The first most obvious answer to this question is: almost every person you see these days has a mobile phone or tablet. This is how they do everything from banking, shopping and of course order food. By offering online ordering you allow your customers to order and pay thru the app. I personally like not having to call an order in and then show up wait in line to pay for my food. When I can order and pay thru my phone come in and give my name and my order is sitting there ready and they just hand it to me and I am on my way.
Another reason is at the point when people decide they are hungry and want to get food they are usually already out and about. If they have your app on their phone with online ordering they will choose your restaurant over doing a search for all the restaurants in the area.
Our online ordering does come with the options to choose Eat in or Take Out as well as the time that they want to come in to eat or pick up. This is very valuable to help with knowing when you can expect an influx of both dine in customers and take out customers.
Of course, you can go with a 3rd party app or service such as Eat24, GrubHub. Keep in mind, that every time someone goes to their site or app directly you will be charged 10-15% of that ticket every time an order is made. With your own app and a flat monthly rate you don’t have that issue. You also control your app and can make the changes you want, when you want. You are also branding yourself.
When someone goes to these apps they can look you up, but they also see all the other restaurants to choose from and if they see another restaurant that catches their eye there is the chance they will choose them over you.
In the end, having an app of your own, that you control and have it with online ordering and giving your customers the convenience to order, reserve, pay thru the app is one of the best things you can do for your customers. Remember, if you don’t have this for your customers and aren’t willing to do this, there are plenty of your competitors that are willing to and/or have already done this.
Don’t lose business to your competitors! Check out getting your own mobile app with online ordering.