Between 2018 and 2023, delivery is projected to grow at more than three times the rate of on-premise sales, with the preponderance going to digital orders, according to L.E.K. Consulting’s report, “Meal on Wheels: The Digital Ordering and Delivery Restaurant Revolution.” From mobile ordering for in-store pickup to placing an order for third-party delivery, the customer experience is more digitally driven than ever. To deliver, both literally and figuratively, restaurants need to optimize technology infrastructure, with consideration for user experience, operations and data usage.
Diners opting for takeout and delivery are seeking convenience and will not tolerate clunky ordering processes. According to The NPD Group’s report, “Delivering Digital Convenience,” restaurant digital orders have grown at a 23% annual rate since 2013 and are predicted to triple by 2020.
A restaurant’s app or website represents 70% of digital orders, and the remaining orders are through third-party apps or other types of apps or websites.
“Digital orders will remain an outsized source of growth for the restaurant industry over the next few years, and operators who desire to grow need to embrace a digital strategy,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor, in a statement.
Managing an influx of orders from multiple channels can be crippling if the proper technology isn’t in place. As the number of channels through which customers can engage with restaurants continues to grow and evolve, there’s increasing need for omnichannel communication across restaurant systems.
When it comes to third-party delivery, many operators are hindered by legacy platforms and point-to-point integrations.
Direct integration of third-party delivery orders into the POS led to labor savings and order accuracy for Venezia’s NY Style Pizzeria’s five locations in Arizona. Venezia’s signed on with several of the national third-party delivery services two years ago. In the beginning it was difficult because the orders were not integrated into the POS.
“We had to constantly watch tablets or email for orders and re-enter them,” explains Domenick Montanile, president. “Every week we were comping orders because of incorrect data entry. When you’re entering the order manually, there’s a chance for human error — sometimes wrong items are entered, address apartment numbers are wrong.” A partnership with Chowly, a third-party delivery order integrator that worked with Speedline, Venezia’s POS system, eliminated the need for manual order entry. Montanile notes the labor savings and increased order accuracy the company now enjoys as key benefits.