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New technologies spell success for off-premise orders

Photograph: Shutterstock

Managing the increase in third-party delivery orders has been one of the most difficult tasks restaurant operators have faced during the pandemic, but for many establishments, delivery has provided a lifeline for their businesses.

Delivery and carryout now account for 70% of restaurant orders, compared with 57% in 2018, according to Technomic’s 2020 Delivery & Takeout Consumer Trend Report.

With off-premise sales now comprising a huge percentage of revenues for many operators, it is more important than ever to manage these important sales platforms efficiently. Third-party delivery firms have become viable conduits for digital ordering, but many restaurant operators have been juggling the integration of these orders with the orders they receive in-house and via phone. Cashiers and hosts struggle to provide the enhanced levels of in-person customer service required while manually entering new third-party delivery orders and coordinating delivery pick-ups.

This creates more opportunities for potentially costly and time-consuming errors and potential missed orders, in addition to a reduction in service quality. Research has shown that manually entering delivery tickets into the POS can result in errors in 15% of orders, according to digital ordering integration provider Chowly.

Manually inputting orders also adds labor costs, whether that means having extra personnel on staff during peak hours or inputting delivery orders into the POS after hours.

Clearly these outcomes are unacceptable in today’s environment, where survival depends upon efficient execution and optimized revenue opportunities.

Fortunately, operators have technological resources that can make third-party delivery a seamless part of any restaurant’s order-intake process.

“During the early stages of COVID-19, our restaurants were receiving an unparalleled influx of delivery orders and with our Chowly integration we were able to stay on top of orders and succinctly streamline our operations without skipping a beat,” said Carissa De Santis, VP of IT for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

Now, online orders from multiple third-party delivery services go directly into the restaurant’s POS system, which automatically prints a ticket into the kitchen. According to the case study, this has eliminated errors, driven faster delivery times and increased the restaurant’s delivery and takeout volume.

Likewise, at Jet’s Pizza, based in Sterling Heights, Mich., the company has been able to both increase revenues and drive down labor costs by integrating third-party delivery orders into its POS using Chowly. Jet’s Pizza cut its monthly staffing costs by $1,240, and it increased delivery sales in double digit percentages.

Other operators have also reported the ability to reduce labor costs by tens of thousands of dollars per year by using Chowly to connect third-party digital ordering platforms with their POS systems and eliminate the manual input of those orders.

Another important feature of the Chowly technology is its ability to integrate a wide range of third-party delivery platforms into a variety of POS systems. This enables operators to incorporate more third-party delivery services as necessary. In addition, the system also allows operators to easily add or delete menu items.

For many operators, the ability to provide enhanced customer service remains a key selling point, however.

“It has allowed our employees and cashiers to focus on great customer service again, and not focus on data entry,” said Maxwell Cohen, owner of Proposition Chicken in the San Francisco area.

For more information about how to realize the benefits consolidating your third-party delivery orders directly into your POS system, visit Chowlyinc.com.

This post is sponsored by Chowly

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