Providing your customers with online ordering tools and capabilities can help your business grow more rapidly than you’d have planned. Customers appreciate being able to get their favorite foods, conveniently ordering from their device, and adding on additional orders that they might not have planned on ordering when they first logged on.
When customers have a positive experience, they are much more likely to re-order, and they share their experience with friends, family, and colleagues.
Online ordering has revolutionized the way restaurants do business. Rather than keeping phone lines tied up for takeout orders and employees strictly dedicated to taking these orders, online ordering has allowed restaurants to enact more efficient, organized systems that provide across-the-board benefit.
Unfortunately, though, many restaurants have hesitated putting online ordering into practice, seeing it as excess work rather than an exciting possibility. Their worries may stem from horror stories they’ve heard in the past about antiquated systems and companies that provided poor customer service. Restaurant owners also worry about the additional equipment they need to operate their online ordering.
Online ordering is typically done via two different channels: a website and a mobile app.
Web Online Ordering
A website is the first tool you need in a traditional online ordering platform. This is where your customers will look for your restaurant. They’ll learn more about your history, your chef and leadership, your employees, and important details they need to find and order again from your restaurant, including your menu and location. Online ordering from your website will require a custom site that accounts for orders being sent. Customers appreciate a tracking system that lets them know how long they have until their order is ready, an easy-to-use platform that gives them options for their orders, and a clear, understandable design.
A mobile app gives your customers the ability to order online, on-the-go. No matter where they are, they’ll be able to place orders, increasing the convenience and chances that they will order from your restaurant. Mobile apps should have large buttons that can be tapped without needing to enlarge the screen, as well as an understandable, logical navigation system.
Adding in different promos, options for subscribing to your e-mail list, following you on social media, and sharing with others can also help to grow your base. However, including such a wide variety of functionalities can seem like a very difficult undertaking. There are several different routes you can take to build your online ordering.
DIY Online Ordering Interface
To design a Web online ordering platform or mobile app yourself, you’ll need at least a basic understanding of Web design. Understanding resolution, color and typeface use, and principles of layout, will help to make the online ordering page aesthetically pleasing and efficient for users.
Software for laying out the page will be necessary, as well as design programs that have the flexibility and strength to edit graphics – like photos of the food or your logo. You’ll also have to use a different software program to help design your mobile app.
Your online ordering will also need equipment and software that will take the online orders and put them into your point-of-sale system. The software and programming you use when designing your online ordering and developing the structure and integrations should work well with your existing POS system, and should also give you room for growth.
Changing your POS system in the future may require online ordering upgrades for continued compatibility. The following are tips to aid you in creating and maintaining your company’s online ordering capabilities.
These sites have been designed to help restaurants facilitate online ordering for their customers by listing a wide variety of restaurants and allowing customers to choose their restaurant and menu before placing their orders. Unfortunately, though, there are a few concerns restaurants have found with this system:
Some third-party sites are not always reliable. From missed or lost orders to delayed payments to the restaurants, the consistency can mean a loss or delay of revenue for your restaurant and missed orders for your customers, which can be even more damaging.
Even if you have a direct link on your w website for your restaurant’s third-party page, some online ordering customers may hesitate to place an order because of the transition to another page. This could mean a loss of business for your restaurant.
User distraction can lead to your online customers seeing other restaurants on the third-party site and directing their orders to that restaurant, instead.
2. Work with a third party that offers integration to your site.
A site like Orders2.me is unique in that it not only offers a variety of options for receiving your orders, like fax or text message, as well as POS integration, but also can create a custom Web page and mobile app designed for consistency and familiarity, enhancing your online ordering program and increasing your business. Request a demo today to learn how Orders2.me can revolutionize your restaurant.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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We are on a mission to help local restaurants thrive in the new digital economy. Our blog is designed to give local restaurants best practices from some of the top restaurants in the world today.