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With Covid-19 Pandemic, the world as we know it has changed permanently. There is more online interaction now than ever before. Restaurants are reliant on online discovery and sales much more than any other time before.

Restaurant Man Covering Mask

This blog sheds light on some questions and discussions we have been having with many of our clients in the hospitality Industry.

We at Redlizard Studioz have been working closely with the restaurant industry for a few years now. Be it developing basic CMS sites to eCommerce solutions, we have developed quite a rapport with our clients in the industry.

 By way of this blog we are summarizing some questions and dialogue that seems to be more pertinent in today’s pandemic times.

 

What % of your business is dependent on online sales?

Empty Restaurant

With Covid-19 Pandemic, the world as we know it has changed permanently. There is more online interaction now than ever before. Businesses are reliant on online discovery and sales more now.

And thus, have you wondered what percentage of your business is now dependent online. 

 

This renewed dependency changes things, for example,

  1. Orders are placed online
  2. There is a different process for delivery and takeout. What used to be managed manually, now has a dependency on online discovery & sales.
  3. Reservations are made online
  4. Payments are being made online, which means the way you access and manage your cash flow is affected
  5. There is a higher dependency on integrating with your accounting tools

And thus the question, what percentage of your business is dependent on online sales is now a very loaded question that plays a significant role in your business’s operational success.

Does your website support online sales?

Empty Restaurant

There is little doubt that the restaurant business are dependent on the internet, be it for discovery, sales or even user base retention.

The question therefore that you need to ask is;

  1. Does my website support online sales? If not, you need one asap
  2. Does your website support takeout and delivery? 
  3. Does your website accept payments online? And can it switch between various payment providers easily. You need that so you can negotiate with your payment vendors with ease.

4. Do you own your customer data? Imagine this, brand loyalty was easier to establish when things like ambiance, service, taste, quality, authenticity, convenience were factors. Often people even go back to the same restaurant because they have built memories with friends, family and loved ones. There is even nostalgia at play. 

If a significant portion of your revenue is based on discovery, attracting new customers and retaining old customers. Some of those “emotional” connections/decisions will have to be replaced with monetary incentives. 

Does your online tool grant you the flexibility to offer deals, discounts, run programs and offers. And do you know who your frequent and infrequent customers are and target them appropriately. In short do you own and access your data?

Are you dependent on 3rd party delivery services like uber eats & skip the dishes

ubereats, skip the dishes, door dash

If so what percentage of your business is dependent on these 3rd party services?

Can your business sustain and grow while sharing a % of that revenue and online sales with 3rd party delivery services.


Are your customers willing to pay a 30% increase or can you sustain your business with a 30% revenue share? Is there a middle ground that works for either?

Is 30% revenue share fair share?

Do you own your customer data?

How much do you spend annually on operating a website & maintenance?

Couple talking finances

So a website is important. A website that can take orders online, support delivery and takeout is important.

  1. How much do you spend annually on operating your website?
  2. How much do you spend on maintenance?
  3. How much do you spend on discovery – SEO?
  4. How much do you spend on growth  – Ads?  

How much do you spend on related services such as,

  • Graphics design
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Technical support
  • Email support
  • Customer service

Do you have a dedicated technology team that can provide support to keep the lights on.

Technology Team

If a significant percentage of your business is dependent on online sales;

  • How important is having a dedicated technology team?
  • One that constantly monitors and keeps the lights on?
  • One who anticipates and reacts proactively?

  • What is the cost to the business if you go offline?

 

What is more affordable? One lump sum payment or monthly payment

If having an online presence is important for you;

What is more affordable? Monthly subscription fee or an annual plan?

Do you need an app?

So apps are all the rage. Every restaurant wants their own app. You are willing to spend a couple of thousand dollars to get your own app. And you have it because you want to offer convenience to your customers.

Let’s look at it from a customer’s perspective.

  • How many restaurants on an average do you think a customer typically goes to?
  • How many times a week does the customer go to the same restaurant? 
  • How many restaurant apps would they download? 
  • How much space do they have on their phone for apps from the various restaurants
  • And even if (s)he were to install all of these apps, which one is going to win their attention?
  • Similarly if the battle for attention is real on their phone, how big of a battle do you think there is on the google play store and apple app store for your restaurant app?

 

  • If you already have a mobile app, what % of your online sales are from the app and what percentage of your sales are from online orders ( website or 3rd party services)
  • What % of your mobile app orders are repeat orders?
  • Repeat orders on starbucks, tim hortons, mcdonalds, Subway, Burger King etc makes sense and is expected. 
  • How can you provide the same convenience without having to invest and deal with the complexity of apps.
  • How much are you willing to invest in technology to keep those apps functional through the many updates that google and apple push through several times a year. 
  • Did you know that the cost to maintain an app is more expensive than to maintain a website?
  • Therefore do you need an app for your restaurant?

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