How to increase sales on the restaurant website?

 

In today’s article, you will find out how to increase sales on the restaurant website, which sales channel generates the most orders and which the highest delivery costs. Based on data from several hundred restaurants specializing in deliveries, we have prepared a report on the latest trends in gastronomy!

My restaurant website does not generate orders …

 

According to Papu.io data, as many as 58% of people ordering food, do it online. Despite the popularity of online orders, many restaurateurs complain about the lack of traffic on their website. There can be many reasons for this: poorly made and not very intuitive site, no promotional campaigns, poor google positioning, etc.

Your site competes not only with hundreds of others but also with online food ordering platforms, whose popularity has increased significantly in the last couple of years. Of course, your restaurant can also be added to their database. We have already discussed the pros and cons of this solution. Regardless of what you have decided, it is worth and even necessary to ensure that customers choose your sales channels!

Competition is strong but nothing is impossible.

Today you will learn what to do to promote your website, redirect customers to it, and thus increase sales!

Which sales channel generates the most orders?

 

Data covering more than 100 restaurants shows that only 14,09% of customers choose the restaurant’s website when ordering food for delivery. The telephone, very popular just a few years ago, is slowly beginning to lose its star status, in favor of platforms intermediating between the customer and the restaurant, which choose 44,08% of people.

Portals charge restaurants for every dish ordered through their website. Commissions range from 10%, up to 35%. In the face of the unusual situation and the difficulties faced by the restaurants due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, some platforms decided to give up the commission on take-away orders. However, the data we collected shows that “lending a helping hand” to restaurant owners was only symbolic, as 99,3% of dishes were ordered in delivery.

The gesture was aimed solely at building a positive image among platform users, not at actually relieving the restaurant.

How do customers pay for food?

 

 

chart showing three methods of payment: prepaid, cash or card on a restaurant website chart showing three methods of payment: prepaid, cash or card in a marketplace

The method of payment for food varies depending on the sales channel. The vast majority – 80,7% of users of “Marketplace” (platforms for ordering food online) prefer to pay for food before a courier knocks on their door. Others pay in cash, and only 1.4% choose a card.

The situation is different if we look at payments through the restaurant’s website. 66.3% of customers decide to pay online. People who have not decided to make a payment before delivery, equally often choose a card (18, 6%) as cash (15, 1%).

When it comes to telephone orders, only 56,1% of all orders are deliveries. The rest of the dishes are ordered on-site or take-away. Half of the people – 50.5% – choose to pay by card, 40.7% prefer cash, and the others pay before the arrival of the courier (e.g. their company pays for dinner, pay a monthly invoice, etc.).

 

Interestingly, looking at the comments attached to orders, it is still very important to guarantee secure delivery. As many as 48% of all comments left were requests for non-contact delivery.

Which sales channel generates the highest order value?

 

Portals and restaurant’s websites are the sources of more expensive orders. The average cost of online orders is about 11-12 EUR and those placed by phone only 9,5 EUR. People ordering online place larger orders, but also pay more for delivery. The average share of delivery cost in the price of the dish ordered on the restaurant website is only 3,18%. In the case of platforms, it is 5,65%. As you can see, it is simply more profitable for the customer to use the restaurant’s sale channel and your role is making him aware of it it. Although the differences in the price are not large, they will definitely be noticeable to people who regularly choose platforms instead of your page.

Knowing what is the average cost of the order can help you set a price from which delivery is free.

Now let’s try to find the answer to the question that almost every restaurateur is looking for…

How to redirect customers to my restaurant’s website?

 

According to Papu.io, 44% of customers order food through portals. If we assume that the commission you have to pay to agents is 20% and the average value of the order is about 12 EUR, it’s easy to calculate that with 100 orders you will give back around  240 EUR.

Over the year, it turns into a pretty serious amount that you could invest in marketing, new equipment, kitchen equipment, or even a system that would increase the efficiency of your employees (such as a POS system for restaurants). This type of program for gastronomy integrates orders from various sales channels and gives you control over what drivers do. The program has a huge advantage over the sticky notes system, on which, unfortunately,  many restaurants still work.

Why customers choose food delivery platforms?

 

It is time to answer the question, what from the client’s perspective determines the choice of portals. Undoubtedly, the big advantage of using them is the variety and wide selection of dishes. For an indecisive client, it is easier to scroll the platform with world cuisine, than to choose something from your card. Instead of adding more items to your menu, do everything to make your website visible and intuitive. What does it mean? Let’s start from the first point. 

Make your website visible

Creating a website is just the beginning. Now you must do everything to make your customers see your new sales channel and start using it !!

1. Convince your customers that it pays to order them through the restaurant website!

To start with, encourage them with a discount available only on orders from your site. If you work with portals, the matter will not be so simple, because many of them reserve the right to the same price. Carefully read the terms of the contract you signed. Perhaps, instead of lowering prices, you can, for example, enter a limited product offer, or give a discount coupon to the dishes ordered from your site. Don’t know how to generate discount codes?  The POS system can help you with it. If you do not have it or the one you are working on does not have such functionality, please contact us!

To convince the customer to the restaurant’s website, think about limiting the menu items available on the 3rd party website or offering free delivery for people ordering through your sales channel.

2. Thank your customers for using your sales channel!

Most people don’t know and have never thought that when they are using a 3rd party website to order food online, restaurants lose between 10 to 35% of the profit. It is worth making your customers aware of it by e.g attaching a note from the restaurant owner with a thank you for placing an order directly through his website.

3. Inform the world!

Your website address should appear on the menu card, banner in front of your restaurant, on your Facebook fanpage, and on the leaflets that you attach to your order. Customers need to see information about your site several times before they start using it. A similar pattern appears in the world of advertising. Rule of seven says that a prospective buyer should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before deciding to buy. That’s why try to post information about the new sales channel in many visible places.

4. SEO

Make sure your site appears high in Google search. Unfortunately, you can’t count on immediate results, but consistent efforts will bring you closer to your goal.

  • select the right keywords. – Make a list of keywords related to your business. First, write down your ideas, and then use such tools as Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest, which will tell you what phrase people search the most and how many pages uses them to position their page,
  • add your site to Google maps,
  • provide links from reliable sources leading to your website. You will get them e.g thanks to the activities of food bloggers (below you will find more information on this topic), you can also post them yourself on various groups on Facebook, in your social media, or on the 3rd party website if you work with them,
  • Check the performance of your page using Google Search Console. Make sure you have added title tags, meta description, image alt attributes, right headers, and your main subpage URLs contain keywords

Positioning is a very broad subject that requires constant learning. That’s why, for a better understanding of the topic, we encourage you to read the articles regarding this issue, on dedicated pages.

5. Use online catalogs!

These are free promotional tools that will help you increase your clientele by city visitors or simply by people looking for something new. The link to your restaurant page should be in such catalogs as:

 6. Invite famous food bloggers / youtubers to your restaurant!

Those people have a taste and can appreciate good food! Their positive opinion can be more convincing to the customer than 5 stars under your Google business card. Don’t forget to ask them to share a link to your restaurant’s page in their footage!

7. Make a contest!

Who doesn’t like little competition? It is also a simple way to increase traffic on your site! Choose the prize. The only limit is your imagination… It can be a free meal for 2 people or a voucher for  X EUR. Remember! One of the conditions has to be sharing a link to your site! You can run the competition using your social media (Facebook, Instagram).

Make sure your website is intuitive

 

Your site is your business card. Poorly done, unintuitive and illegible will easily scare away potential customers.

  1. Remember, the number of people looking for information from a mobile phone is increasing, so make sure that your restaurant’s website works well also on mobile devices.
  2. We strongly believe in the saying that eyes are bigger than a belly. That’s why you have to ensure you have good quality photos on your page. If you don’t have a site yet, don’t worry! Start with your social media and learn how to sell on Facebook!
  3. Add the restaurant’s contact details (phone, address), as well as information on how to get there and parking space in a visible place. Make sure that after entering the website, the customer immediately knows what type of food you offer and whether you are executing online orders. If so, check whether finding the “order online” button does not take much time.

Also, think about which menu items you want to promote! Papu.io data shows that over 75% of customers do not browse the entire page, but stop somewhere in the middle, which is why the correct order of dishes on the page is so important. At the top, add those with the best customer reviews or those with the highest margin.

4. Bet on minimalism! By placing more elements, motley graphics, and pop-up banners, you make it difficult for users to navigate the site. A simple and transparent website will also look better on a smaller screen of your mobile phone!

If you prefer professionals to take care of your website, contact us! We will be happy to help you set up a user-friendly website that you every restaurateur would be proud of!

Summary

 

You already know how the sales trends in gastronomy are shaped, who you compete with, and what to do to win the race for the customer. Remember, building website traffic is a long-term process so don’t be discouraged if the statistics don’t sweep you off your feet initially. Work persistently and consistently, and the results will come!

If you already have a website, but it does not meet your expectations, please contact us. The Papu team is always happy to help!