Since the COVID lockdowns, online ordering has really taken off as a way to order products and services. More and more people (including chefs and venues) are now used to going online to place their orders.
While many leading fresh food suppliers have embraced online ordering, others have concerns that they will lose the personal touch that comes with taking orders in person and as a result relationships will suffer.
With over 44,000 venues on Fresho’s online ordering platform, we often speak to venues and suppliers. Here are some of the things we hear regularly, and some of the suggestions we have for those fresh food suppliers still considering whether online ordering is for them.
What chefs tell us
It won’t be a surprise that relationships with you, their supplier, are critical and valued. Some of the key things they care about are:
- Reliability & quality – Getting the right order at the right time, the right quality and quantity, delivered when expected.
- Availability – Knowing what’s available and what’s on special without having to make a lot of phone calls helps Chefs plan more effectively.
- New products and trends – Being informed about what’s new and what’s trending. Customers appreciate the insights suppliers provide, both on new products and recent trends.
What suppliers tell us
Suppliers who have made the move provide a good insight into how it has impacted their relationships.
- Online ordering processes eliminate most mistakes – Nothing is lost in translation or paper processes so there are far fewer negative conversations about the wrong order.
- More time to speak to customers – Those who have moved online note that there is significantly more time to speak to customers, as they spend less time on low-value admin tasks like manually entering orders. Some cut order process time by as much as 40 or 50 hours a week.
- Information no longer “lives in someone’s head” – Fast and accurate service is easier when a customer’s special deals or preferences are in a system.
How ordering software helps to strengthen your relationships
More time to talk
Time is everything, and having good conversations with your customers is time consuming. Online ordering can give you back time otherwise spent on routine tasks that don’t add a lot of value. Then you and your customer can focus on the good stuff, like discussing new products. Some time savings examples:
- Save hours a day in order entry
- Run a picking report in one click
- Customise or change delivery runs in seconds
- Automate payments
Customised and personalised ordering
Organised: If you have restaurants who want steak cut or presented a certain way, or supermarkets who require pre-packaged products, specialised fresh food ordering platforms like Fresho let you organise your products into categories and control which customers have access to these.
Negotiated prices: If you offer your specific pricing to a group e.g. restaurant or supermarket or even individual customers, you can set the system up with your negotiated prices, so they always get their specific pricing.
Chef’s favourites: Customers often order the same specific products, so by providing a favourites list on the platform it makes it a fast, easy and foolproof way for customers to get their specific preferred products ordered.
Specials & availability: Customers want to know if there are specials, or if there is an issue with availability. When customers order online, you can present them with specials and if there is limited availability of their specific product.
Personal relationships are at the heart of the fresh food business, and nothing is more important. Time to talk to customers about the things they care about is hard to find, so anything that can free you up is good for business.
Technology like online ordering software frees up many hours in your day and week so you have more time to get in front of your customers.
Eliminating mistakes and frustration will help you lift your customer service and customer satisfaction, ensuring stronger, longer lasting relationships.