Hungry customers are now provided the option from many innovative and sales-conscious restaurants of placing their meal orders online through their computers or cell phones. Marketing studies have determined that this usually results in larger sales. Restaurant owners and managers have long known that making it easy for customers to order is one of the keys to optimizing food sales, and it doesn’t get much easier than pointing and clicking on an item on a restaurant’s website.

Those who take advantage of convenient online ordering are often busy, time-pressed professionals. Others might be active families with several mouths to feed, couples looking for takeout for a picnic in the park or single people wanting a meal on their way home from work. Whether they’re ordering for dine-in or food to be consumed in-house, those with time constraints especially value the convenience of being able to order easily in advance. This eliminates frustrated wait times at tables in crowded restaurants or standing in long lines at takeout counters.

All of these types of consumers have one thing in common — they’re hungry. Just like how hungry people fill grocery carts fuller, they also purchase more restaurant items. Providing them with an online venue where they can click on pictures of desired entrees and ala-carte offerings creates a situation where they’re ordering more than they actually need. Human beings are visually hard-wired when it comes to primary needs such as food, so looking at tempting photographs will create more desire to eat than reading the descriptive text of even well-written menus.

Restaurant owners can even cut costs on staff by providing customers with an online ordering option. Because the customer is essentially putting in his or her order directly to the kitchen, serving staff can be reduced in establishments where online ordering is a substantial part of how they do business. It also significantly reduces chances of server error in ordering, therefore decreasing costs accrued by food waste and ordering mistakes.

There are three major factors that make online ordering systems beneficial for restaurants, delis and takeout facilities. Convenience is the first; most people like being able to click on a desired item and have it ready for them by the time they arrive at the establishment. Because most people are closely connected to their online electronic devices throughout the course of the day, offering online ordering options simply makes sense for restaurants that want to successfully compete in today’s tough marketplace.

The second factor is hunger. When people are hungry, they want the quickest available option. Hungry people are often also tired or winding down after a busy day. Hungry and tired people love the convenience of clicking on a tempting culinary photograph and having it quickly available for consumption.

The visual element is the third factor involved concerning why this strategy increases food sales. As mentioned before, the senses of most human beings are stimulated by pleasing images, and people are likely to order more food when they’ve got a visual reference.

Many busy restaurants have already increased sales by giving their customers an online ordering option. If you own or manage an eating establishment, you’ll find that implementing such a system will be well worth your time.