only a fraction of capacity may not be able to afford.
Of course, businesses had the option to deploy a restaurant online ordering system, but it’s likely you faced objections when you pitched that solution. Knowing the features of the solution you offer and focusing on value can help you overcome them.
Dobrila explains that Software as a Service (SaaS) restaurant online ordering systems, such as GloriaFood, make it fast, simple and affordable for businesses to establish an online presence and accept payments online. Your restaurant online ordering system partner may even be able to give you the ability to provide your clients with a templated website if they aren’t yet online or help them take orders via social media.
Your Role as a Trusted Advisor
It’s vital to stress to your prospects that implementing this technology, even in a pandemic, delivers value, and restaurants are receptive to that message. Dobrila points out that GloriaFood has seen an uptick in new users this year who are leveraging the solution to keep their businesses running and keep their employees on staff.
“We’ve adapted to this trend, and restaurant owners everywhere need to do the same if they want their business to survive this crisis,” Dobrila says.
Be the trusted advisor that your restaurant clients need and help them build a strategy that will help them continue to engage customers now and prepare for what may lie ahead.