Five tips to help QSRs embrace digital ordering during the COVID-19 crisis

Flipdish CEO Conor McCarthy explains why QSRs should not be daunted by the prospect of turning themselves into digital takeaways during the coronavirus pandemic.

Even though all QSRs are closed for in-store dining, there is an opportunity amid the gloom: adapting to digital ordering to keep orders coming in. While restaurant owners face challenges across the board, getting set up to receive digital orders from loyal customers does not have to be one of them. It’s quick, easy and available to QSRs of any size.

In fact, we've seen some of our restaurant partners make such a success of pivoting to delivery that their weekly turnover is actually increasing compared to dine-in only. Here are five tips to help restaurant owners adapt to digital ordering and keep revenue coming in:

Get online ordering set up
Spoiler alert: it’s way simpler than you might think. With the right provider, you can be up and running with a digital takeaway service via a brand new website (or your current one) in just a matter of days. Not only does that mean you can keep orders coming in, but it also frees staff to focus on food preparation rather than spending hours handling phone orders.

Get the word out on social media
Telling your local customers that you’re open for takeaway is quickest and easiest through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Customers will likely organically share your posts, but you could consider boosting your social media footprint with a budget of around £500 to increase the reach of your posts by targeting local social media users.

Use your shop window to spread the word
We might be on lockdown, but potential customers will still be travelling past your restaurant. Use your window space to tell the world you’re open for online ordering, and how people can order. Be bold and memorable – a bit of humour can go a long way in gloomy times.

Hygiene is more important than ever
There are steps you can take in the food preparation stage, such as introducing face masks at all times and conducting deep cleans after every service. But equally critical is eliminating the risk of transmission at delivery. Keep your customers and your delivery team safe by offering contactless delivery. Communication with your staff is vital. Don’t just make it clear what you expect – ensure your processes make it impossible for anyone to get it wrong.

Watch out for the marketplaces
It might be tempting to sign up with a marketplace to get up and running quickly. But make an informed decision on your choice of partner. Some will charge a commission that will make a huge dent in your margin, and you also risk losing control of your customer relationship. Worse, your customers are sent to a place where your local competitors are listed and you risk losing them entirely.

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