The restaurant industry has experienced a significant shift in customer behavior, with more and more people preferring to order food online. As a restaurant owner, offering online ordering can help you stay competitive and meet the demands of your customers. In this blog post, we will provide a simple guide to restaurant online ordering that can help you improve your customer experience and increase your bottom line.
- Choose an online ordering system. The first step to offering online ordering is to choose an online ordering system. There are many options available, ranging from free products that come with your POS to highly customizable standalone products. If you have the budget, you can also build your own ordering site on top of an online ordering company's APIs. When choosing a system, consider your budget, the features you need, what integrations the system has, and the ease of use for your staff and customers.
- Design an attractive and user-friendly online menu. Once you have chosen an online ordering system, it's time to design an online menu that is attractive and user-friendly. This includes providing high-quality photos of your menu items, clear descriptions, and pricing information. Customers are more likely to order items with pictures. Make sure that the online menu is easy to navigate and reflects the same branding and style as your restaurant. Make sure to set up the right modifier groups, and don't forget to add modifier uncharges if necessary so you don't lose out on revenue.
- Customize your menu items and pricing by location. If you operate more than one location make sure to set the menu item availability and pricing for each location. Make sure the pricing aligns with your in-store pricing so customers aren't surprised when ordering online. Typically it's better to keep prices the same and add online ordering fees or surcharges if you need to charge more for the service.
- Set up your hours and pickup/delivery options. When offering online ordering, it's important to set your store hours correctly so customers can only order while you are open. It's also important to provide your customers with a variety of pickup and delivery options. This can include curbside pickup, in-store pickup, and delivery through third-party delivery apps. Make sure to clearly communicate your pickup and delivery options, as well as any fees or minimum order requirements.
- Integrate online ordering with your POS and inventory management system. To streamline your operations, it's important to integrate your online ordering system with your POS and inventory management system. This can help you manage orders more efficiently and reduce errors. Make sure to test your integration before launching your online ordering system to ensure that it is working properly. If you use a kitchen display system (KDS) you can either integrate the online orders directly to the KDS or have those orders funnel through the POS. Either way, it is vital to have all orders displayed on a single kitchen system so the employees only have one screen to work off.
- Promote your online ordering system. Once you have set up your online ordering system, it's important to promote it to your customers. This can include adding a "Order Online" button to your website, promoting it on social media, and including information about online ordering in your marketing materials. Make sure to track your online orders and customer feedback to continually improve your online ordering experience.
In conclusion, offering online ordering can be a valuable tool for restaurant owners looking to improve their customer experience and increase their revenue. By following these simple steps, you can set up an online ordering system that is attractive, user-friendly, and integrated with your POS and inventory management system. Just make sure to promote your online ordering system and continually track customer feedback to ensure that it meets the needs of your customers.