Blog Post

Restaurant Mobile Ordering: Web vs. App

April 9, 2021

Key statistics to understand

  • 88% of operators said they consider swapping in digital menus for physical menus[1]
  • Digital orders are 23% larger, on average, than non-digital orders[2]
  • 73% of diners agree that restaurant technology improves their guest experience[3]

Restaurant businesses around the world are adopting contactless technology with increasing phase attempting to meet customer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key areas for digitizing the restaurant experience are to combat hygiene concerns as menus are considered one of the germiest items in a restaurant since they pass through so many hands every day.

QR code has made a big entrance to the marketplace allowing customers to scan and see the menu on their phone. This approach reduces the spread of germs and decreases expenses from printing new menus every time the menu changes. But does it really create true value on the bottom line?

Not really, right?

Contactless Ordering Technology

During the pandemic, many operators has introduced table ordering allowing guests to scan a QR code and order from a web solution in their smartphone browser. This has become hugely popular, and guests are increasingly preferring digital ordering. But does a web solution really meet guest expectations for user-friendly software? Again, not really.

Web based solution hosted through simple websites, URL solutions or similar simply takes a ton of time to maintain, the interface is a struggle on a smartphone, operators do not get an integrated solution to run an efficient business during peak hours, and hey, how much data are they missing out on? Data can help businesses make valuable decisions and guessing what the guests want simply is not going to cut it.

That is just from an operator’s perspective. How about the guests?

Many guests do not know how to scan a QR code and entering the long URL for the order site takes a long time. Then, if the internet connection is poor, or the website is slow and running on a cheap server is going to take forever. The next issue is guests having to order from a badly constructed user-interface with a somewhat responsive website and manually having to enter all their payment details into a website they do not trust, every time their visit any restaurant.

Smartphone users spend 90% of their time in apps when using their smartphone. So why not reach the guests where they are?

With app-based platforms like Horago, you will first benefit from massive platform exposure, but you also get to harness all the revenue generating tools built into the app. An intuitive and user-friendly interface can help you create up-sales on more than 42% of all the orders and increasing the average basket size upwards 26% while significantly decreasing staff overheads thanks to the complete POS systems integrations offered.

Again, that is just from an operator’s perspective. How about the guests?

Let me take you through the app user journey of Horago.

A guest enters a restaurant. Let us call her Jane. A kind, smiling waiter/waitress greets Jane and walk her to the table while kindly sharing a few information about the order processes offered. Jane sits down, see a custom designed NFC integrated table card with a QR and a few information. Jane simply taps the smartphone to the table card and get directed to the App Store. Download in 10 seconds, opens the app, and ready to order! The intuitive design takes Jane through the order process, enter the table number, pay with Apple Pay in seconds, and 90 seconds after sitting down the order are printed with beverages at the bar and the food in the kitchen – all paid for.

Good news for the restaurant. Jane added bacon and cheese to the burger and ordered a small snack with the beverages thanks to Horago recommending it. Not only does Jane get a better experience. The restaurant also makes more money, and the waiter/waitress saved a ton of time not having to take the order and afterwards collecting the payment.

The is the power of advanced technologies that works seamlessly in our day-to-day operations.

The human element of technology

Many operators fear introducing advanced technologies in the dining room from the fear of losing the personal service and human element of dining out. Like all technology, operators will have to find a balance in using contactless ordering technology. Some guests simply will not use a phone for ordering, and that is perfectly fine. But how about all those who does want to order and pay from their phone?

It does not mean they do not like the service or want to get out quick. It merely means they want to order and pay on their own terms at their own time. Offering contactless order and pay technology is going to be a key part of running a restaurant business in 2021 and in the future and guests still want the human interactions. There is a massive synergy in offering both services. Plus, it will give staff more time to make sure all the guests feel taken care off.

Closing notes

The key to successfully introducing technology in the dining room is to offer an intuitive and seamless service that goes hand in hand with the personal service offered by the kind staff on duty. Customers want the efficiency and ease of ordering and paying from their own smartphone whilst feel taken care of by the staff. When a platform is becoming more and more present in the area customers will turn to the ease of using the same application to order from all the restaurants in the area. This is the power of platforms, and it is the same reason platforms as TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc. are so powerful spaces to be a part of.

From the operators’ side it is the same thing. Intuitive interface to quickly operate with the system and a comprehensive Backoffice to allow for data-based decisions to improve everything from operations to the items on the menu. The right technology can help significantly, but the wrong technology can be a major hassle. Choose wisely.