Who’d have thought we’d one day be able to pick up a mobile phone and order a McDonald’s – for delivery…

Well, we’re now living in that age, with businesses like Ronald’s (because he owns it, doesn’t he?) and UberEATS starting something of an online ordering and delivery revolution in the restaurant industry.

Sure, the very thought of taking cues from a conglomerate such as McDonald’s for your restaurant’s business plan might fill you with apathy, but you may have to let your guard down for a moment.

They may have a point…

The takeaway food market – thanks to digital pioneers such as Just Eat – has soared in value since 2008, growing by 50% to £3.6bn last year, and the line between traditional restaurants and takeaway-only outlets is becoming increasingly blurred.

So, dispense with your preconceptions for just a moment, and consider these five reasons why your restaurant should at least give online ordering and delivery a degree of consideration:

1. It saves time – all round

One of the most obvious benefits of online ordering and delivery is that they save time for both the diner and restaurant.

There’s no waiting service to worry about, the customer can take their time and order at their leisure, and there’s absolutely no direct contact with the restaurant – bar a notification of the order coming through.

People are time-poor these days. Why not provide them with the beauty of your food in a far more efficient manner?

2. Orders are more likely to be correct

A misspelling on behalf of the waiter or misheard dish on the end of the phone line are common occurrences in restaurants and usually result in somewhat uncomfortable encounters, table-side.

With online ordering, the orders are far more likely to be correct, as the diners take time to check exactly what they’ve chosen on a screen and amend as they see fit.

3. The ordering process becomes far easier

There’s no getting away from it – if you’re stretched for time but still want to enjoy your favourite restaurant’s food, the ability to order via your smartphone and have the meal arrive at your doorstep is far easier than getting dressed up and jumping into the car.

Sometimes, ‘ease’ should trump ‘effort’.

4. Mobile ordering is now expected

For many people, their smartphone is viewed as a primary computing device; they expect to be able to do pretty much everything with it.

Your previous and potential customers (particularly if they reside within the millennial or ‘Z’ generation) may automatically believe they can use their smartphone to order a meal online from your restaurant and have it delivered to their doorstep, no matter how daft that sounds to you.

Diners are moving with the times – are you?

5. You’ll be one click ahead of the competition

Take a look at your competitors’ websites. Are they offering online ordering and delivery?

If not, this could be a major USP for your business and enable you to grab a significant number of diners who become frustrated at being unable to order online with your competitors.

Why not be first to the gate in the digital revolution in your area? It’ll create one hell of a PR opportunity.

Wrapping up

Online ordering and delivery isn’t for every restaurant, but we’ve hopefully given you some food for thought above.

Times are changing, and traditional restauranteurs can do little to stop the tidal wave of consumer expectation that leads to services like online restaurant ordering and delivery becoming the norm.

Start preparing your mindset for this revolution now, and you’ll find it far easier to implement such a scheme when you simply can’t hold off any longer.

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