Driving Off-Premises Sales with a Restaurant Mobile Ordering App

Driving Off-Premises Sales with a Restaurant Mobile Ordering App

The restaurant industry seems to be changing from a dine-in model to an off-premises model—and it’s doing so at an accelerating rate. A recent survey reported that 60% of restaurant experiences are fully off-premises, which includes drive-through, takeout, and delivery. What’s more is that this survey was conducted before the onset of COVID-19; now the numbers have skyrocketed as dine-in options halted at the start of the pandemic and are just starting to reopen with many restrictions.

This is resulting in a major cultural shift. Off-premises sales for restaurants is becoming a must across the industry, as many states continue to enforce strict social distancing guidelines. It remains true as some experts predict that these guidelines may last long into the summer months. Moreover, prematurely lifting the enforcement is causing concern of a second possible wave of outbreaks, which would no doubt lengthen the impact of COVID-19. It’s important to note the importance of driving off-premises sales to continue your restaurant operations, should this become a reality. 

Online ordering apps and platforms go hand-in-hand with off-premises dining. Not only are they convenient, they are essential to keep operations competitive as fewer restaurants are able to rely on in-house dining to drive their business.

This presents a huge opportunity for restaurant owners looking to increase sales, as 70% of consumers prefer to forego third-party ordering services in favor of a restaurant’s website or mobile app. What’s more, only 18% of restaurant operators even offer mobile ordering on their own app, compared to the 43% of consumers who wish they could order directly from a restaurant’s mobile app or service. 

Further, here are three reasons why your operation absolutely needs a restaurant online ordering app in order to handle evolving customer demands:

The Ultimate Customer Convenience

For a quick bite or family meals, customers rely on convenience when placing takeout, curbside, and delivery orders. To give customers that convenience, why not allow them to order with the devices they already have and know how to use? 

Websites and smartphone apps give customers an extra layer of convenience, and confidence in the restaurants they decide to spend their hard-earned money on. It’s even better if they can also pay directly through the app. This adds not only convenience, but safety for both themselves and the restaurant’s employees because non-remote payment methods add to the  risk of spreading COVID-19 and other viruses. 

Thanks to the convenience factor of a restaurant online ordering platform, you are encouraging repeat business and boosted sales. By allowing customers to save order information right in your app, you are facilitating a quick, easy, and seamless repeat order in the future that your customers are sure to appreciate. 

Request a demo and get ready for the rush.

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Customization Capabilities 

Today, modern restaurant customers want orders crafted exactly the way they want. Whether it’s a pizza with six toppings or a burger with a lettuce bun, customers gravitate towards customizing orders themselves.

Compared to third-party ordering services, over 35% of consumers agree that ordering on a restaurant’s website or mobile app provides an added layer of ease. This also goes for customer satisfaction. Because customers typically know exactly what they want—and when features are available to customize their orders, they feel in control. This increased satisfaction also increases the chance that happy customers will recommend a restaurant to family and friends, thus building your business and increasing the scope of repeat orders. 

There’s something to be said for accuracy, too. Order customization through a website or app elicits more accurate orders, since the customer places it themselves and the order goes directly from the app to the kitchen. Cut out the middleman, and cut out satisfaction-decreasing errors. 

Foster Deeper Customer Relationships 

Mobile ordering apps aren’t only an added layer of convenience for customers—they offer new ways that you can offer personalized experiences for your customers. They can even increase your reach beyond traditional marketing, advertising, and social media.

With apps, various promotions and offers can be tailor-made to fit a customer’s order history and preferences. Sending customers push notifications to their smartphones helps keep your brand top-of-mind, while also presenting deals created specifically for the things your customers desire. You can even give coupons and timely-relevant offers by geo-fencing.

Engaging customers in this way and encouraging them to make purchases via your app helps build a sense of loyalty to your brand, and will have your customers coming back time and time again. 

Getting Started with a Restaurant Mobile Ordering App 

Why is a mobile ordering app right for your restaurant? As restaurants plan and prepare for a future of off-premises sales, a customized restaurant online ordering platform will help your operations drive success. 

“Customers that are ordering online produce higher ticket sales, reduce order errors, free up my staff to do other tasks, and reduce overall costs.” – Estel Powell, The Slice Pizzeria 

Your customers want apps, and without one of your own, you’re chancing the competition swiping your sales. 

When choosing your app, there are a few things to look for to make sure it’s equipped with the necessary capability to give your customers the best experiences:

  • Compatibility with both iPhone and Android devices
  • Custom branding opportunities
  • Ease of use, such as intuitive design and simple navigation
  • Integration with your current platforms
  • Potential for scalability as you grow your business
  • High levels of encryption and security
  • Transaction reporting for important customer data
  • High level of support and maintenance for continued use

HungerRush offers custom-branded apps designed specifically for restaurants. We eat, sleep, and breathe the restaurant industry and have designed a mobile app solution to help you better reach your customers, market like a pro, and gain actionable insights to improve your business operations. 

Add a mobile app to your strategy and master your operations with HungerRush Online Ordering and loyalty, making it easier than ever for your customers to get the delicious food they know and love and for your business to thrive no matter the conditions. Request a demo with our experts today. 

Survive, Thrive and Revive

COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to the restaurant industry. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide with tips and resources to help you and your restaurant maneuver effectively through the COVID-19 pandemic:

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How Restaurants Can Diversify to Account for Unexpected and Sudden Changes in Consumer Behavior

How Restaurants Can Diversify to Account for Unexpected and Sudden Changes in Consumer Behavior

In the restaurant business, sometimes unpredictable events can occur that disrupt everyday life. Things like pandemics, natural disasters, and other types of crises can turn everything on its head and present significant and unforeseen challenges to both consumers and businesses, not to mention a further toll on the economy. 

When unexpected events like this arise and restaurants are caught without a plan in place, it affects more than just profits. You can face a loss of customers, food safety concerns or serious inventory waste. If it is serious enough, you could end up unable to pay employees who depend on you for their living, or unable to serve customers who depend on you for meals.

In 2016, 55 people were infected in two E. coli outbreaks after eating at Chipotle. While the outbreaks were confined to those two locations, the widespread public fear caused significant losses in profits to the industry, let alone that particular chain. It resulted in significant damage to the brand, leading to a long and difficult recovery process.

Now is the perfect time to consider how your restaurant can operate should an unexpected event hinder or discourage people from visiting your store.

Consider the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and previous outbreaks of unfamiliar diseases. While the current chances of being infected by the virus are low, the fear of the unknown is causing a consumer panic that may have very real repercussions upon the economy. 

Are you prepared for what can happen when consumer confidence is low and unexpected issues cause sudden changes in consumer behavior? If not, here are a few ways you can diversify your business and be prepared:

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Offer a Variety of Ordering and Delivery Options

Regardless of the scenario, customers today want options. Providing these options not only makes your customers happy, but also protects your business should unexpected events arise that cause changes in consumer behavior. Protect revenue and drive customer loyalty during these uncertain times with these changing guest ordering expectations. View our on-demand webinar now.

The more options and different avenues you offer, the more of a chance you have in case of a sudden incident disrupting your restaurant.


The goal here is to reach the widest audience possible, and offering a variety of ordering options does just that. Customers should be able to order their food:

  • In your restaurant
  • Over the phone
  • On your website
  • On your app
  • On third-party ordering platforms

The more options you offer, the more likely you are of not only increasing sales and broadening your audience, but also protecting your businesses in case sudden shifts in behaviors arise.

What would happen if your third-party partners put a halt to their services because of an unexpected event? You’d still want to give your customers multiple options so they can order from you in other ways, like pickup or take out. If you only offer one option, you will be without a solution if that option is no longer viable.


It’s no secret that delivery is booming. Restaurant delivery is projected to grow at more than three times the rate of on-premise sales by 2023. The convenience and ability for customers to remain at home is very appealing to consumers today, and can be even more significant in case of a sudden event.

Similar to ordering, customers should have options for receiving their food:

  • Eat in your restaurant
  • Pickup at your restaurant
  • Get orders delivered

Should an unexpected event arise that causes customers to not want to leave their homes—like in the case of poor weather or an outbreak of a disease—you need to have a backup plan to serve these customers. Offering delivery both in-house and through third-party services can also help increase your reach and protect your business.

As the coronavirus becomes more of a nuisance, HungerRush has implemented a  “no-contact delivery”  feature updates available in our POS, Online Ordering platform and soon available for our mobile app customers, we also partner with DoorDash – which offers restaurants the ability to leverage DoorDash drivers to deliver to their customers as a white labeled service – this is especially helpful for those that may have to let go staff or need to reduce overhead due to the current crisis. The best part is you retain your customer data.   

Leverage a Restaurant Mobile App

An integrated mobile app provides an additional ordering avenue for your customers. It also is a great way to stay connected with your customers and remain top of mind. You can use it to send push notifications when you have important announcements or updates, like letting customers know your business is still open and operating during a crisis.

For example, after Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston in 2017, many customers struggled to find information on which restaurants were open for business. Push notifications and app updates can ensure your customers are never left guessing if your business is open or closed during abnormal times.

You can also use this method to send personalized promotions and offers to customers and stay relevant to strengthen your relationships with them. Loyal customers will want to do business with you when times are both good and bad.

An Integrated Restaurant POS is Crucial

The more options you offer to customers, the more important it becomes to implement an integrated restaurant point of sale system. Without an integrated solution, orders can be difficult to keep track of and customer data can be lost.

Make sure your POS system integrates with necessary solutions, like:

  • Online ordering platforms
  • Delivery services and delivery drivers
  • Your website and mobile app
  • Tablet POS
  • Kitchen display systems

Disorganization can wreak havoc upon your operation. It’s critical that you invest in an integrated, comprehensive system that allows you to manage all of your different avenues from one platform. An integrated system helps you stay organized, remain in control, and can safeguard your business from disruption. With these tools you can overcome unexpected or unforeseen challenges and keep yourself afloat during even the hardest times.

The experts at HungerRush are ready to help you prepare for the future of your business. We offer technology that is hand-tailored to fit the needs of your restaurant. Request a demo today to learn how our industry-leading technology can benefit your restaurant in good times and in bad.

Survive and Thrive

the Next 30 Days and Beyond

Offer online ordering and on-demand delivery services with this limited time starter bundle to keep your restaurant running today and future-proof for tomorrow!

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How 2020 Restaurant Trends are Transforming the Way Pizzerias Operate

How 2020 Restaurant Trends are Transforming the Way Pizzerias Operate

Ever since the first U.S. pizzeria opened in Manhattan in 1905, customer preferences—both in the pizzas themselves and how they’re obtained—have continually evolved. By the 1940s, pizzerias were opening all over the country, thanks in part to returning World War II soldiers who wanted to keep enjoying the food they’d been introduced to overseas. In the 1960s, pizza delivery took off as the hot trend. The rise of the internet in the 1990s led to the possibility of ordering pizza online from a website; and in 2009, the first mobile app for pizza ordering appeared. Future developments now being tested include drone delivery, driverless cars, and robot delivery, to make getting pizza easier than ever before.

Throughout all of these changes (and innovations in pizzas themselves, from deep dish to flavored crusts), pizzerias have had to keep adapting to meet customers’ shifting expectations in order to remain profitable. According to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA)  Restaurant Industry 2030 report, the restaurant industry is in the midst of a radical transformation, and a greater proportion of meals will no longer be cooked at home. This shift will provide huge opportunities for pizzerias, as long as owners are strategic. Here are how three key 2020 restaurant trends will affect how pizzerias run their business: 

Customer Demand for Delivery Continues to Rise

Modern consumers lead busy, on-the-go lifestyles, and one of their top needs is convenience. For restaurants, that means delivery. According to the recent NRA report, “Delivery orders are booming, and business models are shifting fast to find ways to serve that customer base.” Data firm Second Measure revealed that U.S. restaurant delivery sales grew 52 percent year-over-year in 2019. Over a third of adults in the U.S. and half of millennials are more likely to order food for delivery, compared to two years ago. 

Pizzeria restaurants need to recognize this demand and implement delivery in order to:

  • Remain Competitive: A recent Forbes article reports that nearly every U.S. zip code is now serviced by at least two delivery companies. If your pizzeria doesn’t offer delivery, it will likely be passed in favor of one that does.
  • Grow Profitability: When customers place their own orders online or through a mobile app for delivery, the ticket sizes tend to be higher than in-store sales. And if you use a third-party provider for delivery services, you can allocate more of your in-house labor for fulfilling the increased number of orders you’ll receive.
  • Improve the Customer Experience: Convenience is a top desire for today’s diners. The easier you can make it for them to get food from you, the more likely they’ll  order,  and order again.
  • Expand/Capture a Bigger Customer Base: Tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z customers live on their phones, so if you offer delivery options through a mobile app, you’ll be more likely to get their attention. Using a third-party provider can also help you reach a wider range of customers, because you’ll be tapping into their base; and they might cover a greater delivery area then you can. 

The growing demand for delivery has led to another trend: the expansion of “ghost kitchens” (also called virtual or cloud kitchens). These locations do not have any dine-in facilities, or even carry-out in most cases; instead, they are devoted exclusively to fulfilling and delivering online orders. Ghost kitchens are booming because they offer lower operational costs and upfront expenses: they don’t require the floor space, staff, etc. of dine-in restaurants, and need only online advertising. 

There’s an App for That 

Whether you have a ghost kitchen or not, mobile apps are necessary to remain competitive in today’s delivery-driven market. In one study, 42% of customers said that the ability to order online would make them choose one restaurant over another (and that number has likely grown since then). Mobile apps represent 60% of all digital orders, and The NPD Group forecasts that digital orders will keep growing by double digits through 2020. Mobile apps can especially connect you to millennials and Gen Z—groups who are most likely to order food for delivery, and whose buying power will continue to increase in the years ahead. According to NPD, Gen Z accounted for 24% of all foodservice traffic in the year ending in July 2019. You need to reach these digital natives through the channels they use most, especially including mobile apps.

Integrated Pizza POS Systems Have the Advantage

The point of sale (POS) system has evolved beyond a simple payment terminal to become the hub of a restaurant’s operations. An integrated pizza POS system will bring together sales from your brick-and-mortar locations and any of the virtual ordering channels. It will also provide a consistent experience for your customers, whichever way they choose to do business with you. Orders from all platforms are incorporated directly into the kitchen queue as they are received, ensuring timely fulfillment. Because the pizza POS is integrated with all ordering platforms, including third-party systems, your customer data is collected and owned by you (rather than the third-party provider). With this data, you can manage your loyalty program and create targeted marketing offers and promotions, further growing your business. 

Choosing the right pizza POS system also means choosing a provider who understands the unique needs of the pizza industry. With in-depth industry expertise, integrated solutions, and 24/7/365 support, HungerRush is the ideal partner for pizzeria tech solutions. You can also find out more about how our solutions can help you manage these 2020 restaurant trends by requesting a demo today.

Survive and Thrive

the Next 30 Days and Beyond

Offer online ordering and on-demand delivery services with this limited time starter bundle to keep your restaurant running today and future-proof for tomorrow!

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Four Ways to Make the Most of Your Online Ordering Pizza App

Does Your Pizzeria Really Need an App for Online Ordering?

Four Ways to Make the Most of Your Online Ordering Pizza App

Pizzeria owners have a lot to manage, from inventory and labor scheduling to menu decisions and delivery services. Do you really need to add a mobile app for your restaurant? Absolutely!

restaurant app can help you achieve a lot for your pizzeria:

  • Remain competitive: The majority of digital orders (6 out of 10) are made by mobile apps these days, and growing numbers of customers say the presence of a mobile ordering app influences their choice of restaurant. Your competition likely offers a restaurant app, so you should as well if you want to stay relevant.
  • Boost sales: According to one study, 70% of consumers would rather order directly from a restaurant instead of a third-party service. By offering an app, you are staying more top-of-mind, which leads to more sales (and online sales tend to be higher than those placed in person). You can also use push notifications through your app to send offers to customers regularly, increasing the likelihood of placed orders.
  • Strengthen loyalty: An app allows you to connect on a deeper level with your customers and increase engagement by offering another touchpoint of communication. People today are glued to their smartphones, and they want to feel connected to the brands they love. By reaching them on the avenues they use the most, you can better appeal to them and be heard.

If you’re ready to see what a restaurant app can do for your pizzeria, here are some tips on how to get the maximum benefit from it:

1.   Ensure Your Restaurant App has Advanced Integration

It is crucial to ensure that your app has integration capabilities with your other systems, specifically your point of sale (POS) system, so that you are able to:

  • Quickly make menu changes. With an integrated app, you can make menu adjustments from anywhere, anytime, and have all ordering platforms updated simultaneously. This function is essential if you want to add a new menu item, make a pricing or promotion change, or run out of an ingredient and need to pull an item for the day.
  • Ensure an omnichannel experience. You want your users to have the same great experience with your pizzeria, whether it’s in person, online, or on your app. With an integrated app, you can ensure that all menu items, promotions, and information are consistent no matter how a customer chooses to interact with you. For example, you don’t want a customer to see a buy one get one pizza deal at your restaurant but then go to order on their app and not be able to find or use the deal. That situation would likely result in a lost sale.
  • Collect customer information. If your restaurant app isn’t integrated, you won’t be able to keep track of customer info from the people who have used it. An integrated app helps you collect new customer info from the app and add it to your database of customers, as well as update current contact info and loyalty rewards.

2.   Create an Effortless User Experience within Your App

You want your customers to have an effortless experience with all touchpoints of your pizzeria, and a restaurant app is no exception. Make sure that your app is designed to provide the best possible experience for your customers, so that they can easily:

  • Browse your menu
  • Place online orders
  • Check their loyalty program status
  • Save payment information for future orders
  • Add and remove multiple delivery addresses
  • Create future orders
  • View their last order
  • Save favorite orders

Customers crave convenience, and this is especially true for mobile app usage. By giving guests an easy, seamless way to connect and order from your pizzeria, you are strengthening their overall customer experience and increasing guest retention rate.

3.   Place a High Priority on Restaurant App Security

Customers shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of their payment and contact information when interacting with your brand. If a customer has just one bad experience with your restaurant, they are likely to never return again.

According to one source, 81% of users would uninstall an app and find another because of security concerns. Make sure that through your app, you have a secure, encrypted payment processor that you know and trust. Also, look for an app that has no third-party payment gateway and no per-transaction fees for credit card authorizations.

4.   Promote Your Restaurant App to Your Pizza Customers

Launching and improving a pizzeria app is just the first step to success; the second is getting the word out so that customers actually use it. Be sure to offer incentives to the consumer for downloading and using your app. Some common ones are:

  • A freebie that can be redeemed within a short period of time after downloading your app
  • Extra loyalty reward points for using and ordering through your app
  • A monthly drawing for a contest or giveaway that app users are entered into

There are many ways you can let customers know about the existence your app and its great benefits, such as:

  • Place signage in-store
  • Include a QR code handout with every order for customers to scan and pull up the app on their devices
  • Encourage staff to mention its availability to customers at checkout
  • Send an email newsletter to your current customers letting them know about the new app
  • Promote the app launch through social media
  • Create an eye-catching banner or button on your website for users to easily download the app

A restaurant app gives your customers the convenience they expect when placing online orders and interacting with your brand. It also gives you another channel through which to reach and retain customers and increase your profits. It’s a win-win proposition.

HungerRush is a leader in industry-specific technology solutions, including branded mobile ordering apps for restaurants. Our apps are customized for your particular needs and backed by reliable support. To find out more about how HungerRush can design solutions that will grow your business, Request a Demo today.

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4 Ways Fast Casual Restaurants Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences

4 Ways Fast Casual Restaurants Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences

Your counter service or fast-casual restaurant (FCR) may have amazing and unique menu offerings, but great food is only part of what makes a customer experience exceptional, especially when there is no wait staff to interact with customers. The experience begins with the ordering process and continues even after the bill is paid and the food eaten. Here’s how fast casual restaurants can leverage the features of their point of sale (POS) solution to create an experience that customers will remember fondly and will encourage them to come back.  

Seamless Mobile and Online Ordering for Fast Casual Restaurants

It’s expected that your restaurant will have either a website and/or a mobile app where customers can order exactly what they want. With the majority of website users coming from smartphones, the mobile and online ordering experience may be the only experience customers have. Marketing and research firm, The NPD Group, found that restaurant visits via mobile app increased 50 percent between 2017 and 2018 and that number will likely continue to rise.

Since online and mobile app orders are placed directly by the customers, they can review their orders and be confident they’ll get exactly what they want. It’s important that the point of sale software becomes an integrated piece of the process from placing an order to getting it made just how the customer wants it. Be sure the POS system for your fast-casual restaurant allows submitted orders to go straight into the queue in the kitchen so that they are prioritized with the in-store visitors. This ensures that online or mobile orders aren’t forgotten.

Your POS should also include specials or add-on options for those who use your online ordering process. Since customers tend to order more food through online or mobile ordering than they might in-store, these options can grow your counter service restaurant’s bottom line.

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Integrated Customer Database and Personalized Offers for Fast Casual Customers

The point of sale software for fast casual and counter service restaurants should have the ability to automatically create a customer database. A customer database will allow you to track customer purchase history and contact information. This feature is invaluable as it will grant you the information you need to send personalized offers to customers. For example, your customers are more likely to return for a 10% off coupon on a menu item they’ve ordered consistently.  Additionally, low-priced add-ons can be offered if the customer orders their favorite dish within the same week.

All of this valuable data should be recorded within your customer database to be used for future offers. Your fast-casual restaurant POS should also allow you to use robust reporting tools that coordinate customer data from across multiple locations. This means you won’t have the same customer in the database several times over.

Loyalty and Reward Programs for Fast Casual Restaurant Customers

Customers have a connection to brands they like. They want to feel that their business is valued, and they enjoy being rewarded for purchasing things they enjoy. A loyalty or rewards program can provide that extra push a customer needs to choose you over the competition nearby. Using your point of sale software, you can configure rewards based on dollar amounts, number of visits, or specific items purchased. These rewards can be redeemed for  monetary discounts or free food. Every time the customer buys online or visits you in-store, they can earn towards their reward. This requires your restaurant’s online ordering system and the POS to talk to one another. Otherwise, customers will be aggravated with you for not tracking all the ways they make purchases.

With the insight gained from order histories and preferences in the point of sale software, you can create customized and relevant rewards and special offers that make your customers feel like you “get” them and increase positive associations with your brand.

Tablet POS to Increase Mobility

Tablet POS gives you the mobility you need to give your customers a better experience. Tablets can shift from a fixed-based POS workstation to a mobile solution, allowing your staff to service customers standing in-line to cut wait times. With line busting, you can quickly serve more customers, and potential customers won’t be deterred by long lines.

Being mobile also means taking orders tableside, effectively upselling, cross-selling, and minimizing order errors. With a tablet POS, your staff can open up all areas of the restaurant, so you can be ready for patio season and special events. The added mobility of a tablet POS allows you to provide the time and attention that will keep customers happy.

Interested in learning more about a tablet POS can improve your quick service restaurant’s operations?

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Using Your POS to Enhance the Overall Restaurant Customer Experience

The ideal customer experience encompasses several factors: ordering convenience, speed and accuracy of service, food quality, and positive interactions with the restaurant, which includes personalization. The right POS should be future ready so that your fast-casual restaurant can benefit from the latest in technology advancements for a better customer experience. In the highly-competitive restaurant industry, the customer experience you provide can help you stand out from the crowd and thrive. 

If you’re ready to add one or all of these features to your fast casual and counter service POS, HungerRush has POS solutions that can be tailored to your unique needs. Designed by restaurant professionals and supported by 24/7/365 service, our solutions will help you grow your fast casual restaurant.  New call-to-action  to find out more today and start providing first-rate customer experiences.  

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How Mobile Order-Ahead Apps Help Fast Casual Restaurants Crush Sales

How Mobile Order-Ahead Apps Help Fast Casual Restaurants Crush Sales

Smartphones and other mobile devices have changed the way people live in profound ways—including where they decide to eat. According to 2017 research from eMarketer, U.S. consumers spend an average of more than three hours a day within mobile apps (and almost another hour on the mobile web). If your fast-casual restaurant (FCR) doesn’t have a mobile ordering app, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with customers.

Your mobile ordering app should offer more than just your menu and location hours—it should enable diners to order and pay ahead of time for specified pickup or delivery. The mobile order-ahead app technology is the ultimate form of convenience for your fast casual restaurant customers, resulting in several key benefits for your restaurant.

Increase Average Order Sizes

Research has shown a definite correlation between digital ordering and ticket sizes. On average, customers using mobile order-ahead apps will order more food than diners who order in person. For one thing, they don’t feel rushed by the employee taking their order or the thought of twelve people behind them in line. They can take their time to select and choose what they really want without worry about potential judgment. Larger order sizes can also be attributed to effective built-in upselling or cross-selling prompts. Larger ticket sizes combined with the ability to serve a greater number of customers translates to increased revenue for your fast casual restaurant.

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Improve the Customer Experience

When your mobile order-ahead app is integrated with your point of sale (POS) system, orders are sent directly to the queue in the order they were received, ensuring timely fulfillment. This results in fewer errors, since customers can enter and check the information themselves, rather than rely on a paper ticket hastily written in a busy, noisy fast casual restaurant atmosphere. The heightened speed and accuracy of service improves the customer experience, and satisfied diners are more likely to keep coming back.

Attract New Customers

It costs less to retain customers than it does to recruit new ones—fortunately, your mobile ordering app can help you with both. According to an article in QSR Magazine, “60 percent of people trying to decide where to eat use only their mobile device to help with their decision—and 75 percent of those people haven’t decided where to dine when they start their search.”

For this reason, ensuring that your mobile ordering app is easily found is crucial.

You can leverage tools like Yelp to increase brand awareness and allow your website and mobile ordering app to be found quickly. Beyond that, you should offer customers ordering options through your mobile ordering app, such as ordering as a guest user or signing in through a social media account. Once they’ve ordered, you can save customer information to make future orders as simple as a few taps. After all, convenience drives sales.

Staying Competitive

Don’t let your fast casual restaurant fall behind the times—or the competition. Marketing and research firm The NPD Group found that restaurant visits via mobile ordering app increased 50 percent between 2017 and 2018, and that number will likely continue to grow.

“Providing the ability to easily order food from a restaurant is no longer a nice-to-have, it is a need-to-have,” says Warren Solochek, NPD’s senior vice president, industry relations. “Restaurant operators seeking to gain more visits and grow the bottom line must decide which convenience enablers, digital or non-digital, are worth their investment.” Mobile order-ahead apps are enablers worth the investment.

HungerRush has designed more than 1,000 customized mobile ordering apps for restaurants of all types and sizes. Like all of our POS and related solutions, these apps are tailored to meet customer needs, brandable, and certified technicians are part of our 24/7/365, U.S.-based support.  New call-to-action   now to learn more about how a mobile ordering app can grow your FCR sales and customer base.

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Top Tips for Optimizing Your Pizzeria’s Online Ordering Experience for Customers

Top Tips for Optimizing Your Pizzeria’s Online Ordering Experience for Customers

Your hungry customers want your delicious pizza—but first they need an online ordering experience that’s easy and convenient. To maximize your revenue opportunity, you should be offering multiple channels for customers to purchase from. This includes both online ordering from your website and a branded mobile ordering app. Here are some ways you can use your restaurant online ordering software to improve the customer experience and increase pizza sales.

Ensure a Consistent Brand Experience

You need to make it as easy and familiar as possible for customers to order from you. Customers should experience the same brand elements and user interface, across all ordering channels. You need to provide a seamless ordering experience regardless if it’s in-store, your website, or mobile app.  The goal is to provide a familiar, easy, and reliable experience that customers will want to repeat.  Moreover, a survey by AlixPartners showed that 71% of the people who order delivery would prefer to receive it directly from the restaurant, rather than from a third-party delivery service such as GrubHub or DoorDash, which makes having a consistent brand experience that much more important in your mobile and online ordering solution.

Integrate Online & Mobile App Ordering With Your Point of Sale (POS) System

Your restaurant online ordering software should integrate seamlessly with your point of sale system. By doing so, you can minimize order errors and improve the customer experience. Any orders from your website and mobile ordering app platforms will be sent directly to the POS. They are added to the prep queue alongside in-house orders so the kitchen staff can begin fulfilling them. This seamless integration ensures your pizzeria can fulfill all orders on-time and nothing is dropped or missed.

Busy, noisy environments and paper tickets make it easy for orders to be misheard or misread. Mobile and online ordering eliminates this issue by allowing customers to enter their orders directly.  This positions you to deliver prompt and accurate orders, which increases customer satisfaction and fosters loyalty.

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Sync In-Store and Online Menus

Restaurant online ordering software should integrate with your POS for central menu configuration. This ensures your in-house and digital offerings are consistent. With this feature, you can make menu changes on your POS and apply them in real-time across all ordering platforms to ensure the most up-to-date menu is available to your customers. As you may already know, one of the worst customer experiences is placing an online order only to find out that selection is no longer available.

Make it Easy to Reorder Their Favorite Pizzas

The more convenient ordering processes are, the more likely you’ll retain customers—that goes for reorders, too. You can achieve this with online ordering software in a number of ways:

  • Offer multiple login options. Allow for a single login on your website and mobile app. Some restaurant POS systems allow customers to login with their Facebook account which avoids creating another username and password. Take advantage of the options that make it easy to login. Also include the option to order as a guest. This encourages orders from those who aren’t comfortable creating an account or linking their Facebook account to your online ordering system.
  • Make setting up a customer profile easy by offering the ability to save multiple delivery addresses or payment methods.
  • Allow customers to save preferences using past or frequent orders so reorders can be placed with just a few simple clicks.
  • Allow customers to place future orders. Give them the convenience of ordering their pies anytime and schedule delivery or pickup when they want it.

Serve Up Better Pizzeria Experiences With Mobile App & Online Ordering Options

The success of your pizzeria depends on whether or not you can meet customer demands and expectations. Online and mobile ordering is one of the biggest customer demands for pizzerias. Leveraging the right online ordering software allows you to not just meet these demands, but exceed them.

HungerRush offers a complete restaurant point of sale solution that’s hand-tailored to the pizza industry and built with your needs in mind.  New call-to-action  to learn more about how we can help you create the online ordering experiences that will keep your customers coming back time and again.

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3 Restaurant Technologies Driving the Evolution of the Restaurant Industry

3 Restaurant Technologies Driving the Evolution of the Restaurant Industry

We live in an era of unprecedented connectivity. The increased internet usage of today’s consumers provides abundant customer data that smart business owners can leverage to drive revenue. The restaurant industry is no exception, and restaurant technologies are moving quickly from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” status in order to stay competitive or even survive.

Here’s how restaurant technology can help you create a better customer experience, foster closer customer relationships, and increase repeat business.      

1.   Mobile and Online Ordering

Consumer smartphone use is at an all-time high, creating new opportunities for the restaurant industry to reach out to customers through additional digital ordering channels. Carry-out and delivery sales can be a substantial portion of your revenue stream, and smartphones provide fast and easy ways for customers to make such purchases. Online ordering from your website or your branded mobile app should integrate seamlessly with your point of sale (POS) and will give your customers the convenience and flexibility they expect.  In fact, online ordering solutions generate more revenue, with online checks averaging 15% higher than in-store.

If they choose to set up an account, information from past and favorite orders will be available to make re-orders a snap. Customers can also use their smartphones to connect with your loyalty program, checking balances and earning and redeeming rewards regardless of which ordering channel they’re using.

2.   Loyalty Programs

Harvard study revealed that increasing repeat visits by just 5% can increase profits anywhere between 25% and 125%. Repeat customers can spend up to 67% more, and it costs less to keep existing customers than to recruit new ones. Loyalty programs are a proven way to build stronger relationships and keep people coming back. Customers like feeling connected to their favorite businesses and knowing their patronage is valued. Data gathered from loyalty program accounts, including purchase histories, can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and promotions to encourage return visits. A 2018 marketing research report from SevenRooms revealed that 79% of consumers said they are only likely to act on an offer if it’s personalized based on previous transactions, so use this restaurant technology to reward your customers’ loyalty to the food they love, and watch your sales grow.

3.    Tablet POS

Whether they’re used as self-order kiosks for line-busting or used tableside by wait staff or patrons, tablet POS solutions are another form of restaurant technology that creates a better customer experience. Tablets streamline operations by sending orders directly to the kitchen, which has major advantages over a paper ticket system. It increases order accuracy by eliminating errors caused by illegible or misplaced tickets, and it decreases customer wait times as the server doesn’t have to run the tickets back and forth. Tableside payments also speed up the process, leading to increased table turnovers, and make customers feel more secure because their credit or debit card never leaves their sight. All of these factors contribute to happy customers, who are more likely to become repeat customers.

The best tablet POS solutions share a common code base with your POS software. This ensures that 100% of functionality is retained between the fixed and mobile stations. The cross-functionality between fixed and mobile stations will make training staff on the tablets simple and fast.

Technology’s Role in the Restaurant Industry

The relationships you foster with your customers are the foundation upon which your entire business rests. When you understand your customers and what they need, you will be able to deliver the experiences they want. Restaurant technology plays an increasingly important role in helping you achieve this. With it, you will be armed with data to help you make business decisions that align with customer demands, and equipped with the tools you need to meet them. Mobile and online ordering, loyalty programs, and tablets are all critical tools that the smart business owner should leverage to elevate the customer experience as the industry evolves.

When you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of implementing these restaurant technologies, you’ll want solutions that will integrate seamlessly with your POS. HungerRush is a fully integrated, complete system. It’s designed with customers in mind, backed by our thorough knowledge of the restaurant industry and our 24/7, U.S-based customer service. See how our solutions can increase your revenue, New call-to-action

Must-Have Pizza POS Features that Will Grow your Pizzeria

Must-Have Pizza POS Features that Will Grow your Pizzeria

Pizzerias rely much more heavily on technology today than they used to. Pizza POS software developers are always innovating and adding new features as needs arise in this ever-evolving industry. As customer demands grow and preferences change, you need to make sure your pizza POS is equipped with the right tools for the job.

Here are must-have features worth considering:  

Mobile and Online Ordering

Are they worth looking into?

Mobile and online ordering services have become quite popular additions to the standard pizza POS system. Should you look into implementing these?

Short answer: Yes.
A mobile and online ordering service offers a wide range of benefits:

  • It creates additional revenue channels for your business.
  • It helps build your online presence, putting your business in front of more eyes.
  • It puts you on the same playing field as larger, more established pizza chains.

As with any key business investment, do your homework to make sure it’s the right one for you. Find a partner that will allow you to configure and brand the user interface. This will allow you to deliver a seamless and familiar customer ordering experience across all your channels.

Beyond that, it should also be fully integrated with your pizza POS system, for a few reasons:

  • It reduces order errors.
  • It provides better customer information and management.
  • It offers insightful reporting across multiple locations to make real-time, informed decisions.

In addition, a mobile app supplements the online ordering experience for customers on their smartphones, making reorders as easy as possible. Any changes they make to their orders can be set up to appear in real-time on the mobile app.

The best options will align with your branding for your website and mobile app, and will sync incoming orders with your pizza POS system. You should also look for one that can seamlessly integrate with your inventory management and reporting capabilities, so you can manage inventory, compare sales across platforms and stores, and build campaigns to further increase revenue.

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Loyalty and Reward Program

Can they help your pizzeria?

If you don’t already offer a loyalty and rewards program, you’re leaving money on the table. Successful programs keep customers coming back for more pizza and more frequent orders. Some programs are easier to manage than others, however. An integrated loyalty program is one of the easiest and most beneficial for both you and your customers and it is what your customers expect. A good loyalty program retains, and grows, customers by delivering targeted offers to segments of your customer base to drive repeat business.

You’ll know when you’ve found the right solution if it offers these three functionalities:

  • Fast and easy customer sign up.
  • Integrates with your pizza POS, including online and mobile app access.
  • The ability for customers to accrue points/rewards based on dollars spent.

Some Thoughts on Third Party Food Delivery Services

To use or not to use at your restaurant?

When you consider implementing any new offer you have to look at the potential benefits and drawbacks. Take third-party food delivery services, for example.

One the one hand, you have the potential to compete more effectively with larger pizza brands and increase your reach. On the other hand, you could possibly tarnish your pizzeria’s reputation if the delivery service doesn’t provide the level of quality and service both you and your customers expect.

But then again, handling food delivery entirely in-house means you risk:

  • Wasting too much time and resources on managing drivers
  • Cutting into profit margins
  • Paying for drivers during non-peak hours

So how do you solve this?

Consider implementing a hybrid solution used only during peak times or for deliveries that are out of your standard service area.

“If your store doesn’t really have an online presence (online ordering, website), then it’s (third-party service) a good fit for you.”

–RobT, Think Tank member

It’s better to be flexible and adapt to new customer demands, rather than risk stagnating and stifling your own growth. As the world shifts to be more mobile, your pizza POS should align with that. Consider investing in a solution that includes these features so you can better meet the needs of your customers.

Interested in learning more about how pizzerias can leverage technology to meet customer demands, New call-to-action ?

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