NRA We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
    NRAEF Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • NRA Show
    NRA Show May 20-23, 2017 As the international foodservice marketplace, the NRA Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - 3 steps to implement predictive ordering technology

Skip to navigation Skip to content

Manage My Restaurant

Email Print

3 steps to implement predictive ordering technology

Netflix suggests content based on subscribers’ viewing preferences. Google Now notifies travelers, based on traffic, of the ideal time to head to the airport. To satisfy customers’ desires for streamlined experiences, some restaurants, such as Panera, are utilizing predictive ordering technology.

Imagine the following scenario: It's 11:45 a.m. and Sara, one of your restaurant customers, hasn't even thought about lunch yet. You know she loves your salads, hasn't visited this week and tends to come in around noon when your line is long.  At 11:46 a.m. through your app, you send Sara this push notification that displays on her phone: “Hi Sara. Coming for lunch today? Want us to have your Greek salad ready when you get here at noon?” With a screen swipe, she places her order, heads over to your restaurant, and picks up her salad. Sara may not have planned on buying your Greek salad for lunch that morning, but by tracking her preferences, you gained an extra sale.

Here are the three steps you can take to prepare your business for predictive ordering:

1. Set up online ordering.

To predict and remotely receive customer orders, you'll need to have a reliable online ordering platform in place. Select a provider that directly integrates with your point-of-sale.

2. Develop a mobile solution.

Offer a mobile app or website that places the power of online ordering in customers’ hands. Your online ordering provider can build a stand-alone solution or a centralized digital hub with ordering, loyalty program and mobile payments capabilities. Determine what mobile capabilities best fit your business.

3. Analyze data and suggest orders.

With these two pieces in place, plus some order history, you can predict customers’ orders and tailor your marketing accordingly. Some providers offer predictive suggestions as add-ons to customers’ orders; for example, when a customer orders a cheeseburger, the app may suggest also ordering a milkshake. Others providers are building mobile payment solutions that suggest items based on preexisting purchasing patterns.

To streamline the predictive process, assign each menu item with a unique SKU number. When a customer places an order, information about that individual (his or her name, age and address), the item (SKU number) and situation (time of day and location) is recorded. This data is processed by the predictive ordering system, and, over time, behavioral patterns are recognized. This information can then be used to more accurately target your customers.

This content was provided by National Restaurant Association sponsor LevelUp

▲ Back to Top

Drive Business Growth

Dinova 210x125

There's Plenti Together

Amex- Plenti

Our Tumblr

Tumblr Ad 1

Featured Products & Tools


We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2015 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156