The practice of ordering food online is taking off as restaurants and especially pizzerias, invest in online ordering systems across the nation. Domino's Pizza Inc., already one of the largest pizza chains in the world, already relies so much on online ordering that the franchise is now the fourth largest retailer on the Internet, placing it in the company of such online industry mega-stores like Amazon.com. In fact, the online ordering trend is so hot right now that nearly 25 percent of all of Domino's orders are now generated online.
Online ordering systems are a real convenience for customers and the system allows restaurants to track their own systems and troubleshoot areas that may need work like figuring out why an order was late. Several other large pizza franchises like Pizza Hut and Papa John's have also adopted online ordering systems and are experiencing very successful results as well. Currently about 25 percent of Papa John's sales are generated online and the company says they expect online orders to account for half of their total business in the very near future.
Online ordering is not just limited to national franchises as many smaller regional pizza operations have also jumped onboard with systems of their own. Regional franchises with multiple locations that are investing in the technology to support online ordering systems have seen ever-increasing numbers of customers using the Internet to make orders. It appears customers like the feeling of being involved in their orders and being able to see exactly what they are ordering. They also like the fact that they can take their time doing it.
The only downside to online ordering is that it can be fairly expensive to set up a system initially. For example, it cost Domino's nearly $400,000 to purchase and implement a new computerized ordering system to accommodate online ordering for a franchise ring of 19 Domino's restaurants in the Dayton, Ohio area. Besides the cost of initial installation, there are also maintenance and updating issues to deal with in any new system, but overall, the restaurants currently involved in online ordering all say that their investments were well worth the price once their systems were up and running smoothly.
Now that nearly every home in America has at least one computer hooked up to the Internet in it and phones with Internet capability are the latest rage worldwide, it seems online ordering is an innovation whose time has arrived. Right now, online ordering systems for restaurants and pizzerias may be an attractive option, but tomorrow they might become a necessity if you want to remain in business.