True to a recent report we had about online ordering being a rising trend in the restaurant industry these days, news came out last December how Cyber Monday (Monday immediately following Black Friday) became the highest-grossing day for American pizza restaurants’ mobile and online pizza sales.
U.S. shoppers were glued to their computer screens on Cyber Monday, not just to purchase their Christmas gifts online, but to order food—particularly, pizza. Domino’s pizza took 1 million mobile and online orders; Papa John’s said they had huge online sales that week; and Pizza Hut also claims to have had the biggest mobile and online sales that same week in the company’s history.
Domino’s processed over a million orders of pizza during the week of Nov-28 to Dec 4, their best week so far in their history of digital sales. “This was our first time,” said Patrick Doyle, Domino’s Pizza chief executive and president. “It was astonishing, and unmistakably a great indicator of a new marketing era. Consumers not only love to eat quality food, they’re also making the most of technology and getting it through the convenience of online ordering.”
A spokeswoman of Papa John’s also claimed that Cyber Monday turned out to be a huge digital sales week for the chain, too. Papa John’s is a pioneer in pizza online ordering, having developed their system as early as 2001, and is said to have surpassed their $2 billion mark in online ordering sales as early as last year.
Pizza Hut also had their biggest yet, after their promotion of a limited-time offer called “Big Dinner Box.” They enhanced their website earlier this year to make their consumer ordering experience a lot easier, faster and more intuitive. They are expecting to hit $2 billion in online sales in 2011.
Other than speed and convenience, today’s tech savvy, energetic and willing-to-try-anything-new customers love the idea of ordering online because of the control that they have over their purchase—digital ordering allows them to buy food whenever and wherever they want. They’re never put on hold, no matter what time they call, and they can take their time in making up their minds on what to order. They also get a full view of the menu, with have exactly the same items in the restaurants’ physical menu in quality menu covers–allowing them to mix and match their orders, the amount calculated as they do so, and give them the ability to customize their food requests.
And restaurants, of course, are enthusiastic about this new development. Online ordering significantly cuts back labor costs and increases employee productivity—less time is needed to spend on the phone with customers who can’t make up their minds and ask a lot of questions. There are fewer mistakes, augmenting order volume and accuracy, and the trend increases customers’ average checks. Customers who order on the web have a tendency to order more as they have the menu in front of them, with the same offerings and prices as the restaurant’s actual menu in elegant menu covers. Up sells are more likely to happen, too, as promotions and add-ons are enticingly displayed to the customers.