Incentives For Online Ordering

Double Chili Cheeseburger
2012/10/12 01:00:10
This isn't a gripe about anything in particular. We rarely at best go out to eat a chain more then once a year now.  If we do go anymore, we're probably using an Olive Garden gift card that one of our relatives sent us saved for our anniversary. Nice as it is to go out ocassionally, we simply can't afford to do it regularly approaching retirement with what's left. We still will pick up a few burgers at Checker's when they're running a promo a couple of times a year and order a pizza from Pizza Hut every couple of months when things get out of hand and it's too late to cook. Maybe a hankering a local Chinese take-out once or twice a year. That's pretty much about it anymore.
All  of the above except the Chinese is pretty much based on some incentive, many that came with a bad economy to promote loss leaders in the hopes of addtional ordering of other profitable items. Thanks, we have our store brand 2L bottles of cola and the deep fryer can make great fries at home and we can't touch the price of the burgers with supermarket prices of meat and buns or make a pizza when you factor in
 the online incentives of $5 or 25% off that have been long standing and we pick them up rather then pay the costs of delivery and tip. I've known the manager of the local 'hut for many years and she's a doll. But one day, she made a remark that with customers like us using the on-line and layering couponing, picking up the food and paying by card end up costing her store. That under normal circumstances would have caused me to raise hell with corporate. Not in this case, it was an honest comment. She's been very forthright over the years with my probing questions and the cost of operations and franchising and has given me unparalleled access to their QSR world which can be humbling. The online couponing has saved me an average of $7 not counting the cost of delivery and tip and I would imagine there is a card processing fee that probably brings it near to $10 add the delivery fee and the tip and that's 5 more bucks or so.
This is a micro case. What I see happening is many online ordering chains are dropping the expected bucks off to percent off in favor of specialized orders recently. To us, that made the difference in the world to decide to order out rather then cooking in. Checker's still has promotions even though the local BK franchises, McD's, and other QSR's pretty much abandoned them around 2009 when they seen that it didn't work and folks were pretty much doing what we did; taking advantage of the loss leaders and using them as the basis of a home meal that cheaper then making at home.
So, the question I pose is should we expect a concession ordering online with an expected coupon code that would introduce a savings. Online ordering is the accepted norm now and there's no reason to attract anyone to do it over a phone call or visit anymore. However, the chains do see an advantage over someone placing an online order that's explicitly defined versus a call in order or visit. There's a tremendous amount of time saved by employees and workers when an order seemlessly appears as part of the kitchen ticket rather then deal with counter personell, telephone personell, or physical visit. Online ordering makes this virtually turnkey and any dispute limited to the ignorance of the orderer. In effect, online ordering saves them a lot of time and money.
Shouldn't online ordering have a financial incentive over physical?
Just a thought. As much as I like the folks at our local PH and the ocassional convenience, that usual $7 difference expected all these years made all the difference in the world . To me it's the principle and they've lost a customer watching a budget. I'm sure there's many like us with hard heads and plenty more that could care less. Income is finite and we're nickle and diming it every where we can to save and it really adds up over a year when you look at the long term. I'm sure there is plenty of folks like us that understand the value of a dollar and can delay gratification for what's left of our future.