Drive Traffic and Increase Restaurant Sales in 2020 With Online Ordering

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Are you setting 2020 goals for your restaurant? Many operators want to increase sales but aren’t exactly sure where to begin. You might have dozens of different ideas about how to increase profits: raise your menu prices. Sell more with each ticket. Get more customers in the door. Keep them returning.

There’s one solution that will help you execute many of these strategies – something that will make it easier to grow check sizes, acquire new customers and enhance loyalty: commission-free online ordering.

Let’s take a look at the four most important ways in which your restaurant can use online ordering to boost your sales this upcoming year.

1. Start With the Right Online Ordering System

An increase in sales is meaningless if those sales are not profitable, and in the world of online ordering, it’s easy to get tricked. Many third-party delivery apps will fool operators by bringing in new business and then charging steep commissions. Look for a vendor that will build your restaurant its own system to take commission-free orders. Keep control over your branding, and make sure you have access to your customer data.

Learn more about what to consider when choosing an online ordering platform in this complimentary guide, 4 Steps for Finding an Online Ordering Partner.

2. Use Online Ordering to Drive New Traffic

Your online presence doesn’t just consist of your website. Your customers can discover your restaurant through many platforms, including Google and Yelp. If you don’t promote your online ordering on these channels – or implement it on them – you’ll end up selling yourself short and missing out on orders.

This isn’t to say that your restaurant should sign up for anything that’s not financially and operationally sustainable. Look for commission-free online ordering channels that put the power to increase sales in your hands. Depending on your goals and audience, this could entail marketing to your in-store customers in order to collect their email addresses and grow their order frequency, or signing up for Food Ordering with Google to capitalize on Google’s massive user base and find new customers.

3. Take Advantage of Your Online Menu to Increase Ticket Sizes

Did you know that orders placed online are, on average, 20% larger than in-restaurant purchases? Many ChowNow restaurant partners have found that their online checks are as much as 55% larger than on-premise ones.

There’s a wide variety of reasons why customers make larger orders online, including the following:

  • Online menus present ripe opportunities for upselling
  • Customers have the time and ability to study the menu and choose precisely what they want
  • Customers feel uninhibited because they don’t need to interact with anyone to place an order

Given these factors, it should be easy to increase your sales in the new year – especially when you think strategically about your online menu and optimize it for upsells. In fact, one US Foods® customer (detailed in this blog post) grew their ticket sizes by 35% thanks to menu optimization tips from their ChowNow Restaurant Success Manager.


4. Use the Data You Gather Through Online Ordering to Create Repeat Customers

As you consider how to continually strengthen your customer relationships throughout 2020, data will be essential. Collecting guest data (e.g., names, email addresses, order history, etc.) for orders placed through your online ordering platform gives you the insights needed to retain your hard-earned customers.

Email marketing is one of the most effective and straightforward ways to harness the power of this data. After all, understanding who your customers are allows you to send specific, tailored messages that are relevant to them, which prime them to order again from you. One ChowNow restaurant partner actually increased their online orders by 88% with this strategy.


If you follow the four steps we’ve laid out in this article, you should be well on your way to boosting your traffic and sales at your restaurant this year. Need help getting started? Schedule a demo with a ChowNow online ordering specialist via CHECK Business Tools.

About ChowNow: ChowNow powers an online food ordering system as part of CHECK® Business Tools. ChowNow allows customers to place orders directly from a restaurant's website, Facebook page, Instagram profile and custom-built mobile apps – commission-free. Learn more about ChowNow by visiting online ordering in CHECK Business Tools.

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