In today’s world, simplicity and ease are usually key factors in any big or small decision. Choosing where to order your food from is no exception; however, this isn’t the only consideration that comes into play when making a purchase. Online food ordering has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, and technology has developed at lightning speed to keep up with ever-increasing customer demands. Since the pandemic in 2020, many restaurants have had to build their online presence quickly to stay afloat and are now seeing this side of their business continue to grow.
In this article, we’re looking at your customers’ top five ordering habits and how new technologies will change the landscape of the online food ordering world in the future.
1. Ease of ordering
As mentioned above, when ordering food online, one of the key things people look for is a quick and straightforward transaction. They want to spend only a short time looking for an up-to-date menu. Since the arrival of online food ordering services such as Foodhub, JustEat, and Deliveroo, the average customer’s expectations have changed; if you don’t have an online ordering portal, you’re likely missing out on a tremendous amount of business. Some key features that people look for when ordering takeaway include a simple and easy-to-understand website or app, the ability to split order payments between friends and family members, status updates for their delivery, and the option to review their experience once they’ve received their food.
2. Safety practices
While hygiene and food standards have always been important to the consumer, in the past, it wasn’t as easy to find out how clean a restaurant or takeaway provider was without visiting yourself. The introduction of the food hygiene rating system in 2010 meant that all businesses that served food now had to display the rating given to them by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) at the front of their premises, meaning it was much harder to get away with slack standards. In online food ordering, health and safety practices are still of the utmost importance, with many providers only allowing restaurants of a certain hygiene level and above to use their services. Your customers can have more of a guarantee of the quality of the food that they receive and rest assured about its hygiene during the delivery process.
3. On-demand delivery
The marketplace has never been more prevalent when ordering food online than during the pandemic. Previously, food delivery made up about 10 percent of the restaurant industry’s market share; however, this has risen to 14 percent and is growing. Apart from the apparent reasons for dine-in restaurants being shut for a good portion of the pandemic, other reasons for this increase include more people working from home and treating themselves to a meal in the evening after saving money that they may potentially have otherwise spent on a lunch or coffee out while at work. A study by DoorDash, shows most people choose to have their food delivered due to convenience, allowing them to remain in the comfort of their homes without having to go out and collect their food.
4. Increase in ordering volumes
According to various reports, the number of customers choosing to order online is increasing daily, with more and more people taking advantage of its benefits. One of the critical reasons is that technology is constantly developing to make this easier for them, with easy-to-use apps downloaded directly onto their phones, deals, and offers emailed or texted to them. More and more restaurants are coming on board each month. At Foodhub, we make signing up as a restaurant partner incredibly quick and straightforward, meaning that even the smallest of businesses can still get involved and see the benefit of using an online ordering system in no time. Our priority is the end-user experience, so we use the latest technology to ensure our apps are always up to date and create a simple customer journey for anyone using them, including our partners.
5. Online payment options
The pandemic has also provided an excellent opportunity for fintech companies to progress their online payment technology and make it even easier and safer for users to make payments online, either directly with their card or with services such as PayPal and ApplePay. As we get closer and closer to a cashless society, this ability to make payments securely and instantly means that ordering food online has even fewer barriers than before. You no longer have to nip to a cashpoint to pay the delivery driver or make sure you have enough change. Payments can be made upfront, giving extra security to the restaurant that the meal has been paid for in advance. There is also an option to send a tip to the restaurant or driver digitally. This type of technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK.
The future of online food ordering
Experts are predicting growth in the restaurant industry over the next few years. A vital part of this growth will be down to online ordering systems and the larger audiences these restaurants can now take advantage of. Another development to keep an eye on is the importance of a multi-channel strategy for restaurants to adopt when interacting with their audience. We’ve seen a massive increase in pubs, restaurants, and takeaways using platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reach a broader customer base, which will continue as time goes on. Our final prediction is the continued rise of AI and automation within the restaurant industry, with features such as smart menu boards, voice recognition software, and potentially even robot chefs becoming more of a norm over the next few years. Customers want a more personalised experience and want to see updates from their favourite restaurants regarding things like menu changes and special offers. At Foodhub, we offer a unique service where our expert team can help your restaurant to build and develop your Facebook business page, creating a strategy that works for you and allows you to put yourself firmly on the map in your local area. Restaurateurs need to get ahead of the game to keep ahead of the competition, and partnering with Foodhub is an excellent way to do that.Along with our Crushing High Commissions policy, we also provide a tremendous amount of support for businesses that are potentially offering an online ordering and delivery service for the first time, giving you an excellent opportunity for success and setting yourself up properly for the future. We love working with businesses of all shapes and sizes and discovering more about your business and how we can help you achieve your goals quickly. You can learn more about becoming a partner by visiting our Partner Page and using the Enquiry form. One of our friendly team members will be in touch to discuss the next steps.