What Is a True Frictionless Online Ordering Experience?

Online ordering and delivery has become an everyday convenience for diners across virtually every demographic. With the rise in popularity of apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash and proprietary online ordering platforms, restaurants that have yet to invest in frictionless ordering solutions are at a distinct disadvantage in many markets across the country. 

Today’s diners prefer omnichannel, frictionless ordering experiences that give them choices in how to order, pay, and get their meals. 

What is omnichannel?

“Omnichannel” is a customer-centric, multi-channel approach to digital ordering that aims to provide a seamless ordering experience for restaurant customers. The goal being to provide multiple ways for guests to order, pay for, and get, their meals while ensuring a consistent experience. A single restaurant might offer a variety of choices. For example:

  • Online ordering directly on website
  • Online ordering through a third party partner
  • Phone orders

An omnichannel approach can be attractive to a wide range of customers, but not all omnichannel approaches are equal. Creating a seamless omnichannel experience should be the goal. 

Many QSRs, unfortunately, wind up with an ad hoc system they’ve pieced together from disparate systems, creating clunky processes that are far from user friendly. 

Why is a frictionless customer experience so important?

There’s nothing more frustrating than being sent to another website to place an order, only to find that the menu doesn’t match or the third party ordering partner doesn’t accept the same credit cards as the restaurant itself. These are just a few of the frustrations that create friction-filled experiences — the kind likely to send customers into the waiting arms of another restaurant. 

Friction is an issue on the backend, as well. Any time there are clogs in the ordering and delivery pipeline, negative experiences affect everyone involved. 

Messy, confusing, broken systems send staff packing just like they send customers packing. Imagine working at a restaurant where no one seems to understand how all the different order management tools work or what to do when a customer encounters a problem at some step in the ordering process. Often, there’s not much the restaurant can do if the issue is happening on a third party tool. The end result is unhappy customers and unhappy staff. 

Check out a selection of bad Yelp reviews and you’re sure to discover that nearly all of the issues that reviewers complain about were created by friction at some point in the dining experience. Frequent complaints include things like:

  • Missing or incorrect ingredients on delivery or pickup orders
  • Encountering an issue that staff can’t solve because of tech limitations
  • Inadequate staffing that leads to slow, disjointed, or rude service
  • Inconsistencies from order to order — sometimes everything goes ok; other times the whole experience is painful

Each of these problems could be avoided with a frictionless experience driven by effective tools. 

So, what does a frictionless experience look like?

A frictionless experience starts and ends with the right technology. In a perfect world, guests can quickly find what they want, easily place an order, and have accurate, fresh meals delivered or ready to pick up on time, all from web-based tools they can use on their mobile devices or laptops. 

While leading QSR and fast casual restaurants have been taking online orders before the pandemic, many of their systems were quite limited. Guests could order online, but had to come inside stores to pay, for example. When pandemic restrictions closed dining rooms across the country, many executives decided to invest in a more comprehensive solution. 

Today, leading restaurant ordering sites and apps allow customers to:

  • Order and pay using credit or gift cards
  • Participate in a loyalty rewards program and apply points to orders
  • Enjoy a more curated menu that remembers a customer’s past orders or suggests items they might like
  • Schedule orders ahead of time
  • Connect to delivery partners 

As mentioned in our recent blog on QSR growth strategies, digital revenue accounts for approximately 50% of total restaurant sales and mobile orders in the U.S. grew by 105% in the past year alone. All proof that a focus on omnichannel solutions for your brand is a must-have for success and longevity. 

Frictionless ordering improvements aren’t limited to large chains. Any restaurant stands to improve customer loyalty and staff satisfaction by bringing operations under a single umbrella and offering a first-party ordering system. 

Chat with Onosys to learn more about how our omnichannel ordering features let customers control their ordering experience with our full suite of ordering solutions that increase order size and keep your brand front and center.

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