Online Ordering

Why guests are skipping seasonal cooking stress…and ordering from local restaurants

Grocery prices are at an all-time high, so guests are gearing up to order in for major holidays this season—is your restaurant ready to meet the demand?

‘Tis the season for good eating—the final months of the year are some of the most delicious, with holiday treats and home cooking in full swing throughout kitchens. Yet, as the price of groceries continues to rise, consumers are turning to their favorite restaurants for holiday take-out. In fact, a recent Popmenu study found that 45% of consumers say they plan to order their entire Thanksgiving meal or various side dishes from restaurants, and 43% say they plan to order takeout or delivery for a December holiday dinner.*

This trend of spending at restaurants over cooking at home is nothing new for 2022. Popmenu research also found that, on average, consumers spend around 40% of their monthly food budgets on restaurants, and 58% are dining out more often this year than last. What’s more? More than one-third of those dining out say it’s more cost-effective to order from restaurants than take a trip to the grocery store.**

As guests go searching for big-ticket take-home dishes and some favorite seasonal sides, how can your restaurant ensure you’re grabbing space on that holiday plate? 

The answer: Ordering Events. 

Ordering events are online ‘events’ where guests can purchase special dishes from a special menu for a limited time. For celebrations big and small, ordering events are a great way for restaurants to bring in additional revenue during the holiday; they also make it super easy for guests to order their meals to go.   

A number of restaurants are hosting special Thanksgiving online ordering events with all the fixin’s, featuring everything from turkey and ham to prime rib, beef tenderloin, and vegetarian options. Consumers are ordering pre-cooked dinners and desserts as well as take-home turkey-day meal kits complete with everything a needed for a sufficient food coma. Check out restaurants reaping additional revenue from holiday ordering events: 

With such high demand to order in, be sure you’re clear with guests on when and how they can best order from your restaurant

Remind guests to order in advance!

Higher demand means order limits will be hit sooner, and those preferred pickup times will fill up faster. Be sure to communicate the urgency around your ordering event to your guests, so they don’t miss out on your menu specials.

Write clear descriptions to indicate offering size and ingredients

Specify how many people the meals will feed and if there are any allergy concerns. Include photos and descriptions of dishes on your online menus—sometimes, a delicious pic of a pie is the best upsell tactic.  

Set expectations around waiting and pick-up windows. 

Even with designated pickup windows and delivery times, there can still be some delay; let your guests know they may face a longer wait for orders—it sets proper expectations up front and prepares guests to be a bit more patient with your teams and kitchen. 

As guests lean on local favorites to provide some or all of their holiday meals, restaurants have an opportunity to maximize revenue through featured specials and online events. Learn more about how restaurants are using ordering events all year long.

*Popmenu’s Q3 study of 1,000 U.S. consumers **Popmenu’s Q2 study of 1,000 U.S. consumers

Front of the House Resource

Restaurant Holiday Promotions and Marketing

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