During the COVID-19 pandemic, food delivery orders soared with the average customer ordering a takeaway more than three times a month. Of course, supermarkets were tricky places to navigate, cooking at home became boring, and a takeaway was one of the few joys available to us. However, online food orders were important for reasons further than convenience and enjoyment. They crucially boosted the restaurant economy during this tumultuous time. So, why stop now? Let’s unpack the importance of supporting local restaurants in your community by ordering online.

Why order online?

There are multiple benefits to ordering online. First of all, don’t underestimate the amount of food choices when you order online. From pizza to gyros to curry to noodles, online food retailers have them all. This is particularly handy when it comes to group orders. You fancy a burger but your friend fancies pasta? Not a problem – it’s easy to order from multiple restaurants for the same delivery time!

In today’s busy society, going out for a meal isn’t always the most convenient thing to do. You’ve gotten in from a long day’s work and the last thing you want to do is cook? Online ordering it is! All you need is to scroll through your favourite food delivery app and choose something hassle-free.

Don’t underestimate the deals available when you order food online. Often on the food delivery apps and websites, you can access regular discounts or build up coupons from showing restaurants loyalty (ordering often!). Look out for special offers like 20% off on certain days, buy one get one free, and free delivery. There are plenty of discounts to be had – shop around!

One of the beauties of ordering food online is the ability to check out star ratings and reviews. Think about it – if you’re walking down the local high street looking for somewhere to eat in, it can be difficult to assess how good (or bad!) of a meal you’re going to get. This isn’t the case when ordering online – food apps and websites provide critical details like reviews and star ratings to give you a clearer idea of what you’re getting into. Be sure to leave a review yourself to help others make an informed decision.

Hassle-free payment is available when ordering food online. Rather than awkwardly working out the bill with friends in a busy restaurant, online vendors offer an effortless experience. Most allow you to pay cash, debit, or credit cards, with Apple Pay, and with vouchers.

Communication is key when it comes to online ordering. Apps and websites allow you to communicate directly with restaurants – it’s super easy to get a response from them if something’s not quite right. Customer satisfaction is important to restaurants as they want you to order from them again in future, so make sure you speak up if there are any issues. Technology is becoming increasingly equipped for this kind of thing. For example, the good people at Slerp have developed a novel system which allows customers to transact with businesses directly, making it super easy to order online from restaurants.

How does this help restaurants?

Online ordering and delivery in the restaurant industry is helping restaurants to continue in a tricky post-COVID economic climate. It boosts their sales, enhances their customer satisfaction, and helps with habit forming – for example, ordering a meal from a restaurant may become a regular routine in a household.

When we order food online, we’re also prompted to check a restaurant’s website or social media accounts, therefore are absorbing their marketing efforts. How we engage with this online content can greatly inform a business’s marketing strategy.

Another element to bear in mind is if we make an online order and have a great experience of tasty food, we’re way more likely to choose this restaurant the next time we want an in-person experience. We’ve built up a level of confidence and familiarity with this vendor and we feel comfortable putting our trust into them when it comes to in-person events and celebrations. It’s possible to build a rapport and sense of customer loyalty with an online vendor, just like we would in a real-life setting!