The Must-Know Secrets to Building a Successful Online Food Ordering Business Model

The Must-Know Secrets to Building a Successful Online Food Ordering Business Model

Reach More Customers Online

With so many restaurants operating at partial capacity these days, it has become absolutely crucial for restaurants to explore new approaches to business. Efficiency has become a driving force in how successful a restaurant is, alongside how many customers they can effortlessly attract. 

Why the Sudden Push for an Online Business Model?

As mentioned earlier, many restaurants are operating at lower capacities. Though this may be the case, the need to bolster revenue is still imperative. The above data from Stastista shows just how strong of an impact online business has on restaurant revenue.

Before we explore the benefits on an online business model further, let's take a look at some of the pain points causing restaurants to bring in lower revenues:

1. COVID-19 restrictions. Things like in-store capacity and the number of people allowed per table are just some of the way government COVID restrictions are forcing restaurants to operate at lower capacity

2. Staff Shortages

It’s no secret that the F&B industry has been seeing a decline in the number of people willing to work at restaurants. This means that many restaurants are working with lower capacity in terms of staff numbers. 

3. Shorter Operating Hours

Lockdowns and restrictions on operating hours are some of the most crippling blows a restaurant can face. But by changing up to a food ordering business model, this and the other aforementioned restrictions can also be combatted. 

What is an Online Food Ordering Business Model?

An online food ordering business model is a way in which restaurants incorporate food ordering as a key component in how it conducts business. With shorter operating hours, lower dine-in capacity and fewer staff, an online food ordering business model can relieve these stresses from restaurant owners and managers in a surprising number of ways. But first, let’s take a look at some of the key components that make up an online food ordering business model.

Components of an Online Food Ordering Business Model

When shifting to an online food ordering business model what components will your restaurant need to incorporate to experience success and attract more customers?

1. Online Shop / Website

Your restaurant will need to invest in a website where customers can learn more about the what your restaurant does, as well as what food they can order. By adding an e-commerce component to your website, you create an online shop. This online shop acts as a digital storefront from where customers can interact with your restaurant and place orders without having to find your physical location. Essentially, you are casting your net as far out as possible to bring in more business.

2. List on a Marketplace

Marketplaces are online locations in which people can search for restaurants. These marketplaces are usually hosted by a popular third-party platform that people know well. When customers access these platforms, they can search for a filtered list of restaurants near them, or restaurants that serve the type of cuisine they want. By listing on these marketplaces, you again create a larger chance for new customers to find your restaurant.

3. User App

Building a dedicated restaurant app is a definite winner when it comes to getting customers to visit your restaurant more. Not only can you tailor content for them to see, but you can also create a loyalty system and have basic details of customers when they make an account (like their email address) with which you can offer them amazing promotions to encourage repeat business. 

4. Pickup/delivery

It’s one thing to allow customers to find your restaurant and order, but if they have to dine in at your restaurant anyway, then it reduces the efficacy of your online food ordering business model. Instead, offering delivery or pickup options is a great way to keep things convenient for customers.

5. Convenient Online Payment Options

Now that you’ve replaced your traditional storefront and removed the need for customers to dine-in, the next step is to allow them to pay seamlessly from their mobile and smart devices. Integrating with the most widely-used payment systems in your region will guarantee that customers can have an easy time paying and will visit your online shop time and time again. 

The Benefits of an Online Food Ordering Business Model

Now that you know what an online food ordering business model is and what components are required to set one up, you should also consider what benefits it can bring to your business, and how it can tackle the three issues we discussed earlier. Let’s take a look at the benefits

1. Get Around Restaurant Restrictions

If your restaurant has to operate with lower capacity, then having an online store can relieve some of that pain. Letting customers place orders, even if your restaurant can’t take in as many physical customers, still allows you to keep serving customers even if they can’t dine in at your restaurant due to reduced capacity.

2. Run Your Restaurant with Fewer Staff 

How does employing an online food ordering business model let your restaurant run with fewer staff? Well, if you are finding that running your restaurant in its physical location is becoming unsustainable, you can reduce opening hours in your physical restaurant and implement online ordering earlier. With no wait staff required to take care of dine-in customers, you can run your business with fewer staff, while still pumping out a high volume of food for online takeaway and delivery customers. 

3. Continue Business if You have to Shut Early

Just because you have to close your physical store to customers early, doesn’t mean you should stop doing business. While governments may impose strict rules on restaurant operating hours, they do not prohibit business to stop, as long as no customers are dining in. This means that once your dine-in revenue stops, your online revenue can pick up the slack. 

4. Multiple Revenue Streams

Your restaurant can benefit from not one, but two important streams of revenue if you implement an online food ordering business model. Along with dine-in customers, you can also accommodate online customers who place orders for pickup or delivery, thereby increasing the numbers of customers you’d be able to serve if you were solely relying on dine-in orders.

5. Reach More Customers

By building an online presence, your restaurant can actually reach more customers. Don’t forget, in our digital age, there are actually two marketplaces that customers can interact with your business in. The first is the physical marketplace, where traditional advertising methods can net you more customers. The second, is online. This is where having a digital storefront and listing on online marketplaces can really have a huge impact in boosting your restaurant’s customer numbers.

The Online Food Ordering Busines Model is the Future for Restaurants

Even after COVID-19 subsides and regions begin to open up and live with the virus, the benefits to running your restaurant with both a physical and digital component will still yield incredible results. So, get the digital arm of your business in place now so that you don’t get left behind and end up losing out on precious business to your competitors. 

Find out how your business can go online and reap the benefits!

HK Retail Innovation Award 2018
HK Retail Innovation Award 2018
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