September 4, 2020
Now with pre-orders, your customers can order food and beverage online and in advance!
No more long waiting queues or incorrect orders; with our pre-ordering feature in place, delivering food to hungry customers has never been easier or more efficient. In this article, we dive into what pre-orders are and the benefits of offering it to your customers.
Pre-orders are a feature of online ordering systems that allows your customers to order their meal through your online shop and menu and then pick up their order at a specific time. Offering pre-orders is a great way to stand out from competition and enhance customer experience; according to a US survey, 26% of customers say pre-orders have a large impact on their choice of restaurant. All it takes is adding it onto your online system.
How does it work? Your customers access your menu online with their phone, tablet or laptop. They pick the meal they want to order, the time they want to pick it up and then pay online – whether it’s from an office, their home, or the car. The food is fresh, they don’t need to pay for delivery fees and they know exactly when their food will be ready.
As we’ll see below, offering pre-orders is a great boost for both customers and businesses. 👇
One of the number one complaints when it comes to serving food is long waiting times and queues. Customers hate queueing and waiting for their food – it’s as simple as that. Solving this specific problem has a chance of dramatically improving customer experience as well as increasing the likelihood of referrals.
Pre-orders are especially effective during peak times such as lunch and dinner. By ordering in advance, people don’t need to wait outside in the rain (or heat!) and can easily integrate their meal times into busy schedules. This higher quality of service means it’s a lot more likely they will recommend your business to friends and family.
Everyone can agree that pre-orders are a much more convenient way to order food than ordering at the shop. With pre-orders, customers can order from the comfort of their home, take as long (or as little) as they want and can pick the payment method that suits them best (no more fiddling around for cash!).
With Pomelo Pay’s free online ordering system, they won’t need to download an extra app or use a desktop software – everything can be conveniently done from their phone. As schedules get busier and technology becomes more intuitive, more customers tend to pick the convenient option.
Pre-orders increase the speed at which you can take orders, which translates into increased capacity and therefore even more orders. With an online ordering system, your business will be able to take orders 24/7 – even while you’re sleeping! You’ll just need to set the appropriate fulfilment times so you don’t take on more than you can handle.
Online orders also decrease the number of no-shows; customers need to pay for their food beforehand and are therefore much more likely to turn up to pick up their delivery.
Managing and preparing orders is a lot easier with a pre-ordering system. First of all, your employees will be able to remain organised: they will know how many customers to expect during a certain time period and how many orders need completing. Second of all, this benefits your kitchen managers and chefs, who can manage food supplies more easily and accurately plan the ingredients needed for the day.
This helps keep food waste to a minimum and allows managers to calculate exact portions. Food will be fresher when customers come to pick it up, and there isn’t a risk that the meal will get lost, fall over or cool down. Down the line, there is even an opportunity to use pre-orders to offer more personalised and unique experiences. For example, those who order online regularly could receive certain discounts or rewards.
Although lockdown is easing, the new government guidelines mean customers still need to remain socially distant and follow health and safety regulations. As a coffee shop, restaurant or takeaway, it can get costly and complex to implement one-way systems, add hand sanitizing stations and enforce two-metre gaps between customers.
With pre-orders, your customers won’t need to queue outside and risk breaking social distancing rules. They can remain safe in their offices or homes, and simply come out to pick up their food when the delivery is scheduled.
With Pomelo Pay’s free online ordering system, offering pre-orders has never been easier. Creating a Pomelo Pay account is free and takes minutes. Once you’ve created an account, you can easily create and customize your own online menu. You’ll have the option to offer pre-orders, and will see the orders coming in on your own dashboard:
How can customers start ordering? They can easily do it through your online menu – the main thing you’ll need to do is inform customers. Inform your customers when they come in-person, or advertise it on your physical shop. You can also inform customers via your website and online menu, so they know they have the option to pre-order when browsing for food and beverages.
On your side, you will be able to use Pomelo Pay’s dashboard and automatically see your orders as they come in, along with the set time scheduled for pick up. The only thing we charge is the 1.49% transaction fee.
As services shift online and consumers favour convenience and safety, systems such as pre-orders are soon becoming the norm. Customers enjoy enhanced shopping experiences, and businesses can increase sales turnover and organise themselves more efficiently. Pre-orders are still a great way to stand out in the market – and with Pomelo Pay you can get started for free!
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