Most families agree, “If Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.”
It turns out this also applies to online ordering. Last month we mentioned a study by Cornell University about online ordering. The sample group was split almost evenly by gender - women making up 51.3% of respondents, similar to the percentage of women in the U.S. However, the similarities stopped there. There were several areas where women’s attitudes towards online marketing were substantially different than men - and in interesting ways.
Here are the revelations:
--Women were more likely to cite having control of their order as a benefit of online ordering.
--Women were more likely to cite the convenience factor of online ordering as an important benefit.
--Women were more likely to recommend the online ordering experience to others.
What does this mean? Well – it certainly tells us not to discount women as valuable online customers. In fact, the majority of online orders for most restaurants are from women. The marketing efforts put into telling customers about online ordering - specifically when engaging customers inside your restaurant - need to be directed towards women as much (if not more) than men.
It may be the ‘man-of-the-house’ picking up the order, but the woman probably made the final decision where the family was going to get their food that night – and chances are – she placed the order too.
It's common for restaurant employees to be familiar with the daily specials or a new dessert that hasn’t yet made it to the menu, but are you using your wait staff to their fullest when it comes to promoting your online ordering system?
Make sure that your waiters and waitresses can inform customers about your online menu and ordering site. Talk about how convenient it is for customers - reduced wait time, greater accuracy, and easy accessibility. You can even demonstrate it to them at a staff meeting.
Also, make sure your employees are well versed on all of the latest features. For instance, in the last few months, NetWaiter has added an ordering interface with Facebook, and more recently, the easy ability for customers to order from their mobile phones. Your employees can help spread the word about new capabilities.
Some employees may be concerned that referring customers to your online menu will reduce their ability to make tips. This is certainly not an issue. Tipping is part of the ordering and dining experience. If they help to create happy customers, they are going to get tips, and online ordering definitely makes for happier customers.