Smartphones have opened up a world of digital social interaction. So much so, that this has become the most common way that consumers connect.
With that being said, diners have naturally gravitated to digital systems like online ordering and food delivery. It's convenient and can be done from their home, office, etc.
Besides delivery becoming more of an expectation, more guests are using mobile ordering as their form of takeout. They are placing their order via an app or website prior to visiting a restaurant so that their food is ready when they arrive. Not only does this mean the eater has more control over when they eat, but his option allows users to forgo the pricy delivery fee, the tip, and service charge too.
According to a recent study from BRP and Windstream Enterprise, 20 percent of participants are using a pre-order option. When it comes to millennials, in particular, this percentage spikes to 32 percent.
"They are less likely than older generations to dine out and more inclined to order their food for off-site consumption," writes the study.
Food delivery has become somewhat unpredictable. The food can arrive much later than expected and the meal may be in poor condition when it arrives. With the pre-order option, diners can get the food directly from the source and then can either eat it right away or take it on the go.
Fast casual brands like Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Shake Shack are leading the way with mobile ordering.
Panera offers "rapid pick-up", where guests can order through the restaurant's mobile app for a specific time and collect it from a destinated area, without even getting on line or talking to a staff member.
"The dining journey has radically changed, as have guest expectations of what makes a great dining experience," says the report. "Therefore, embedding full digital dining support – everything from social engagement to guest WiFi to flexible ordering options, and real-time promotions – should be part of every restaurant’s strategic DNA."
Even though online ordering has become wildly popular, only 26 percent of restaurants surveyed in the BRP and Windstream Enterprise study said they have mobile point-of-sale technology.
Read more about the mobile takeout trend at “Forbes” now.
This is surprising that restaurants considering the multiple third-party solutions out there offering online ordering and food delivery for restaurants. But this could be partly because of the rising costs and poor service of third-party delivery platforms.
Want some tips on how to work with third-party service providers? Check out this recent episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show below where the Hosts Valerie and Erle sit down with the director of sales for Jason’s Deli and gets tips for operators on how to make sure they don't get outmaneuvered by third-party service providers.