We recently covered seven critical tech categories that are streamlining the way the restaurant sector does business, as well as how customers interact with the hospitality space. But there is one info-tech modality in particular that is driving this change more than any other, and it is online ordering systems. Here, we will discuss what this is, the ways in which it is manifesting, and how you can use it to put wings on your food delivery business model.
The internet is rapidly becoming the central hub of all human communications and interactions. The restaurant industry has been resistant to the changes that information technology is making inevitable, and it’s easy to see why. After all, the core appeal of the food service industry is very much rooted in the taste and smell layer of the human experience, and info tech seems to have little to offer in that regard.
However, the restrictions that came to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic changed all of that. As businesses were forced to restrict human contact, and as concerns regarding transmissibility gained prominence, restaurants needed a way to maintain sales. Online ordering rapidly became the preferred solution.
This has proven true not only for restaurants, but for grocery stores, delis, cottage food service, and more. This places grocery service in direct competition with the restaurant industry more than ever before. After all, when going out was not an option, having groceries delivered became a much simpler alternative to eating out. This is because delivery replaces some of the social pressure of interacting with restaurants, placing the two relatively on par as they have never been before.
Now that the restrictions of the pandemic are waning, these assets are firmly in place. At the same time, many people remain hesitant to risk disease transmission when they don’t have to. In other words, the online delivery cat is out of the bag and the alternatives are to adopt it or fail to remain competitive.
Roughly 34% of people spend $50 or more when they order food online. About 31% of people order online at least twice a week, and a whopping 60% of internet users order online at least once a week or more.
All in all, these numbers represent at least 50% of the total number of people who would eat out regularly or at least once each week. That means the restaurant crowd is spending a considerable portion of their dining out budgets ordering online. It also means that the total number of people patronizing restaurants has grown by at least 15%.
With numbers like that, not only can you not afford to adopt online ordering capabilities, but you stand to make much larger sales margins than ever before. All in all, this is a boon for restaurateurs who are prepared to leverage information tech.
As the central pillar of the hospitality sector, the food service industry is built on service and convenience. These most appealing factors about restaurants are the factors that online ordering enhances. Therefore, those businesses that adopt it will succeed, and those who adopt it sooner than later, will pull ahead of the rest. For these reasons, we believe online ordering assets should be on the top of your tech integration checklist.