Tillster, a global leader in digital ordering and engagement solutions for restaurants, published the results from its 2019 Online and Mobile Ordering Index. The Index examines the digital ordering strategies best serving restaurants as they grow sales and engage with customers.

 For the third consecutive year, Tillster partnered with esteemed research firm, SSI, to conduct a study on how online and mobile ordering impacts guest behavior. The Online and Mobile Ordering Index summarizes the proprietary study’s key findings as it relates to digital ordering. Surveying 2,000 restaurant customers across the United States, the Index includes findings from last year and projects ahead to the next year.

“The 2019 Online and Mobile Ordering Index concludes decisively that online and mobile ordering is critical to restaurant success in the marketplace today,” says Perse Faily, CEO of Tillster. “Most [quick service] and fast casual brands have already adopted a digital ordering program. For customers, they are a given. For brands, the question is no longer whether to offer digital ordering but how to optimize it best.”

Three key findings from the 2019 Index include:

Customers Expect Online & Mobile Ordering

Among the 2,000 customers polled, 70 percent expect a restaurant’s website to offer online ordering, while 76 percent said they expect a restaurant’s branded mobile app to offer it. These tools are no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity. 

Customers Spend More with Online Ordering

When ordering online, a majority of customers order for more than one person, which generally results in a higher check size. With digital ordering, most customers place an order for an item they didn’t previously plan to order and spend more on their total order.  The majority of customers report spending up to $5 on extra items presented during digital ordering.

Online and Mobile Ordering Offers Needed Convenience

Nearly half of all customers polled reported using an order-ahead app when selecting a restaurant, in an effort to beat the line. Index data also indicates that online ordering offers convenience that forms powerful brand allegiance; from busy parents looking to quickly re-order meals customized to their families’ preferences, to working professionals who want a convenient meal without much effort.

“The demand for digital ordering grows with every Index we conduct. Customers today expect seamless and frictionless ordering experiences. For those restaurants already providing online ordering, the task at hand is to optimize efforts. And for those yet to roll out digital ordering programs, there is no better time than the present to meet your customers where they are,” adds Faily. 

For complete survey data, and more detailed findings on how restaurants today are harnessing the power of ordering technologies, download the Online and Mobile Ordering Index here.

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