For our innagural Future of Restaurants report we commissioned YouGov Research to survey 500 restaurateurs and 1,000 diners across Australia in order to build a comprehensive picture of the current state of the restaurant sector and what is likely to impact that sector in the future.
The report found that restaurants are turning to omnichannel strategies to appeal to the post-pandemic customer landscape. Of the services introduced during the pandemic, almost two thirds (64%) of Australian adult consumers have continued using these services in the past 12 months, with the service they will continue using the most being online ordering & delivery (40%). If your restaurant doesn’t offer delivery you may be missing out on additional business, let us explain why.
Square for Restaurants
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Why a food delivery service is important
Customers have grown accustomed to the convenience of delivery and click and collect services, with the chance to experience restaurant-quality food without the effort of actually having to visit the restaurant. This is even more applicable where online food delivery is concerned. The growth and refinement of digital technology has created an expectation of instant gratification across virtually all spheres of consumer interaction. Customers expect to be able to find exactly what they need quickly and simply and have it delivered direct to their door ASAP.
The pandemic acted as an accelerant on trends which were already making waves across the industry. The switch to omnichannel solutions, offering customers a range of options in how they purchase from arestaurant, was already happening amongst the more forward-thinking restaurateurs before the pandemic struck, but limitations on in-house dining turned omnichannel thinking from a preference to a necessity.
Many restaurants which started offering a click and collect or online food delivery service as a means of staying afloat during the pandemic are now finding that it offers them a brand-new revenue stream going forward. The same is true of innovations such as pre-made meals delivered straight to the customer’s door, and the challenge facing restaurants today is one of investing in the systems needed to embed this flexibility within their business.
87% of Australian customers who have purchased from a restaurant in the past 12 months intend to continue doing so once ‘normal service’ is fully resumed. Their preferred options are as follows:
Online ordering and delivery – 57%
Click or call and collect – 37%
Purchasing premade meals – 20%
The issue facing restaurants is that any click and collect, takeaway or online food delivery service they offer has to work with the same kind of ease and convenience they have always worked to provide to in-house diners.
One method used by many restaurants to help ensure that this is the case is to work with third-party delivery partners such as Uber Eats, Menulog and Deliveroo, and the good news for those restaurants which use Square is that we’ve made it as simple as possible. Your restaurant’s Square account integrates seamlessly with the most popular food delivery apps via Deliverect, Doshi or Cuboh. In all cases, once an online order has been placed by a customer, it is automatically sent to your Square POS system and either printed as a ticket or displayed on a Square kitchen display system (KDS).
Importance of your own website
Although working with third-party delivery partners offers the convenience of an existing delivery framework, it does come with drawbacks. Not least of these is the commission which any third-party delivery partner is going to charge – money which either comes off your bottom line or increases what your customers are being asked to pay.
Perhaps less obvious, but no less important, is the fact that 45% of customers preferred food delivery via a restaurant’s own website or app, if one was available, while only 25% preferred using the leading third-party delivery apps.
Almost all restaurants came to rely heavily on their online presence during the pandemic, and this is likely to be the way customers find out about your restaurant in the future. Offering a quick and simple online ordering and delivery option is likely to tempt a prospective customer who might otherwise be simply browsing for ideas for their next meal out to take the plunge and place an order. It also means that you have full control over the ordering and delivery process, and can tailor all options to meet exactly what you know your customers are demanding.
How Square can help
If you already use Square to process payments, you can set up a free online ordering page in minutes. The page automatically syncs up with the rest of your sales, meaning that the switch to increasing click and collect or online ordering needn’t cause administrative headaches.
Once you’ve created your online presence, you can extend the contactless dining experience to in-house customers as well. Using Square, download a unique QR code for each of your ordering stations, with the customer simply having to scan via their phone to access the menu, place an order and pay. This is not only quick, convenient and safe for customers, but also useful for those restaurants which are amongst the many having to cope with a reduced number of staff.
Whether you opt to create your own online ordering app or work via a third-party delivery partner, our online order integrations make it easy to showcase everything you offer to customers in terms of your menu, and the Square technology will ensure that the meals your customers enjoy are as friction-free and convenient as they are delicious.