Historically, Cinco de Mayo draws people out to celebrate, resulting in packed restaurants, Mexican-themed parties and full bars. Many restaurants experience record sales on the holiday, and, in the past, some operators have even been overwhelmed working to serve the celebratory crowds. National Today reports that 59 percent of Americans eat Mexican food, 32 percent drink margaritas, and an additional combined 22 percent participate in some form of partying to recognize the holiday.
Because many business owners tend to tap into the excitement around the holiday, there is often a surge of springtime revenue in early May that serves to support restaurants into high-traffic summer months.
However, as opinions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to differ, some customers remain unsure about sit-down dining, preferring to grab their meals as a carryout, curbside or delivery order. With appropriate technology in place, owners will be able to leverage holiday-related traffic in any form and maximize revenue produced by online orders.
How an Omnichannel Point of Sale System and Online Ordering Platforms Streamline Processes Amidst Demand Surges
The popularity of online restaurant browsing has only increased, and having an omni-channel POS platform empowers operators to create a complete, efficient online ordering experience for potential guests.
When used during high-traffic times like Cinco de Mayo, a direct online ordering interface works to prevent common mistakes that occur through older methods of on-site and phone orders, while simultaneously boosting revenue. Per data, about a fourth of consumers report spending more on off-premise orders than they would if they had dined in. Furthermore, two-thirds of customers who have placed an online order in the past are likely to visit the restaurant more frequently than those who have not, establishing a strong sense of brand loyalty.
Integrating With Third-Party Delivery Services
In terms of online ordering, mobile apps such as DoorDash and GrubHub are incredibly popular with U.S. consumers. LendingTree survey data finds that over 77 percent of Americans utilized an on-demand delivery service within the span of a year, and consumers spend, on average, nearly $2,000 on delivery services annually. Nearly one third of Americans admit to spending more than they can afford on delivery service, but almost 50 percent intend to continue ordering delivery to save time and avoid leaving the house.
With many people hosting Cinco de Mayo celebrations at home, restaurant operators should take advantage of the third-party delivery options most customers are likely to utilize. Integrating the restaurant’s online ordering platform with a third-party delivery service will ensure the highest number of delivery opportunities are secured. Integration ensures order accuracy and efficiency by routing orders direct to the POS and kitchen production areas, saving time and staffing. Further, if a customer has a positive delivery experience on a notoriously busy restaurant holiday, they will be far more likely to return to the restaurant in the future.
Leveraging POS History for Data-Driven Marketing Campaigns
An omnichannel POS platform goes beyond providing a streamlined ordering experience to include critical data-driven insights, allowing operators to leverage a set of data that can be incredibly influential when working to maximize sales. Better yet, these systems provide turnkey reporting options that simplify the pattern and trend identification process.
For example, critical customer data can be used to create reports that reveal a restaurant’s most popular and/or profitable menu options or pinpoint which items are more likely to be ordered in group scenarios or at certain times during the day. Based on this information, operators can create strategic marketing campaigns that address proven areas of interest.
Holiday-specific deals like discounted margaritas or a buy-one-get-one deal on chips and dip with every third-party delivery order combine proven customer trends and holiday excitement to boost sales. Furthermore, analytically-powered strategies like this one can also be used to promote a loyalty program, associating specific promotions with a loyalty app and exclusively rewarding valued customers.
It is clear that consumer behavior has changed as a result of years of pandemic-related changes, and there has never been a better time for operators to adjust to these changes and implement an updated ordering system. This Cinco de Mayo, data-driven capabilities and omni-channel POS technology will be critical as restaurant operators work to reach even more customers and leverage the excitement of the holiday festivities.
Graham Campbell is an innovative technology executive with over 15 years’ experience in the payment, e-commerce and point of sale sectors. Since joining in 2006, he has held positions including: VP of Projects & Implementations, VP and General Manager of GivexPOS, SVP of Product Development and now holds the position of the company’s chief operating officer.