Restaurants lag behind in digital inventory presentation

The restaurant industry may have been much slower to digitize than retail, but today the need for a strong e-commerce presence is evident to most restaurants. Yet, given the rapid acceleration in adoption of online orders, restaurants have not had the time to take a slow, steady approach to establishing their digital presence. What were once hit-and-miss solutions, such as relying on third-party delivery services during the lockdown, have already become the core business of many restaurants.

The results of PYMNTS 2021 Restaurant Readiness Index, created in collaboration with Paytronix, show that restaurants now generate 16% of their revenue through aggregators – a larger share than that generated by restaurant, pickup, mobile ordering in advance, outdoor meals and delivery via the restaurant’s own platform or telephone delivery orders.

Read more: Average fast-service restaurant now takes up to 75% of remote orders

Now restaurants have the opportunity to rethink their digital presence, teaching retailers how to run an e-commerce business that is both profitable and attractive to consumers.

“At the start of 2020, only [around] 37% of all restaurants were doing off-premises, ”Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu, told PYMNTS in an interview. “But now … as we get back to normal after this, there’s no restaurant that won’t need third-party orders as part of a revenue stream for their business and an acquisition stream.” users. It’s going to be there, so you might as well do whatever you can to make it as efficient as possible. [and] as profitable as possible.

Popmenu, an online menu management solution and customer engagement engine, announced last month the acquisition of the third-party order management tool OrderNerd, aimed at integrating the latter’s technology into the suite of Plus in addition to Popmenu’s complete restoration technological tools.

The missed menu opportunity

One of the main reasons restaurants lag behind retail, Sweeney argues, is that they underutilize their menus. “[With] most of the things that we buy as consumers… you always have all of those decision criteria at your fingertips, ”he said. “I mean, how much does a page on Amazon cost? “

Sweeney noted that typical retail ecommerce pages include related reviews and ratings, photos and recommendations, among other information. For restaurants, meanwhile, menus are asked to fulfill a range of purposes – making a sales pitch, giving inventory information, and showing the restaurant’s plate and ingredients, among other functions. He argues that by limiting menus to text, restaurants hamper consumers’ ability to engage.

“People don’t recognize how [the menu] is, ”he said. “This very sensual enterprise, which is taste and smell, sight and atmosphere and all of that, is represented by text… It is not convincing.”

For its part, Popmenu started out as a menu tool, but as restaurants increasingly expect complete solutions that meet more of their digital needs, it has grown to include site design capabilities. Web, remarketing features, front-of-house solutions and off-premise tools.

I call him

“There are so many very simple problems that every other modern business has a tool or a solution for it. [restaurants] don’t do it, ”Sweeney said, pointing to the example of managing phone calls.

He explained that although most consumers only call retailers on rare occasions, if ever, restaurants still have phones ringing all day and consumers ask them about food preferences, availability. tables, dress code, etc. With the current labor shortage, it is increasingly difficult for restaurants to perform all the tasks necessary for the proper functioning of the business while answering callers’ questions.

The goal of Popmenu, like many other ResTech companies, is to provide a suite of solutions that meet the greatest number of restaurant needs.

Across the industry, solution providers have focused on creating tools that meet the daily needs of consumers towards those that better meet the internal needs of restaurants, streamlining the process for managers.

Read more: ResTech Suppliers Shift Focus From Consumer Needs To Restaurant Needs

Guess anyone

Over the next few years, Sweeney believes that restaurant technology, both consumer-oriented and in-house, will be increasingly predictive. In addition to believing that streamlining digital orders with recommendations informed by past behavior and preferences of like-minded customers, Sweeney also expects this data-driven forecast optimization to have a major impact on purchasing, allowing restaurants to buy closer to the exact amount of ingredients. they will need.

These types of changes could be critical now, at a time when supply chain disruptions are inflating prices and making storage more difficult. If restaurants can make more informed purchasing decisions, it could streamline the entire industry supply chain.

“It’s less food waste for restaurants,” he said. “There is just an optimization between the buyer and the seller which I think is going to really accelerate over the next few years, as a lot of the basic technological elements were put in place during COVID.”

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK

On: It’s almost time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of US consumers plan to do at least some of their purchases online, 13% more than in 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed more than 3,600 consumers to find out more about what drives online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preferences.

About Nereida Nystrom

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