From menu configuration to marketing activities, mobile ordering helps F&B operations overcome limited guest capacities.
When you hear the term menu engineering, what comes to mind?
Menu engineering is a practice that influences customer purchase behavior through the principles of menu design. The goals are to help foodservice businesses maximize their average check size and increase profit.
Vaccine distribution plans provide strong reason for optimism that event venues and hospitality properties will soon resume operations. Still, it remains that these locations will face limited customer capacities and other safety measures as they welcome back their guests. Right now, many types of F&B operations are considering to what extent they may need to re-engineer their menus and offerings for this year.
Enter on-premise mobile ordering: a channel that can yield substantial revenue growth for locations by providing a more convenient, contactless way for customers to order anything — from food and refreshments to merchandise and gifts. Average per caps and repeat customer percentages are reliably higher through mobile ordering versus walk-up orders, and this is because of the customizability of your menu structure and how customers access the channel.
For businesses that host customers, maximizing average customer spend will be more important this year than ever before. If a venue can only operate at 25% capacity, how much revenue must be generated from a single customer to create a profit?
There are many menu arrangements that our 270+ partner locations utilize to drive the greatest possible value through their mobile ordering service. In this article, we’ll drill down the most popular tactics for you.
Crafting Your Location’s Mobile Ordering Approach
From our experience, these are the top five tactics that lead to early success for locations:
- Category and item prioritization
- Upsells and cross selling
- Promotions and pre-ordering
- Pre-arrival marketing
- On-site marketing
The opportunities you can create by acting on these are immense, especially when optimizing through your data over time to achieve higher customer spend.
1. Category and Item Prioritization
The organization of your location’s mobile ordering menu determines your customers’ perception of the items available. Your order history data tells you which items are the most popular, so it may be wise to give these items the most immediate visibility. You can also test placement configurations over the course of days or events to see what items resonate more with your customers.
Here is a snapshot of the best practices in configuring a mobile ordering menu:
- Prioritize item combo categories before individual item categories.
- Based on our partner data, the most effective menus list between 3 and 8 items per category. The key is to provide focused categories for your customers.
- List your best-selling items of a category at the top.
- Toggle categories throughout your service hours. For example, a single F&B outlet may find success with displaying breakfast categories in the morning and then toggle them off for lunch service (making way for more relevant lunch item categories to display first).
- Apply a minimum order spend to each store.
The best part of all this? Your dedicated FanFood team handles all of the onboarding procedures at no cost! You don’t need to worry about your initial mobile ordering configuration (if you choose not to!). Still, we work closely with you and listen to establish the most optimal approach.
2. Upsells and Cross Selling
What is in the power of a suggestion? Insights from McKinsey & Company show that item recommendations on Amazon account for 35% of all item purchases on the platform — an amount of total revenue not to be understated. There is a reason why “what would you like to drink with that?” is a common inquiry in the restaurant space.
The $3.00 drink cross sell option increases the order total by over 60%.
Adding cross sell options to your location’s most popular menu items is a reliable way to achieve higher average order value. At a baseball stadium, a drink recommendation with a hot dog makes a complete meal. Including beverages, sides, or other small items as cross sell options decreases the time (and number of taps) it takes for a customer to fill up their basket, ensuring a more prompt, on-the-spot purchase.
The $1.00 relish add-on increases the order total by over 20%.
Configuring upsell opportunities can increase yields on individual menu items. Whether it’s adding toppings for a dollar extra or upsizing a fountain beverage from a regular to a large, these help locations better understand their customers from the get-go.
The FanFood Manager Portal.
FanFood makes it exceptionally easy to configure upsells and cross sell opportunities in the Manager Portal.
3. Timing is Everything: Promotions and Pre-Orders
The FanFood Manager Portal also tracks order volume by time of day. Understanding your peak purchase times and why they occur as they do helps you not only staff accordingly, but also influence more purchases at the times when your kitchen or shop is less busy.
Push notifications and promo codes are effective ways to drive orders. For a push notification, mention a specific high-ticket item that is available for a limited time or in a limited quantity. Offer guests a promo code that takes $5 off a minimum purchase of $20 or more.
When fans at Durham Bulls Athletic Park were offered discounts on Mars-Wrigley products throughout the 2019 Minor League Baseball season, candy sales and customer spend skyrocketed:
Amplified engagement and personalized touch points will be a major element of customer experience that your guests will expect this year. They want to know what is in store for them throughout their time at your facility, so capitalizing on surprise and delight will be paramount to influence their purchase behavior.
Pre-ordering is another popular feature of the FanFood platform. Preordering enable your customers to place scheduled orders ahead of their arrival, whether its hours or even days in advance. The Birmingham Legion FC, a soccer club in the USL, offered fans pre-order pickup in fall 2020.
Preorders can be placed ahead of specified events and received at determined times.
“I have fans place orders every single game,” said Gregg Mahaffey, the concessions manager at BBVA field on a recent FanFood webinar. “They would pre-order for pickup, then order again during the game for [in-seat] delivery.”
If receiving their pre-paid order is the first thing a guest does upon entering your facility, there is ample opportunity to get them ordering for seconds (or even thirds).
4. Pre-Arrival Marketing
In our latest webinar, FanFood’s Senior Account Manager Drake Orser emphasized the importance of leveraging your customer communication channels to drive awareness around mobile ordering’s presence at your location. Before your customers arrive, they need to know what the service is, why they benefit from it, and how they can instantly access it.QR codes and venue-produced videos are popular elements of pre-arrival marketing tactics by our partners. (from left to right: St. Augustine Amphitheater, Pierre Trappers, University of North Texas)
A survey by Deloitte indicates that fans who interact with a team or property at least once a month are likely to spend 40% more than fans who are not engaged. Your customers want to know about the new advancements you have made surrounding your location’s experience. Embedded ordering experiences are popular among FanFood partners that offer their own app.
Whether it be your social media, website, email marketing, or even an existing app, these existing channels can connect customers directly to your ordering (or pre-ordering) experience.
Effective pre-arrival marketing comes in many forms, but the bottom line is driving initial adoption of mobile ordering relies on building familiarity with the offering among your customers as soon as possible.
5. On-Site Marketing
To complement your pre-arrival marketing push, on-site marketing is the necessary force to drive your customer’s first order.
Having effectively marketed the service upon a guest’s arrival, the customer already knows about your location’s mobile ordering service — maybe they have seen a social media post or an email. That is what clicks for them when they encounter a QR code to scan on a seat back or table — an ah-ha moment. They scan it with their device and your mobile menu loads up instantly in the customer’s browser and they place their first order.
Our team brings 6+ years of experience of providing guidance around mobile ordering rollout and growth for locations of all types and sizes. FanFood mobile ordering is quick to start, easy to use, and always commission-free. We become true partners with your team, striving to help you achieve your goals because, after all, our success truly depends on your success.