As a restaurant owner or manager, you’ve probably heard quite a lot about online ordering by now. The all new, digital approach to ordering has revolutionized the restaurant industry, and has had an effect on businesses of every size. And while the convenience and ease of use of online ordering systems has provided customers with tremendous value, not all restaurant owners are enthusiastic about developing digital ordering trends.
For the most part, restaurant owners that have been unwilling to adopt online ordering systems choose not to do so because of persistent myths about the new technology. Here are three of the most common myths about online ordering, as well as the facts when it comes to how online ordering can affect your business.
Myth: Online ordering systems are hard to implement and require extensive training sessions for existing restaurant employees. This is a popular perception, and leaves restaurant owners and managers deciding not to implement online ordering systems for fear that doing so will be too challenging from a staff perspective.
Fact: Implementing an online ordering system has very little effect on the worker experience of your existing staff. In most cases, online ordering systems are built for and designed around the customer experience, and won’t change the way your servers and front of restaurant staff interact with customers. Wait or bussing staff will have to be informed of pick-up orders, and hand them off to customers at the right time, but other than that there will be very little change by way of protocol where your staff is concerned. The small adjustments in routine required by your staff won’t result in extensive training, and are simple enough to master for experienced staff members.
Myth: Online ordering systems require expensive new hardware in order to operate in most restaurants. This perception may be grounded in reality for older online ordering systems, and remains widespread even as systems evolve and change to meet new demands.
Fact: Orders2Me integrates completely with your existing kitchen order printers, and won’t require any additional equipment. This is another reason why the right ordering system won’t require training for your staff: where kitchen staff are concerned, an order placed for delivery or pick-up with Orders2Me will print from a kitchen printer like any other order placed by waiters and waitresses. And don’t worry about setting up this service to work with your printer, either. The entire process is optimized to have as small of an impact as possible on your staff and regular restaurant routines, and getting things set up will be easy for management as well. No new hardware, no new training, and very minimal staff impact is the Orders2Me philosophy.
Myth: All online ordering systems take a large percentage of profits, making them hard to implement from a financial perspective. This perception turns restaurant owners away fro online ordering systems before they can see their power, and is based on a limited knowledge of the ever broadening market for such services.
Fact: While some online ordering systems take a huge cut of your profits and cut into your sale margins, others work more like a subscription service, and only charge a small flat rate for their use. With Orders2Me, basic packages start at less than $50 dollars a month. That means that no matter how much food you sell, you will only pay a small, flat rate fee for the power of online ordering. With a subscription service like this, it is easy to boost your profit margins, as online orders pour in and you don’t pay a cut of your profits to the online ordering system vendor. While some services do work this way, a subscription service is almost always going to be more profitable in the end, as it will let you keep the profits you make.
The Bottom Line
There are dozens of viable online ordering systems out there, all with different pros and cons. But unfortunately, many myths about online ordering as a whole are propagated from the unsavory elements of some of the biggest names in the industry. Eat24 might take too high of a cut of profits for restaurants to make muc off of online ordering, but subscription services like Orders2Me make this concern obsolete. In general, myths about online ordering come from ideas about dated systems that have evolved, industry leaders that don’t treat restaurants fair, or other hearsay that doesn’t take into consideration the evolving market for online ordering systems. But there is more out there.
While deciding whether or not to implement online ordering is a choice that every restaurant owner must make, it is coming to be expected by customers in many markets. If you want to give your customers what they want, get beyond the myths, do more research about what’s out there, and see if you can find an online ordering system that works for you.
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.