Digital Ordering Demands Aren’t Going Anywhere – Can Your Restaurant Tech Handle Them?

The weight of COVID’s stay-in-place edicts could have completely crushed the restaurant industry — if not for the massive upswing in digital ordering innovation. From burritos to burgers and everything in between, brands that perfected their digital pivot with seamless and successful tech set themselves apart. In fact, digital ordering literally saved many from closing their doors for good.

We’ve seen consumers dine out more and more throughout 2022 — even more during the carefree days of summer — with digital orders and corresponding sales showing no signs of slowing down. Experts say online food delivery revenue will reach more than $343 billion in 2022, and the projected market volume will be more than $474 billion by 2026. What does this mean for players on the restaurant scene? To remain in the game, you need the right tech tools to meet customer expectations and evolve as their demands do. Below are some tips on how to make the most of what’s ahead. 

Cash in on Opportunity

Since 2014, online food ordering has expanded 300% faster than dine-in, making up approximately 40% of total restaurant sales.

Those are some seriously significant numbers, so brands must ensure customer service is top-notch and customer engagement remains a top priority — especially on the platforms customers prefer.

In fact, around 60% of diners anticipate ordering more online this year, while approximately 92% of all top-performing restaurants offer mobile order-ahead, loyalty programs, or a combination of both.

Invest in the Right Tech

While restaurant apps continue to be all the rage, they can do more harm than good without the right tech to support them. A lackluster experience like missing or cold food, excessive wait time for delivery, and general inefficiency can leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths, prompting them to seek solace elsewhere and giving potential sales to restaurants that perform well digitally at scale.

In reality, restaurants with online ordering systems can raise their takeout profits by 30% more than those without. What should really seal the deal for operators wondering about investing in the right tech? The fact that more than 80% of restaurants have turned to it for online ordering, restaurant analytics, as well as reservation and inventory apps to keep their business running efficiently and successfully. You’re far behind the cutting edge and curve if you’re not one of them.

Cater to Customer Cravings

It might sound crazy, but it’s true — 60% of Americans order delivery at least once per week, and the average American spends about $67 weekly on takeout. Statistics like these clearly indicate what customers want, but it doesn’t end there.

Customers that place online restaurant orders are more likely to visit them in person – 67% more often than those who don’t. It’s proof that a seamless digital customer experience pays off both online and off. This brings us back to the biggest boon of omnichannel customer engagement — boosting your restaurant’s bottom line.

The Bottom Line for Your Bottom Line 

Customer cravings are clear with online ordering, and there are ample opportunities to cash in. But the wrong tech makes it difficult (if not impossible) to create the conditions that increase acquisition and loyalty.

If you don’t have an integrated online ordering system and you’re not designing a custom ordering experience, those hungry customers will likely go elsewhere.

That leads us to one final statistic, which may be hard to swallow but essential as food for thought: 62% of consumers blame both the delivery company and the restaurant they ordered from if the service is bad. That means the right tech is something you must acquire if you want to gain more customers and keep them happy.