African American woman places a togo order on her phone

It’s Friday night and the dinner rush is in full swing. The phone is ringing off the hook with takeout orders and so far everything is going smoothly as you jockey between two phone lines. That is until your next takeout customer starts asking 20 questions about wing sauce flavors. The second line lights up but before you can say “hold please,” it goes dark. 

Customer lost. 

Finally, a decision is made (hot honey BBQ!) and you move on to the next caller… who you can barely hear. Meanwhile, the second line is blinking, blinking, blinking. 

Just down the road, it’s also the dinner rush at a popular local restaurant. Instead of frantically juggling phone lines, missing important order information or losing customers who have been on hold for too long, the staff quickly and efficiently fulfills orders, calmly checks each order for quality and accuracy and gets tipped generously. 

What’s going on here?

The “secret” is simple: online ordering. 

When it comes to your restaurant’s takeout orders, online ordering has become essential. Your customers expect it, your staff will love it and an online ordering system will help your restaurant thrive. Here are five ways online ordering is more effective and efficient than ordering by phone. 

Five benefits of online ordering versus phone orders

Take more orders, keep more customers

Ordering by  phone limits the number of orders your restaurant can receive since restaurants don’t have unlimited phone lines for unlimited staff to manage with unlimited time. During your dinner rush, every minute and every order matters, and your staff simply doesn’t have time to go back-and-forth with indecisive customers — never mind asking callers to repeat their credit card number for the third time.

Plus, the hard truth is if a customer has to wait on the phone for more than one  minute, they are likely to hang up and call a different restaurant. Yikes! Skip the “hold please” mantra while taking more orders with online ordering that customers can use at their convenience.

Increase order accuracy 

Inaccurate orders are costly, time consuming and frustrating for staff and customers alike. Fortunately, online ordering prevents the biggest reason orders go wrong: miscommunication. 

Online ordering avoids miscommunication issues that arise when helping a customer who’s not sure what they want, is distracted while ordering or is just plain hard to hear over the phone. When customers can browse an up-to-date, easy to read menu, weigh the options and make specific selections (and modifications) all in one place, there’s no more guessing about what a customer means or what side or size they want.

Bigger transactions (and bigger tips)

Customers are more likely to spontaneously add an appetizer, extra toppings or upgrade a side if all they need to do is tap a few more selections from their smartphone. That means higher order totals, bigger tips and a better bottom line for your restaurant. 

Speaking of bigger tips… when customers can order, tip and pay right from one convenient place, they are more likely to add a higher tip than when they have to scrounge for cash in their wallets or do questionable mental math when signing a credit card slip.

Less burden on staff

Taking phone orders is time consuming, especially for staff that’s already juggling multiple roles. By receiving food orders online, your team can focus on fulfilling orders and providing better face-to-face service when customers are picking up, placing orders in-house or dining in. 

This efficiency also impacts your back-of-house staff. Chefs and cooks see orders as they’re placed in real-time, which means improved accuracy and improved time management.

A more effective contactless option

Online ordering decreases the amount of face-to-face time required with customers by helping ensure that orders are accurate and ready on time, with the payment and tip already processed. As a result, fewer customers are waiting around inside for their food, paying face-to-face and digging through packaged orders to check that everything is there. Instead, customers can just walk in, quickly sign a slip and walk out with their food in hand. Win-win. 

Any restaurant offering takeout will benefit from an easy-to-use online ordering system that seamlessly integrates with their workflows and other systems. Not only will your customers love it, your staff will appreciate its ease. You’ll also be happier with bigger transactions, better reporting and easier order management. 

We’d love to show you how Table Needs online ordering will improve the way your restaurant manages orders. Contact us today to schedule a demo (no pressure, no obligations, we promise!). 

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