How to increase sales on the restaurant website?

How to increase sales on your restaurant’s website, which sales channel generates the most orders, and which sales channel generates the highest delivery costs.

In today’s article, you will find out how to increase sales on your restaurant website, which sales channel generates the most orders and which creates 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 websites. There can be many reasons for this: a poorly executed and not very intuitive site, no promotional campaigns, and poor google positioning, to name but a few.

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 worthwhile and maybe 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 your sales!

Which sales channel generates the most orders?

Data covering more than 100 restaurants shows that only 14.09% of customers choose a restaurant’s website when ordering food 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 is chosen by 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 this unusual situation and the difficulties faced by restaurants due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, some platforms have decided not to charge commission on takeaway orders collected by customers. However, our data shows that “lending a helping hand” to restaurant owners was only symbolic, as 99.3% of dishes were ordered for delivery.

The gesture was aimed solely at building a positive image among platform users, not at relieving restaurants’ burden.

How do customers pay for food?

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 the 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 made through a restaurant website. 66.3% of customers decide to pay online. People who have not decided to make a payment before delivery choose a card (18.6%) as often as cash (15.1%).

When it comes to telephone orders, only 56.1% of all orders are deliveries. The rest of the dishes are to be eaten on-site or collected by customers. Half of the people – 50.5% – choose to pay by card, 40.7% prefer cash, and the others pay before the courier’s arrival (e.g. their company pays for dinner, they have a monthly subscription, 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 websites are sources of more expensive orders. The average cost of online orders is about EUR 11-12, and those placed by phone only EUR 9.5. 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 a restaurant’s 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 sales channel, and your role is to make them aware of this. 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 the average cost of the order can help you set the price from which delivery is free.

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

How can we redirect customers to our 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 EUR 12, it’s easy to calculate that with 100 orders, you will pay around EUR 240.

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 dedicated to restaurants integrates orders from various sales channels and gives you control over what drivers do. The program has a huge advantage over sticky note systems, which, unfortunately, many restaurants still follow.

Why do customers choose food delivery platforms?

It is time to discuss the factors that determine the customers’ choice of portals. Undoubtedly, their big advantage is the variety and wide selection of dishes. For an indecisive client, it is easier to scroll the platform with global cuisine than to choose something from an individual menu. Instead of adding more items to your menu, do everything to make your website visible and intuitive. How can this be done? Let’s start with the first point.

Make your website visible

Creating a website is just the start. Later 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 place orders 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 as 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 offer a discount voucher to the dishes ordered from your site. Don’t know how to generate discount codes? A POS system can help you with this. If you do not have one or the one you are working on does not have this function, please contact us!

To entice a customer to the restaurant’s website, think about limiting the menu items available on third-party websites 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 that when they use a third-party website to order food online, restaurants lose between 10% to 35% of their profit. It is worth making your customers aware of this fact by attaching a note from the restaurant’s owner thanking them for placing an order directly through the home website.

3. Inform the world!

Your website address should appear on the menu card, the banner in front of your restaurant, on your Facebook fanpage, and on the leaflets that you enclose with the orders. Customers will need to see information about your site several times before they start using it. A similar pattern is prevalent in the world of advertising. The rule of seven states that prospective buyers must be exposed to a marketing message at least seven times before they decide to buy. That’s why you should try to post information about the new sales channel in as many visible places as possible.

4. SEO

Make sure your site appears high in Google searches. 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 tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest, which will tell you what phrases people search for most often and how many websites use them for their positioning,
  • Add your site to Google Maps,
  • Provide links from reliable sources that lead to your website. You will get these through food bloggers, etc. 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 third-party websites 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 check that your main subpage URLs contain keywords.

 

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

5. Use online catalogs!

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

6. Invite famous food bloggers /

YouTubers to your restaurant!
Such people have great taste and can appreciate good food! A positive review can be more convincing to a customer than a 5-star Google rating. Don’t forget to ask them to share a link to your restaurant’s page in their footage!

7. Hold a competition!

Who doesn’t like competitions? They are 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 a certain amount. 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. If it’s badly done, unintuitive and illegible, it will easily scare away potential customers.

1. Remember, the number of people looking for information using their mobile phones is increasing, so make sure that your restaurant’s website also works well 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 your restaurant’s contact details (phone, address), as well as information on how to get there and information on parking in a visible place. Make sure that after entering the website, the customer immediately knows what type of food you offer and whether you carry out online orders. Once you have confirmed this, check whether finding the “order online” button does not take too 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. Go for minimalism! Adding too many elements, an array of graphics, and pop-up banners makes it difficult for users to navigate your site. A simple and intuitive website will also look better on the 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 any restaurateur would be proud of!

Summary

You already know how sales trends in the food service industry are formed, who the competition is, and what you can do to attract a 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 positive results are sure to 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! 

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