Order Interception: Fewer calls, more everything else.

To help restaurants ease the congestion of phone orders, Hazlnut has come out with a new “Order Interception” service

Phone calls to restaurants are becoming more and more of an issue, even post-pandemic after the large migration to online ordering.

In a recent study, we found that nearly 40% of all orders still come through over the phone. So, although more people are ordering online than ever before, between in-person and phone ordering, the majority of orders still require staff to handle.

Restaurant labor shortage over the past 2 years, phone orders for pickup_ have actually increased.

But therein lies the rub. Faced with a well documented labor shortage, it’s becoming harder to find the staff needed to help meet customer demand. As people are starting to come out of isolation and go back out to restaurants, they may still prefer to spend as little time as possible in public places, so phone orders (for pickup) have actually increased alongside online orders at the expense of in-person dining. But the current state of phone orders is a sad state of affairs…

Current state of phone ordering: By the numbers

We’ve found that only 82% of calls were even answered. That means a whopping 18% of calls were missed. This is most likely due to the fact that most calls occur at lunch or dinner rush, the busiest times for restaurants.

Even more alarming, of the calls answered, 74% of all calls were to place an order. That means of the calls missed, 3 out of 4 were most likely people looking to spend money at the store.

Furthermore, 24% of all calls answered put the customer on hold with the average hold time being 68 seconds!

Percentage of unanswered calls from customers intending to place an order

Phone orders today are a horrible experience. Coupled with the fact that answering phones takes staff away from helping other customers, all customers end up with a worse experience.

What is Order Interception?

To help restaurants ease the congestion of phone orders and improve the overall guest experience, Hazlnut has come out with a new “Order Interception” service.

This service works by issuing you a new phone number that you use to replace your existing number on any channel customers use to call you.

This would include your:

1. Website

2. Google “My Business” page

3. Facebook page and other social media

4. Apple maps

When customers call this new number they’re greeted with a recording welcoming them and offering to text them a link to place their order online before connecting them to the store… and that’s it! It’s as simple as that.

Send your ordering link by text

If you go back to the stat we mentioned earlier, if 74% all calls are to place an order. If you can re-direct even a small amount of these customers to your online ordering or mobile ordering page it can have a huge impact on the amount of calls actually reaching your store.

What are the benefits of re-directing these callers to your ordering site with Order Interception?

More orders

Beyond the obvious (fewer calls), you’ll experience more revenue! You’ll get more orders overall. Remember, missed calls = missed orders.

Higher average ticket sizes

Also, by moving orders online, it’s a lower cost channel with a higher average ticket size. Countless studies have proven that the average order value is higher for online orders. Customers don’t feel rushed ordering online, they have more time to browse, see that delicious dessert or maybe even add an appetizer. Furthermore, with your staff taking fewer calls, that leaves them more time to work with in-store customers or other tasks such as packaging to-go orders, acting as a food runner etc.

With the current staffing shortages and increased call-in orders, Order Interception could be just the service you need to help you and your customers adjust to the “new normal”.