We can agree that the past few years have thrown more challenges at the restaurant industry than ever before. Luckily, the industry has also seen unprecedented rates of technology adoption. Technology adoption has continued to increase, and subsequently eased the process of ordering. After all, according to SimpleTexting, 78 percent of consumers say that checking, sending, and answering text messages is the activity they do most throughout the day.
Through the implementation of new ordering solutions, restaurants benefit from creating a long-lasting loyalty with customers who constantly interact with the restaurant. The use of innovations at restaurants has been a saving grace for many restaurants and their owners as they struggle to keep up with rising business costs and order volume. Although this struggle continues, implementing technology can help solve these issues, including the ability to create stronger relationships with end-users leveraging consumer data.
As we charge full force into 2022, business owners have moved past the frantic tech adoption stage. These solutions are no longer band-aid options; they are the full-fledged future of restaurant operations. One of the most popular solutions is text ordering. This is exactly what it sounds like—a solution that allows customers to place orders via text, just as they would if they were texting a friend. Text Local shares that 88 percent of users use their phone mostly for sending and receiving text messages. Text ordering allows customers to conveniently place orders at their time of preference, eliminates painful navigation through different apps, and ultimately ensures a smoother process of placing and receiving orders through well-known avenues.
Here are three ways that text ordering can not only help restaurants improve operations, but also grow profits and increase customer loyalty.
Increased Customer Convenience
It’s always been critical for restaurant owners to identify and accommodate the ever-changing needs of the customer. Without dynamic business plans, restaurants cannot stay competitive. Yet, restaurants have never had to adapt this quickly. Restauranteurs have had to constantly innovate and come up with new ways to keep customers happy and coming back.
For example, ordering online via an app can take several minutes and dozens of clicks, whereas text ordering provides the exact same experience as a text message, allowing even the most novice users to navigate through the fast and easy process. Customers who have ordered over the phone for years and refuse online or app orders are the perfect fit for text ordering. Data from SlickText says that 45 percent of potential clients choose a product or brand after receiving a text message and in return become lifelong text customers. Text ordering has been a major asset, giving restaurant owners new ways to connect with customers including providing quick avenues for ordering, stored payment and order information, and integration with specialized ordering and modifications.
Optimize operations with text ordering for restaurants
Consumers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the added convenience of text ordering. Text ordering is beneficial for restaurant managers as well. This digital ordering channel allows more orders to be placed in shorter time frames, simultaneously freeing up staff to be able to manage the influx of orders.
While phone orders can be slow, inconvenient, and take up valuable staff time and manpower, text ordering is quick and easy. Text ordering can connect to your restaurant management system and communicate orders directly to your kitchen staff—eliminating the middleman, as well as the risk for incorrect order entries. Not only does this lead to greater accuracy; it also leads to increased speed- according to SimpleTexting, 62 percent of business said that the biggest advantage of text ordering is convenience.
Ultimately, by implementing text ordering solutions your kitchen staff can begin working as soon as the order is sent, and customers can get their meals faster.
Unlocking the Real Potential
Text marketing has grown exponentially in the last decade, with more and more businesses leveraging it to unlock business potential. In fact, studies indicate that the text marketing conversion rate is more than 30 percent higher than traditional text marketing.
Text ordering creates an entirely new source of data intelligence that many other ordering solutions do not- contributing to a more well-rounded, better informed data stream. Time of day, common modifications, most popular items- this is all information that can be automatically stored and optimized by using a text ordering solution. By identifying these macro-level trends, restaurant owners can drill down into the details and see individual customer ordering patterns, leading to stronger relationships with customers.
Order data in general helps fuel smarter, more informed business decisions. Have an item that’s never ordered? Take it off the menu. Have a meal that is constantly being modified? Make it a permanent change. Improving these strategies means that your choices are more thoughtful, effective, and resource-conscious; you’re not wasting items you don’t need. Finally, ordering data helps drive marketing efforts. You can build campaigns based on what geographic areas your customers order from, what time or day of the week they order most, and more specifics that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Text Jury confirms that the CTR rate for offer messages is higher by 9.18 percent compared to any other digital channel. Therefore, once you know the customers you’re trying to reach, you can implement the most relevant strategies.
With text ordering, you can strengthen your relationships with existing customers and stay top-of-mind. Text ordering opens the door for new opportunities to grow your business and improve communication with your customers, ultimately creating a stronger, more seamless business foundation- which will prove ever-more important in 2022 and beyond.
Shannon Chirone works as Vice President at HungerRush, a restaurant management solution and online ordering solution. She creates solutions to improve customer experience and achieve business objectives. www.hungerrush.com