Want to make more money? Go digital!

Tom Farrell
Author Tom Farrell

There’s a growing body of evidence that consumers spend more on digital platforms than they do with face-to-face transactions. And that is particularly true when it comes to food ordering.

Digital means more convenience, of course. When we can order our next meal from our phone screen, perhaps it’s no surprise that we do so more often. But there’s more to it than that. Not only do we buy more often (and digital food ordering is now a multi-billion dollar industry and rising fast), we also spend more within each individual transaction.

Take the case of Taco Bell, who discovered that digital orders are typically a whole 30% larger than those made face-to-face. Or Flipdish customer ThunderRoad Café, who installed a self-service kiosk in-store and immediately saw average order size increase by 10% or more.

Customer orders on digital kiosk in restaurant

This is a universal trend, and it only takes a moment’s thought to realise why it happens.

First up, consumers love digital ordering, so they spend more time and more money as a result. The customer has all the time in the world to browse and make their choices on a website, app or kiosk. They can be absolutely certain that their order is understood, and they will get what they paid for. They’re just more convenient. And a computer doesn’t give you a disapproving look when you ask for extra cheese on your pizza!

Secondly, digital platforms give restaurants a whole new set of tools when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions in a way that both drives revenue and improves customer satisfaction levels at the same time.

These capabilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The ability to consistently promote specials and higher-margin items with on-screen interstitials and adverts
  • Total control of how the menu is presented, with the ability to rapidly change layout and structure with the changing seasons - or for any other reason
  • Consistent support for upselling - a kiosk or mobile app never forgets to ask the customer if they’d like fries with their meal
  • As above, an experience that consumers love - and one that as a result they return to time after time

In other words, you can keep selling all the way to the final order. And as a result, that final order is a little bit larger than before. Or a lot larger, and those gains add up quickly.

Let’s do the math...

To illustrate just how big of an impact moving orders to digital can make, let’s walk through a simple example of using kiosks. How much turnover does your store do in a day? Let’s be conservative and say $2,000.

Let’s continue being conservative and add 10% to that thanks to installing a kiosk. That means an extra $200 a day in revenue. If your profit margin on food orders is 40% that’s a clear benefit of $80 a day.

Or $2,400 a month.

Or $28,800 in a year.

So if you weren’t aware of why every McDonald's outlet in the world is installing these kiosks, you are now.

And that’s before even factoring in the impact on staff costs. Kiosks are always available to take orders, never call in sick, and their human colleagues love working with them. An unambiguous order number and a printed receipt mean no need to remember or pronounce awkward names, less conflict over incorrect orders, and less burgers in the bin.

A self service kiosk in a restaurant, example of a restaurant gone digital to boost profits

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So what do I do now?

Here’s the thing. Even aside from COVID-19 (let’s not go there), the goal of every restaurant and restaurant chain right now should be this:


In practical terms that means a couple of specific actions you can take right now:

  • Promote ordering via your own mobile app and website as much as possible. That doesn’t just increase order size, it also means more orders overall.
  • Where appropriate, install self-service kiosks on your premises. These directly replace person-to-person ordering and deliver those lovely average order size upticks.
  • Consider digital table ordering via QR codes linked to your app. Yes, it’s something that’s been accelerated due to the current situation, but research suggests that consumers actually prefer it.
  • Identify any other opportunities to move orders to digital. At Flipdish we’re currently supporting our customers with QR codes to display outside stores so customers can order and collect without even stepping inside. And there are many more opportunities out there.

Most importantly, keep the ‘digital first’ thought front-of-mind. And reap the benefits as a result.

Flipdish self-service kiosks provide quick, convenient and contact-free ordering for both dine-in and takeaway options

Interested? Get in touch for a quote today

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