Festive menus and 9 other reasons for restaurant digital ordering

Festive menus and 9 other reasons digital ordering should top restauranteurs’ wish lists

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a busy one at that if you work in hospitality. If your restaurant still offers paper menus…sincere condolences.

Along with reducing the time, stress, money and resources poured into your festive menu production, we have listed a few reasons why you might consider adding a digital ordering platform to your Christmas wish list.

But first, let’s picture the scene…

A waiter walks over to take a customer’s order. She opens up her food-stained menu, and orders a starter, only to be told that the restaurant has run out of that dish. Under pressure to make a quick decision, she decides to forgo a starter and just order a main meal. She has a nut allergy, so asks the waiter if her menu choice contains any nut ingredients. The waiter is unsure of the exact ingredients, so goes back to the kitchen to ask the chef. The chef checks the ingredients and confirms that there are nuts in that dish. The waiter returns to advise the customer. He leaves her to take her time to choose something else, whilst he serves another table of customers who have had to ask for their orders to be taken. An Italian family, who speak little English, are struggling to read the menu choices and are looking at the lunchtime menu that isn’t available after 2.30pm. The waiter attempts to translate through hand motions and by pointing at other people’s dishes. Meanwhile, lack of service for the kitchen has meant a customer’s order has been sat on the side getting cold, and the lady with the nut allergy has given up and decided to eat elsewhere.

N.B. If you know this waiter – tip him well and assure him digital ordering is on its way to help…

1. Instantly engage with customers

Digital ordering instantly captures your customer’s attention and makes them feel like they are being looked after from the minute they walk through the door. With a mobile ordering platform like wi-Q, your guests can use their own mobile device to access your menu, in under five seconds and just two keystrokes, without having to download an app. Interactive content, with photos, upselling notifications and suggestions, generates a higher level of engagement than a printed menu and becomes a great talking point amongst your guests.

First impressions count. Your customers’ experience begins well before they taste your food.

2. Add and update menus in real-time

According to studies, 31% of restauranteurs update their menu on a monthly basis, not to mention seasonal updates – including the mandatory festive menu! This is time-consuming, delays updates and leads to high printing costs. A digital menu, on the other hand, is quick and easy to update menu choices, prices, images, descriptions and allergen information. wi-Q’s mobile ordering technology facilitates scheduled menus for different times of day and enables you to make real-time updates – think specials, promotions and removing items that are no longer available.

3. Personalise your customer experience

In a recent survey, 56% of respondents reported eating out at least two to three times per week – there’s a huge market for returning customers. wi-Q’s digital ordering platform operates a personal service for each customer, offering specific products based on their saved personal preferences and customer profile. One of wi-Q’s most significant developments with mobile ordering is its ability to capture data, tracking customer preferences and ordering patterns for improved customer experience and effective target marketing.

4. Safeguard your customers with allergen menus

Digital menus enable you to stay compliant with food regulatory bodies by listing the ingredients of dishes, which are usually abbreviated or even omitted from paper menus due to lack of space. Interactive allergen menus through platforms like wi-Q allow customers to filter out menu choices by their allergy or dietary needs, making it clear from the outset what is available to them and safe to eat.

5. Speak your customers' language

Don’t let language be a barrier. Digital ordering is your chance to make your restaurant multilingual. From its infancy, wi-Q has been built to facilitate multiple language and cultural features – after all, hospitality is at the heart of travel and tourism. Your guests can comfortably browse, customise, order and pay in their own language, with options such as payment methods prioritised based on a country’s preferences.

6. Upsell and promote offers

The launch of Caffe Nero’s 2019 Christmas menu is a fine example of how you can use digital ordering to promote and track temporary offers and customer loyalty rewards. The café chain gave away 10,000 free coffees to customers through its app to celebrate and, crucially, let the world know about its new festive offering. Of course, this does require customers to download the app, which restaurants are now moving away from in favour of cloud-based mobile ordering. wi-Q’s app-free mobile ordering solution is instantly accessible without using up storage space on your customers’ devices and delivers an ‘off the shelf’ solution to restauranteurs via a minimal SaaS cost, which when offset against the incremental revenue generated produces an immediate ROI.

7. Support your efficiency

Implementing digital ordering has become much easier with a cloud-based solution, especially if, like wi-Q, it can seamlessly integrate with your existing POS/PMS and payment systems. With minimal disruption to your systems, your restaurant staff will see an instant increase in operational efficiency. Crucially, digital ordering doesn’t replace your waiting staff, it relieves them of pressures that can prevent them from doing their job well.

8. Increase sales and reduce print expenses

Make your menu updates an eco-friendly investment rather than a liability. It will take just a few seconds to update your digital menu without any additional costs…need we say more.

9. Offer a hygienic solution

Cleanliness and maintaining hygiene should be a priority in any hospitality environment, so it’s always surprising when you’re presented with a sticky, food-stained menu that has been passed from customer to customer in what is otherwise a very reputable establishment. Many customers would prefer to order from their own device without touching communal menus due to hygiene issues, and the same goes for self service kiosks…don’t even get us started on digital kiosks in GP surgeries!

10. Abate the wait

Did you know digital ordering can help to change the perception of waiting times? According to a recent survey, 84% of consumers expressed that seeing content on a digital platform helps the waiting time to pass more rapidly.

Technology is at our fingertips 24 hours a day; it makes the information we need accessible, up-to-date and available to us in a variety of formats. Why wouldn’t we want this service when it comes to ordering in a restaurant?

With wi-Q, digital ordering for your business has never been more capable or affordable. Get in touch for more information and to see how we can work with you.

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