Ordering Food Online: 9 Great Pros, Cons & Customer MindsetMay 3
Online food ordering in the restaurant industry has drastically changed over time. Over the last 5 years, majority restaurants are opting to take their business completely online and turning it digital. The online ordering platform statistics have shot up in 2020, due to the onset of COVID-19 as people were not allowed to dine out anymore for safety and hygiene issues. Any big business decision whether it is start up a restaurant, or taking it online has the element of risk attached to it. In this blog, DNY Hospitality points out advantages and disadvantages of taking your food business online and a customer’s mindset, which will help you tackle such situations if ever it arises.
Advantages of ordering food online
1. Ease of comfort
Ordering food online has been a blessing to many people especially during the lockdown. The whole process of ordering food online provides convenience to all its users. Right from finding the restaurant, choosing a dish, up to the delivery and enjoying the meal, it is all done from the comfort of your own house. The decision making for food ordering has come to less than 7 seconds.
2. Spoilt for restaurant choice
Food aggregators online spoil you for the choice of restaurants. Ordering food online has now become the new ‘searching for a movie on Netflix’! Too many good options, you want to try everything, but you don’t know which particular restaurant you want to order from. Ordering food online does not just offer a huge number of restaurants, but a vast option of cuisines as well. This allows customers to try different food and experience cuisines from all over the world in the comfort of their own home.
3. Diet catering
If you are a vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, a health freak, lactose intolerant, gluten free, ordering food online caters to it all! You need not worry while ordering food online, with just a click of a button; you can have your dietary constraints at your fingertips along with the dishes suggested for the die you follow.
4. Savior during unforeseen events
There are days when parents, college students etc. do not want to cook because they’ve had a long and tiring day and don’t want to enter the kitchen. Ordering food online comes to the rescue, satisfies your cravings and keeps your belly happy. Even during an event of a heavy rain or a storm, ordering food online is the best resort as it keeps you safe at home as well.
5. Birth of Home kitchens
We say when the world has moved online, the most special meals cooked from home and delivered is the best idea. This gives rise to many home kitchens, who wanted to pursue their passion with cooking and professionally following it up.
Disadvantages of ordering food online
1. Waiting period
Ordering food online sometimes takes longer than usual. This happens for a number of reasons which is mainly to do with distance of the restaurant from your house, heavier traffic flow, rush hours at the restaurant or the cloud kitchen or a bad weather condition. In such situations, a customer’s mood and mindset plays a key role. The patience level has dropped to more than 60% and that’s the reason why decision making for food ordering has come to less than 7 seconds. With immense competition online, customer make his way to decide the brand, decide what to order and make a payment.
2. Lonely restaurant atmosphere
Every online order accounts for a customer who physically dines in the restaurant. Some restaurants work hard on the aesthetics and interiors with a motive to draw people dining in. When such restaurants are empty or just have 3 tables full and the majority of their sales takes place online, it kills the overall restaurant atmosphere which makes it seem lonely.
3. Priced higher than dining out
Your comfort comes with a cost! Ordering food online would mean higher priced dishes compared to a regular restaurant rate. This accounts for delivery charges, aggregator commission and sometimes even tips. In such situations customers prefer directly calling up a restaurant, placing their order and picking it up themselves.
4. Lack in your social life
A restaurant experience is something to be enjoyed with friends and family. Ordering food online does not do this, but puts a strain on your social life. The only thing keeping you company while ordering food online are your TV shows.
Food businesses in India mainly partner up with two major aggregators; Zomato and Swiggy. What these apps do is provide customers with a large variety of choice in restaurants and food, available just at your fingertips and is a click of a button away. As per the current demographics, Millennials lean towards this option more instead of physically dining out, as this is the ‘tech-savvy’ generation. Let’s deep dive more into what customers primarily look into while ordering food online.
1. Fast accessible menus
People who order food online majorly already have a clear picture in mind as to what they want to eat. Menus on these platforms should be accessible with ease and swiftness. The menus should also be short with descriptions that can be understood by everyone reading it, to make the ordering process quicker.
2. Other customer reviews and ratings
Customers always head to the ‘Reviews’ page whether it is to try out a new restaurant, explore a new place or for a hotel stay. As an online food business, it is important to get exceptional reviews to boost your brand value and reputation online. Keeping this in mind, customers deep dive into other customer’s reviews and pictures, and expect the same level of service and satisfaction as mentioned by other reviewers.
3. Customization is personalization
Catering to different types of customers would also mean catering to their every request. Customers with new food lifestyles and eating habits are at the top when it comes to high level of customization for every order. Whether it is the option of having a vegan, gluten free or a lactose free meal, your restaurant should be able to cater to all the customer’s requirements to keep them happy and to retain your customer base. Happy customers are loyal customers for a lifetime.
If you are a restaurant business, DNY Hospitality hopes these tips help you when you set up your food business online.