The 4 Most Important Things To Do When Adding Online Ordering For Your Restaurant.
How to ensure adding take-out and delivery service grows business and makes guests happy
If you had to choose one word to describe our lives right now, odds are good it would be “convenience.” On demand TV programming, information instantly available on our smartphones, payment at the touch of a button and more.
With so many of your customers leading time-critical lives and craving high quality food on their schedules, it’s vital to consider if adding online ordering is right for your restaurant. And, if so, how will you tackle online ordering so it grows your bottom line and satisfies your guests?
Analyze if online ordering is right for you
Consider your business model. Online food ordering for take-out or delivery service is not just for fast food (or fast casual) anymore! If your current customers have inquired about take-out and delivery options or if you’re receiving requests from potential customers, there could be enough demand to make the addition of online ordering pay off for you.
Discuss the potential for online ordering with your staff as additional orders will add to the workload of kitchen and front-of-house staff. An integrated restaurant POS system will help cut down on the amount of extra time staff has to spend on take-out or delivery orders, but you may need to add kitchen staff or even a dedicated online order staff member to handle a significant increase in orders.
Not only should you consult your staff, but you should examine your menu and evaluate if your food will package and keep well for customers to enjoy offsite. Size up the to-go containers you currently use. Packaging that works well for diners bringing home leftovers may not be ideal for packing entire meals and keeping them at the appropriate temperature.
Adding online ordering will also require savvy marketing tactics to leverage your existing clientele and attract new customers for your take-out and delivery services.
All these things, of course, come at a cost. Additional staff hours, supplies, the potential for additional insurance, technology tools to smoothly facilitate orders can all add up.
But incorporating online ordering can also pay off – online and mobile ordering accounted for nearly 1.9 billion foodservice visits, growing 18 percent in 2016, according to the NPD Group.
If, after carefully considering the pros and cons, you determine online ordering is right for your restaurant – here’s how to do it right.
When it comes to online ordering, you can’t just add the functionality and trust that customers will find it on their own. You should absolutely continue to utilize your current successful marketing strategies and tactics for in-house dining, but you will also need to come up with separate messaging to promote your new take-out and delivery options.
In your every touchpoint with current customers – menu inserts, window displays, receipts and more – share the news about your online ordering program. Talk up the convenience, the quality of the food and the impeccable service (and make sure you can back up those claims). Offer discounts and promotions to entice customers to try online ordering options.
Use gorgeous, shareable photos of your food, utilize contests, work with local influencers and connect your social media audience to your online ordering system at every available opportunity.
Be smart about your technology
There are seemingly endless options for third-party online ordering, each with their own backend technology solutions, customized menu requirements, integration issues and payment terms.
When you integrate your online ordering system with your restaurant POS software, you can save time and money. When your customers click “checkout” on a system like Breadcrumb POS, the orders drop directly into your POS system, so your staff can avoid having to transcribe from a third-party system. An integrated system also requires only one menu – the one you choose and you can avoid skyrocketing commissions.
A wise investment in your online ordering system means any customer can place an order in the way that’s most convenient for them — by phone, laptop or from a mobile device anywhere.
Learn more about how Breadcrumb POS by Upserve can take your online ordering to the next level. Submit your information here: join.upserve.com.