70% of customers prefer to order directly from the restaurant’s ordering system and not through other third-party platforms.
By running native online ordering (through its website), restaurants can optimize on this customer behavior, increase profits multifold, save on extremely high commissions given away to third-party portals, and much more.
WHAT IS A RESTAURANT ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM?
For the uninitiated, a restaurant’s online ordering system is very similar to that of an e-commerce website. When people are unable to visit a restaurant to eat their favorite food, they simply log on to the restaurant’s website, choose their favorite items from the online menu, add them to the cart, make an online payment (or choose Cash On Delivery) and get their food door delivered.
Customers can also be allowed to access an online menu by scanning a QR code or entering a link into the search bar. With every action being digitally performed, the involvement of staff is reduced and so are manual errors in order taking. The entire process from food selection to delivery is also completed in a swift manner.
WHERE CAN ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM BE USED?
Online ordering systems can be used in any food-related business – cafes, pizzerias, fine dining, casual dining, contemporary casual, family-style, fast-casual, fast food, food trucks, buffet, ice cream parlors, etc. If you are just starting an online food business, then adopting an online ordering system is the most cost-effective solution.
An added advantage is the fact that it need not be created from scratch. An online food ordering application can directly be integrated into any of the existing food delivery websites or the restaurant’s own website. It helps to save a lot of time, money, and effort.
BENEFITS OF AN ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM FOR RESTAURANTS
With digital becoming the buzzword in every business, people have got accustomed to getting things done online with just a few button clicks. People have started expecting their favorite restaurants to definitely provide them with an option of online food ordering. It is, therefore, time for every restaurant to embrace automation and digitization in every touch-point with the customer.
The following are the reasons why restaurants must implement an online food ordering system through their website and a mobile app:
1. Better Customer Experience
When a customer is mentally prepared to make a food order, the only thing that they look for is fast and immediate service. When the ordering process is simple and uncomplicated, the user experience is improved. Customers would love the fact that their time is valued. With waiting time drastically reduced, they would want to repeat the process every time they look for good food.
2. Organized Restaurant Operations
An online ordering system streamlines the operational processes in the kitchen. With the food orders of customers directly reaching the kitchen, staff members need not spend time over the phone to note down orders. They can productively divert their efforts in cooking, packaging, and delivering the food. This will get the food delivered on time and result in a positive brand image for the restaurant.
3. Ample Time For Menu Browsing
An online ordering system will provide customers with all the specifics about food options that they are eager to know while placing a food order. Descriptions about the ingredients, vegan properties, and other details help customers to make informed choices. An online ordering system also gives people more time to browse the menu before making decisions.
4. Increased Food Orders
With customers having more time to browse the online menu, it is likely that they add more items to their cart than they actually intended to. Initially, one or two additional appetizers or desserts might not make a significant difference. But, over a period of time, the numbers will add up and reflect upon the profits earned too.
5. Helps To Stay Relevant
Keeping up with the current industry trends is very important for every restaurant. While competitors are optimizing their online presence in a full-fledged manner and offering online food ordering facilities, a restaurant cannot afford to hold onto outdated methods and evade such automation processes. Being relevant with digital orders also means staying competitive.
6. Lesser Fake Or Abandoned Orders
Very often, customers place orders over the phone but never turn up to pick the food. With an online ordering system, customers mostly make online payments while submitting an order. This reduces the risk of fake or abandoned orders for a restaurant. Every order placed becomes genuine and profitable for the restaurant.
7. Customers Have Greater Control
It is very common for restaurants to miss out on small orders written on hand notes during peak hours. Without an online ordering system, the staff will be busy attending phone calls. Rushed conversations and errors while noting down orders are a common scene. But, with an online ordering system, customers manage their own orders giving crystal clear instructions about add-ons or cutlery to the kitchen. Special instructions are mentioned distinctly leaving no room for ambiguity.
8. Complex Food Orders Simplified
The bigger the food order, the greater are the chances of miscommunication and errors in noting them down. Especially, if large orders are communicated over the phone, there are several discrepancies. Food delivery will differ vastly from what was communicated. For customers, communicating the order through the telephone is a tedious process and for the staff, noting it down becomes cumbersome. To ease off the burden on both sides, it is essential to embrace an online food ordering system that results in lesser miscommunication and greater customer satisfaction.
9. The Profit Is All Yours
After all, it is imperative for a restaurant to make money and not stop with merely taking efforts and increasing traffic. By joining hands with aggregator apps, the profits are either shared or completely lost. Third-party food delivery apps also force restaurants to lower the prices or give high discounts for no specific reason. With an in-house food ordering and delivery system, the restaurant gets to enjoy the profits all by itself. Even with a few orders, a restaurant can end up making considerable profits.
HOW TO SET UP AN ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM
i) Use one’s own website
A restaurant can build its own website and manage customer orders through the native website. The website can be built using a basic Internet connection and a professional website building platform for creating a website for a restaurant. Once the website is live, the restaurant would require a team to deal with orders that start coming in. The website must have a mobile-friendly menu that can be used by customers directly for placing orders. The website must be launched after the online payments and delivery management systems are in place. Websites can be created for free. But realistically, it can cost between $6 and $40 per month.
Professional website builders like Restaurantify enable restaurant owners to build their own websites using aesthetic, pre-curated templates that are meant specifically for restaurant and food businesses. Online ordering and payments can be integrated within minutes onto the website built using Restaurantify.
Greatest Advantage – By facilitating online food orders through the restaurant website, customers order directly without having to rely on any third party. The process, thus, becomes totally in-house and is completely under a restaurant’s control.
ii) Use a third party online ordering app
A third-party online ordering app like DoorDash, GrubHub, or UberEats can be used by a restaurant to reach a wider audience. When customers use such apps to order food online, they place an order which is forwarded to the restaurant by the third-party app. The third-party app’s delivery valet or partner picks up the food from the restaurant and takes it to the customer’s doorstep.
A restaurant will be asked to fill in a sign-up form by providing basic details of the restaurant like location, type of cuisine, and the number of estimated food orders per week. While there is no upfront cost that needs to be paid during registration, the third-party food delivery app will take a portion of every transaction.
Greatest Advantage – If a restaurant is not equipped with people and the infrastructure to manage orders and deliveries all by itself, then using a third-party online ordering app is the best option available. It is a very popular option that can take a restaurant not just to regular customers but also to new ones.
GrubHub features more than 350,000 restaurants and is used by an exorbitant 19 million people!
iii) Use a third party online ordering app with an integrated POS system
A restaurant can make use of a third-party online ordering app that is integrated with a POS system like CAKE or Checkmate. This is how this system works – A customer places a food order, the order is forwarded to the restaurant and the restaurant’s POS system automatically records the order (without any manual intervention). Only two things are required while using this option – an account with a third-party app and another account with a POS integration app. A restaurant can login to Cake or Checkmate, enter the basic credentials, and get started almost instantaneously. While Checkmate charges $85 per month, Cake’s monthly subscription is around $70 per month.
Greatest Advantage – If a restaurant decides to use several third-party apps or is always a busy restaurant, this option is the best as it provides great convenience. The integration app allows the app and the POS to interact with each other – that is, the order is entered automatically into the POS. With minimum hassle and fewer opportunities for error, the order is processed faster. This option is a boon for busy restaurants as there is no piling up of orders.
HOW TO IMPROVE AN ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM
This depends on the type of online ordering system that a restaurant is using. As already discussed, there are two types:
- Marketplace systems such as DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, etc.
- Standalone systems like Cloudwaitress, Cake, Checkmate, etc.
Very little can be done if a restaurant uses a marketplace system as they are tightly controlled and do not provide any option for modifications. While marketplace systems are powerful players in the industry, they should not be relied on due to a restaurant’s lack of control over the procedures or processes.
But, with a standalone system, there are many options for a restaurant to create its own highly customizable online ordering system or a website.
Customer experience can be enhanced by trying out the following options using a standalone system:
- Choosing the apt layout for the restaurant’s cuisine
- Adding numerous payment methods to give customers various wallet choices
- Allowing checkout of food without forcing guests to sign up
- Permitting customers to login through Google, Facebook, and other popular social media platforms
- Provide free food delivery for orders exceeding a certain amount
- Offering promo codes to boost sales
HOW MUCH WILL AN ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM COST - THE BUDGET
A restaurant might have to spend anything from $90 to $200 every month for a good, functional online ordering system. The cost will vary depending upon the unique plan that the restaurant has and also on factors like size, variety in the menu, demand for the cuisine, the estimated number of orders, and so on.
RESTAURANT WEBSITE - PIVOTAL FOR ONLINE ORDERING
Is your restaurant website not making money? Restaurantify can help you get a website that is integrated with an online ordering system and direct payments.
If your food must sell like hot cakes, rely on Restaurantify to make you generate a fully functional restaurant website with integrated online ordering – that too, within minutes. You need not have any coding knowledge to get it done. Our sales optimized, SEO friendly, affordable and gadget-compatible websites will boost your online sales and brand visibility.
LATEST BLOG POST