A way to order online seems like the next logical step for every restaurant. Yet sometimes it is not necessary to go for a full-scale implementation, and the business revolution is not necessary.
According to the data gathered by Zippia, online ordering has grown 300% faster than dine-in since 2004 and now accounts for 40% of total restaurant sales. Also, in Q4 2021, up to 79% of diners ordered at least once per week, and 60% of diners expected to order more online in 2022.
The facts shown above are a clear sign that going online is a must for restaurant companies. But things aren’t that simple in real life, and online ordering isn’t the answer to all business problems.
When not to implement an online ordering system
Online ordering systems for restaurants are changing all the time, and there are a lot of different options for each level. Many of these, including Ordering Stack, are focused on a particular niche or type of business. When it comes to Ordering Stack, the greatest benefits await QSR restaurants with at least several localizations and a hunger for more.
If you have only one restaurant
Ordering Stack is aimed at restaurant kitchens, service representatives, and kitchen chains to provide the owner with a centralized system to manage the orders, facilitate the queues, and support the communication flow between the POS, kitchens, and customer service or delivery men.
If there is only one restaurant, the system is centralized by definition; there are no other locations that may require a slightly different menu, and there is only one kitchen to coordinate with the POS.
That being the case, implementing the Ordering Stack (or any similar tool) can be considered overkill, providing the restaurant with excess features and power that will be left unused.
If you are not operating in a QSR mode
Quick-Service Restaurants (QSR) are an increasingly popular business model. According to Statista data, the fast food market in the US was worth up to $331.41 billion in 2022, witnessing steady growth from the level of $260.79 billion in 2015.
Ordering Stack is tailored to serve the needs of quick-service restaurants. Even though it is a flexible tool, it was made for this specific purpose, and companies that use a very different business model may find it simply doesn’t work for them.
For example, if the company offers a direct customer-waiter relationship as part of its brand promise, implementing the Ordering Stack comes with a little benefit. The most important thing about it is that it gives the customer an alternative to ordering from a person.
If the offline system is enough – if something works, why make it complicated
Small restaurants operate on an offline model, which is sometimes sufficient. The challenge comes if the approach starts to be a burden rather than an asset. If there are no lost orders, customers are happy, and cooks consider the information flow smooth, there is no need to change the system.
Ordering Stack is a smart solution that helps businesses with multiple locations, ghost kitchens, and a steady stream of deliverymen organize and streamline their work. they But if there aren’t enough operations, they won’t be used and will be too hard to understand.
If your business works in a pure offline mode
HoReCa is not a monolith, and concept restaurants are increasingly popular. Considering that the pure-offline in-house experience is the heart of the brand, online ordering software may not be the best pick possible. It simply cuts off the key selling point and may come with no benefits at all.
A good example of such a restaurant is Dans le Noir, a network of restaurants where the dishes are served in complete darkness by blind staff. The company in fact sells the experience of dining in deep darkness, and there is no way to export the selling point outside the locales.
If your offer is not dynamic
With the way smart pricing strategies and price optimization are used today, it’s easy to think that every restaurant wants to make as much money as possible. But actually, that’s not always true.
There are multiple local bars and cafes that simply serve other purposes, be that a meeting point or community-building. Most of the time, these keep their prices low or at least stable so that their customers know what to expect.
This type of restaurant may find that the menu on the wall is enough and doesn’t need to control prices from a central point or use big data analysis techniques to look at the margins. Sometimes it is just enough.
If you are not planning an expansion,
Being purely offline and managing the company using a card, pencil, and calculator has been enough for many companies for a long time. However, many of them have reached a point where the old methods no longer produce the desired results. This usually occurs when the volume of orders grows too large, the number of channels multiplies, and handling the number of restaurants becomes a headache.
However, if there are no plans for expansion and the restaurant intends to remain a small business for the foreseeable future, implementing an ordering stack may be overkill once again, providing the company with too many options to use.
A good example comes from Marlowe’s Ribs and Restaurant. The company is family-owned and renowned for being one of Elvis Presley’s favorite dining places. Despite the branding power of the king of rock and roll, the company did not feel the urge to expand and remained as it was.
If you have no computer-savy people on board
Finally, Ordering Stack is simple to use and operate. But setting up the configuration requires some level of IT literacy takes a lot of IT knowledge—usually not a lot more than just setting up and running the website.
Ordering Stack is a sophisticated system that requires little to no hard IT skills to run smoothly, yet it needs to be maintained by updating the menu, uploading new images and adding new positions among others. Also, there are reports to analyze and tweaks to apply if the company wills to release a full potential of the system.
It is a full-time job do be done. Without a will to allocate resources for digital branch of the company for full time, implementation of the Ordering Stack system can be inefficient. In fact, comparable to buying a top-notch sport car with only a litte fuel. If the company has no need for at least some internal IT skills to maintain the systems, it can be an indicator that the Ordering Stack may not be of use yet. Also, implementing a system of this size and sophistication can be a huge challenge with no IT-oriented people inside.
Online ordering systems are powerful tools that help the restaurant deliver better results, improve margins, and reach new customers easier. Still, they shouldn’t be seen as the answer to all business problems, and their use needs to be carefully planned in order to get the results you want.
If you wish to talk more about the ways the Ordering Stack can be helpful for your company or if your organization is ready for implementation, don’t hesitate to contact us now!