Restaurants online [moved from UK board]
Do you think an order online system should be put in place at restaurants?
For US "fast food - take out," I have not issues.
For "better dining," I would never use such, however, if I do not know the restaurant, or know that the menus change, will visit their Web site's Menu area, just to get an idea. Order On-line? Never.
Are you asking if things like iPads be used by customers while they are at the restaurant instead of menus and select what they want and therefore order with this system?
Or are you asking should a place have a website where you see their menu and place the order online for delivery?
Both options exist.
Well, in that case, the issue is similar to takeaway. If a restaurant want to offer a home delivery service, then online ordering would make some sense. Some restaurants near me also offer takeaway so it wouldnt necessarily be much of a change for them to offer delivery if they wish.
Must admit though, I never use home delivery and always go to pick it up.
The only place I do take out (takeaway) is a Pizza place, and I call them and pick it up myself. But yes, I DO very much think that places should have websites, with menus, so one can order. Less chances of mistakes, between order and order taker, and also allows the person to browse online and probably more willing to try new places or dishes.
To clarify, please: this is not a question about whether restaurants should post their menus online, right? Are you thinking of a portal where a customer could view the menu, place an online order for pickup/delivery, and pay for their items?
This may not be so very widespread, but it does exist. It looks like this: https://online.jimmyjohns.com/jimmy/web/
(So do ipads in restaurants so people order & pay without help from waitstaff.)
Is it a good business idea? In cases where the business model is already pickup/delivery, online replaces the telephone. It works when:
- interface does an EXCELLENT job of facilitating the usual interaction regarding special orders, wait times, total cost.
- customer users do not have to probe further about what a menu item really means or how it is prepared.
- customer users are comfortable with technology.
- customer users agree that any fee is small enough to preserve the benefit.
- business users agree that any fee is small enough to preserve the benefit.
- business volume is big enough to recoup ALL the costs of installation & maintenance.
- business structure can accommodate an uncontrolled inrush of orders without disruption in quality or turnaround time.
Should businesses do it? Like every other infrastructure investment you can name, the answer depends largely on the answers to the questions above.
Would I use it? I'm a late adapter of technology, and never order delivery. Even my favorite takeout place won't recoup its startup costs on people like me.