What is Order Ahead?

What is Order Ahead?

Order Ahead is one of the biggest opportunities available to the hospitality industry right now. Traditional take away offerings have predominantly been limited to venues and cuisines that suit on demand ordering who can react to orders when they are placed at the last minute, or with little advance notice. 
Order Ahead is a better way for your venue to offer an "at home" dining experience (and there's no need to compromise your brand or integrity in the process).
With Order Ahead guests are encouraged to plan their meals and at home dining experiences ahead of time. They place their order well in advance of when they want to dine and it gives you plenty of time to respond and prepare. 

Why is Order Ahead an opportunity?

Guaranteed cashflow - All transactions are fully prepaid and you can set your own terms for refunds, changes and cancellations (and have a break from last minute cancellations and no shows destroying your profitability for the night).

Sell anytime of day - Traditional dining is based on guests preferring to eat at specific times of day. If you're selling meal kits or dinner packs you can increase your total capacity by offering pickup and delivery times at any time of day. 

Minimal food waste - You know exactly what you need to prepare so you can plan ahead of time and avoid waste.

Easy Rostering - Staff rostering has never been easier, the more orders you take in advance, the less you need to have extra capacity to respond to surges in service.

How do you make money from Order Ahead?

Start with your current menu, select your best produce and consider your brand. With these things in mind, adapt your menu towards meals that travel well, utilise produce efficiently and build packages to simplify the ordering and decision making process for guests.
Your guests are likely to have less disposable income than they had before so adapt the price point to suit. Build a menu based on lower item prices and higher order volume and ensure your food costs and preparation time are kept to a minimum. Value packs and "at home" meal kits are a great way to offer value, without reducing your price point.
See Online Ordering Ideas and Inspiration List if you need some help getting started

What are the benefits of order ahead?

Keep your team employed - Have your casuals take over delivery and order management. Talk to your full time staff and give them opportunities for personal development, give them a chance to run your social media campaigns, take online courses, or even run their own prepaid online courses teaching in their areas of expertise and interests.

Online marketing - Engage with your guests online (Socials, EDMs and your website) and convert them to a fully prepaid online order anytime of day or night.

Keep your supply chain alive - It's an opportunity to keep your suppliers in business and support them through a difficult time too, you'll all be ready to respond when business conditions improve. 

Control everything - If you're a reservations manager you're used to using booking rules to plan and control the flow of bookings. Use rules to limit orders to specific times and have complete control of flow of your kitchen, deliveries and pickups. 

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