Food delivery has been around for a long time, but delivery platforms are fairly new. Popular apps like Doordash, Postmates, Uber Eats or Deliveroo are not even a decade old and have only gained massive popularity in the last couple of years. This means that we can only imagine how the food delivery and takeout landscape will evolve in the near future. However, what we can do is focus on what it actually sells: convenience.
Customers are looking to order their favorite foods wherever and whenever they want using their platform(s) of choice. No one can deny that online food ordering is pretty convenient for customers: it’s quick, it’s efficient, and it places their favorite restaurants within “click’s reach” through their delivery app(s) of choice. However, there are channels outside of the top delivery apps that a restaurant should embrace to maximize sales. Delivery should be as convenient as possible for your customers and as lucrative as possible for your restaurant. Because of that, you should be able to accept orders from multiple sources & your customers should be able to order in multiple ways.
What should you do if a customer calls your restaurant, places an order on your own restaurant website, reaches out via text or tries to place an order outside of your preferred delivery platforms? If you reject them and direct them to an external app, you are losing revenue and may even end up losing the sale altogether. On the other hand, if you decide to skip the process and take the order manually, you are more prone to making mistakes and complicating your daily operations.
But if the customer knows they want to order from you, why not make the means of placing that order endless?
At Otter, our team is constantly looking for new ways to benefit your restaurant’s business. As we went through some of the key tensions that exist in your day to day, the above scenario was top of mind. We understand that today, offering multiple ways for your customers to order without compromising your operations is critical to your restaurant’s success. That’s why we created the Manual Orders feature within the Otter product suite.
Otter is the hub for all your delivery orders. It allows you to increase your efficiency by consolidating all your delivery partners and orders into a single tablet. But while Otter integrates with a wide range of online ordering platforms and POS systems, we know that it’s key for you to have the freedom to be present in as many channels as you’d like – and as your delivery aggregation partner, we need to be able to handle orders from any platform or source.
Our new Manual Orders feature allows you to manually create orders via the Otter tablet regardless of the channel, increasing the scope of orders that a restaurant can track and manage. Are local customers reaching out via phone call? Is someone texting you on Whatsapp? No worries, you can now deal with these orders using the same efficient Otter process that you utilize for the rest of your orders.
Let’s take it step by step. You receive an order from a non-integrated channel like a phone call. All you have to do is go to your Otter tablet and tap the “+” icon to load the manual orders screen. From there, you’d be able to select the order channel, add the customer’s contact details, pick between delivery or pickup and create your order.
Besides being able to manage everything from the same place, you can also see data about these manual orders on the Reports tab within Otter. That way you can compare channels, identify which channels are performing best and which need some optimization.
With the manual orders feature, our goal is to allow restaurants to process and manage every order, regardless of the channel. We want to bring your delivery services together in the simplest way possible. That means allowing you the freedom to have as many channels as you need.
While delivery platforms are great at putting you in front of an audience, many orders are still handled via direct ways like phone calls and Whatsapp. This means that you might be missing out on opportunities with customers who choose to use those channels. Think about it: if someone is reaching out to you directly, it means that the sale is already made, so you don’t want to miss out on the order or compromise efficiency in accepting it.
Direct channels like phone calls and texts are ideal for upsell opportunities as you can offer complementary items like appetizers, desserts and drinks to increase your profits. They are also a great way to establish close relationships with your customers and to build loyalty over time. These benefits might seem simple, but if you get even just a couple of manual orders per day, you are not only satisfying your customer but also bringing more revenue over time.