MAG Insights

Announcements from the MAG & Featured Articles

Innovate Now (MAG Quarterly- Volume Two, Issue Four)


Now is the Time to Launch Online and Mobile Ordering Integrated with your Gift and Loyalty Program

By Jamie Myers, Director, Product Management, Heartland

Dcember 4, 2014

Expand your dining capabilities beyond your four walls with one integrated solution.

Have you seen online and mobile ordering solutions being rolled out by your favorite pizza, sandwich and coffee shops? The mobile revolution is being accelerated by major concepts launching solutions that include ordering. This means consumers now expect to interact with a merchant via a mobile device and they want rich functionality, including the ability to order food, pay at the table, open and split a tab, pickup curbside, and send a virtual gift or item.

Previously, the cost to develop and manage a branded mobile app was too great an expense for most businesses to pursue. Today, with more people choosing smartphones, consumer adoption is at the right threshold for restaurants to take advantage of the opportunity to put their brand directly in the pockets of millions of customers.

To fuel consumer mobile adoption, your favorite national brand restaurants are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising to educate consumers on how to order from a mobile device. Smaller operators have the opportunity to reap the benefits of consumer adoption, if they are prepared with a mobile platform.

So, what should you look for in an online and mobile ordering provider? There are three best practices that we recommend when considering ordering solutions.

1)      Keep it simple. Avoid making any major operational changes to the ordering process. To avoid disruption with your staff, incoming orders should follow existing ordering process. The exceptions to this include removing the time your staff takes on the phone, taking the order, and taking payment upon customer pick-up. 

2)      Future-proof your solution. Look for solution providers that offer multiple technology options, whether that is taking the order at the restaurant or through consumer access options, such as online, mobile and social distribution. While one solution may meet your needs today, as your business grows you may choose a more integrated option. For example, you may want to receive orders electronically initially, but choose a solution that is fully integrated to the POS in the future.

3)      Reward & engage with your customers. Offering an integrated gift and rewards program tied to your ordering solution allows you to stand out from your competition. Send out a push notification the night before the big game: “Don’t forget to pre-order your takeout meal for tomorrow night’s game!” Whether your goal is to increase your average ticket amount, increase frequency, or drive traffic for a specific day or time, ensure your reward is in-line with the interaction you are seeking from the customer. You can give your guests exclusive experience, such as special food items that are only available through online and mobile ordering.

“Giving restaurants of all sizes access to best in class mobile and ordering solutions ensures they can meet market demand now, with the ability to scale for the future,” says Sarah Owen, Executive Director, Heartland Marketing Solutions. 

Ordering solutions provide more than just customer convenience and fast transactions - they also provide behavioral, purchase-oriented data, which is extremely valuable to your business, and can justify the investment. Get the best kind of market research, rich analytics and consumer profiles of your own customers.

About Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY), the fifth largest payments processor in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, point of sale, mobile commerce, e-commerce, marketing solutions, security technology, payroll solutions, and related business solutions and services to more than 300,000 business and educational locations nationwide.

A FORTUNE 1000 company, Heartland is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices. Heartland also established The Sales Professional Bill of Rights to advocate for the rights of sales professionals everywhere. More detailed information can be found at HeartlandPaymentSystems.com.  Follow the company on Twitter @HeartlandHPY and on Facebook at facebook.com/HeartlandHPY.