These days, it seems like everything is just a click away. Need new clothes? Order online. Need new glasses? Submit your prescription and get a new pair delivered to your door. Want a hot and fresh meal? There’s an app for that.
In today’s on-demand society, more and more people are turning to food delivery as an alternative to traditional options. Using an app or website to order a meal is so much more convenient, and it provides a better user experience compared to calling ahead or waiting in line at the cashier.
Not only that, but this trend is moving upward. According to recent data, 45 percent of adults within the next year will increase their online food ordering.
So, what does this mean for restaurants? A few things, actually.
More Delivery, Less In-House Eating
As consumers turn to their apps and computers to get food, they will be less inclined to visit restaurants in person. After all, why go out to eat when you can get the same dishes delivered to the place where your couch and TV are?
To accommodate this shift, restaurants will likely need to invest in more kitchen space and reduce the eating area for customers. Not only will this layout reflect the more on-demand nature of online ordering, but it will be necessary to avoid delays.
Avoiding Delays at Handoff
Gone are the days when the only food being delivered was pizza. Now, customers are ordering a wider array of dishes, from pasta to sushi to barbecue. While the rise of third-party delivery apps like UberEats enables more restaurants to offer this service, many of these establishments aren’t built to handle the demand.
When it comes to online ordering, there are two options available for customers. First, they can pay an additional fee to have the food delivered. Second, they can order ahead of time and pick it up in the restaurant.
Unfortunately, many eateries aren’t equipped to expedite these orders, which can lead to delays and extended wait times. For the customer, this ultimately defeats the purpose of ordering online in the first place.
So, to help alleviate this problem, restaurants will have to get creative. In some cases, they may invest in a section of the kitchen dedicated solely to online orders, complete with a concierge who can handle handoff to customers or delivery drivers.
In other instances, restaurants are using technology to make pickups even easier. For example, Little Caesars uses a dispensary kiosk where customers can scan a code and pick up their order, all without having to wait in line.
Where Direct Mail Fits In
As a restauranteur, now is the perfect time to capitalize on this growing trend. If you can adapt to the online ordering demand, you can surpass your competition. It’s evident that customers want convenience and efficiency, so eateries that can deliver on that will see massive success.
However, while upgrading the way that your restaurant handles orders is the first step, the next one is to market yourself to prospective customers. That’s where direct mail marketing comes in.
Chances are that you’ve either thought about or utilized a direct mail campaign to announce your grand opening to the community. This kind of marketing is ideal for restaurants, as it’s an easy way to distribute your menu to locals.
When it comes to online ordering, now you can take your campaign a step further. Here are a few tips to make direct mail work better for your business.
Offer Delivery Discounts
Once you get your delivery system in place, one of the best ways to encourage customers to take advantage is to offer a first-timer discount. Even something as simple as free delivery is enough to spur action from new customers. You can also encourage repeat online ordering by giving a discount later on, such as on a customer’s third delivery.
Build and Integrate an Ordering App
If you can’t build a smartphone app yet, then focus on making online ordering an integral part of your website. Then, incorporate the system into your direct mail, using QR codes or coupon codes that lead to that specific page. This way, you can track your traffic and see how well your mailers are connecting to your audience.
Highlight Your Delivery Route
One of the best things about direct mail is that you choose who receives your ads. So, if you only deliver in a specific area, send your materials to houses and businesses within those borders. Then you know that anyone ordering should be accessible, and you can avoid disappointed customers.
Contact Always Direct Marketing Today
Building a direct mail marketing campaign takes time and energy. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Instead, let Always Direct Marketing handle the details of your mailers, from design to implementation. Discover how direct mail marketing can upgrade your restaurant business to the next level.