Did you know that Indians ordered food online as many as 20 crore times since the lockdown? Or that Indians ordered an average of 95 biryanis per minute in 2019? And that even comfort food that’s easily made at home – the humble khichdi – witnessed a 128% increase in orders in 2019?
Hectic work schedules and an increase in disposable incomes have popularised food delivery across the country, especially in urban areas.
This trend has now spread to Tier II, III, and IV India, with people spending about Rs 200-500 per order. Getting your restaurant online helps you to pay attention to what consumers want and keep up with the competition.
In the digital world, here’s why you need to put your restaurant online:
To help potential customers find you
Begin by typing in your restaurant’s name into a search engine. Follow that up with a search for a dish that you offer followed by your area. If your restaurant doesn’t come up in the results, it’s clear that people looking for these things online won’t find you either.
Location matters as much online as it does offline – no restaurant does well if it’s not in a good location. Services that improve your search engine results can get you a great “online location” and help potential customers discover you more easily and quickly.
To tell customers what makes you different
If you gave up a well-paying job to return to your hometown and start a Chinese restaurant, say it online. If you love baking and run a takeaway only on weekends, your website can promote you as the weekend chef.
Something interesting is sure to make you stand out. A crisp, clean, and well-designed website and mobile page can help create and strengthen the identity you want for your business.
To offer your customers convenience
Nearly 81% of consumers who order food via delivery apps do it for convenience. Ordering in means there’s no need to make plans, dress up, drive to a restaurant, fight over what to order, wait for your food, and then drive back home after eating.
Being online ensures that if the customer won’t come to you, you reach his or her doorstep.
To show customers what’s on the menu
If someone is craving idli-sambhar for breakfast, and you own a South Indian eatery, an online presence can improve your local search results. So when the customer searches for “idli-sambhar near me”, the search results may lead them to restaurants that have what they’re looking for on the menu.
If yours is available online and is near them, you have yourself an order for breakfast. And most likely, repeats, if the idlis are soft and fluffy.
To increase your customer base
Coronavirus isn’t going away anytime soon, which is why many people have switched from going out for meals on weekends to ordering the food of their choice.
As food delivery continues to rise across India, it is important to turn these people into your customers.
To get good reviews and repeat business
An online presence makes it easy for your customers to post reviews about their experience – be it dine-in or takeaway. It’s important to encourage guests to leave reviews after a positive dining experience.
Restaurants with better ratings and more reviews are placed higher in search results.
Messaging that encourages guests for more reviews shows that you and your restaurant takes pride in the business — and that you are confident of generating mostly positive reviews.
To grow the number of customers and business
Over half of “near me” searches result in a store visit. If you have delivery personnel or sign up with a food delivery app, you can find takers for your food across the city.
To ensure that your customers remain loyal
Just good food won’t ensure that your customers return to your restaurant every other weekend. It’s important to create an online presence that drives customer loyalty.
Social media can help largely, especially with younger consumers who love to check in, post photos, and reviews – and make eating out (or at home these days) an experience. Regular contests that engage your customers can transform the most casual diners into a long-term fan following.
Every restaurant owner is a small business entrepreneur. You may have stayed away from the online trend till now, but the time to create a digital presence is now.
Over the years, this will translate into marketing campaigns, long-term relationships with customers, increased customers, and solid growth. Just what you and your restaurant need.
Boost 360 for your restaurant
Keeping the day-to-day tasks that come with managing a restaurant, sometimes going online and ensuring you perform all the above activities takes a backseat. This is where Boost360 can help. It’s a single app that creates a website, performing social media marketing, placing orders, booking tables, etc.