No matter what the situation is in the world, there’s one thing that remains constant – people need to eat. And what’s more, people like to eat good food – maybe they haven’t had to cook themselves. This is where having an online ordering system can give your restaurant or cafe the boost it needs during these uncertain times.
Even when COVID-19 Pandemic isn’t keeping everyone safely at home, having a restaurant online ordering system is a profitable decision – A lot of feedbacks from consumers say it will rather save them the stress and time. Currently, delivery is the only way for many restaurants to keep serving their hungry customers. If you’re looking to maintain or even top up your business’ income, we’re here to help you get started.
There are three main ways you can set up a restaurant online ordering system:
- Use your own website,using a website builder or WordPress to process orders.
- Use a third party online ordering app, such as Uber Eats.
- Use a third party online ordering app combined with a POS system,such as CAKE
1. Using your Own Website
An online ordering system that lives on your website allows customers to order takeout and delivery from you directly, which means you keep all the revenue. But you also get all the work which include providing menus and accepting orders from your customers. You will be needing a connection to the internet, a website building platform, and a team to deal with orders as they come through. To set it up, build your own restaurant website using a website builder or wordpress, set up deliveries and payments, then launch your site. To get started with WordPress, you need to a find web hosting first – then you can start building. You have total control over your website, from security to design, but this also means WordPress requires more maintenance than a website builder.
- Using a Third Party Online Ordering App
Here, you can use online ordering apps such as GrubHub or Uber Eats. They house an extensive list of restaurants, sorted by location and food type, so that customers can browse and order from individual menus on their phone or desktop. A customer places an order, the app forwards the order to you, then their delivery service takes the food to the customer. You will be needing just the basic information about your restaurant for the sign-up form, such as your location, cuisine type, and estimated number of weekly orders. To set it up, go to your chosen app and fill out your restaurant’s details to get started! In this there’s usually no upfront cost, but the app takes a cut of each transaction.
Here’s how it works once you’re partnered with a third-party delivery app:
- Once set up, customer orders will go through the app.
- The order will be forwarded to you – someone will need to accept the order on the app’s tablet – so you can prepare the correct dishes.
- You’ll also need to manually enter the order into your own POS.
- Then, one of the app’s delivery drivers will arrive to take the food to the customer.
The main drawback to using a third party app is that they take a cut of your earnings. Some apps, like Uber Eats, also charge a one-time starter or “activation” fee before also taking a service fee as a percentage of your orders. Still, the convenience of using a third party app can’t be denied – if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to start your restaurant online ordering system, this is a winner!
- Use a third party online ordering app combined with a POS system
Here you use a third party online ordering app, along with an integrated POS system such as CAKE or Checkmate. A customer places an order; the app then forwards the order to you, which is entered automatically into your POS without a member of staff having to manually transfer the order. You will be needing an account with a third party app, and one with a POS integration app. Simply go to your chosen integration app, such as Checkmate, and enter your details to get in touch and get started. The cost depends – Checkmate costs $85 per month, while CAKE costs around $69 per month.
If you’re planning on using multiple third party apps, or are trying to manage a boatload of orders, then combining third party online ordering apps with POS integration will give you total convenience.
This is where you use an integration app – such as Cake or Checkmate – to act as the middle-man between your third-party app (like Uber Eats) and your POS.
You and your customers get convenient online ordering that’s easy and streamlined on both sides of the transaction – but at a slightly higher cost. But if you have the volume, the convenience points are worth it.
The Importance of Online Ordering Systems
- More customers
- More sales
- More efficient ordering and paying
- A better customer service
How to Prepare For Online Orders
- Think Local
Your regular customers might be pining away for your delicious dishes – so let them know you’re delivering! You can do this by posting on social media, or by putting a sign up in your window for people to spot on their daily walk
Also do some research on the top delivery apps in your area. Some are more popular than others in different locales, so it’s worth jumping on the most used apps to attract more customers. You should try that out.
- Prepare Your Staff
Mostly, Usually, restaurants have to balance online orders with in-house customers – but with many establishments currently closed to the public, you’re unlikely to have to deal with that right now.
Still, it’s a good idea to give staff clear roles and responsibilities to help keep the orders flowing and maximize efficiency. Confusion around the process and job roles will lead to mistakes and delays, so make sure everyone is happy with the new system.
- Optimize Your Menu
Think about the food you serve, and what you can realistically manage to send out. You might want to offer a condensed version of your usual menu to make it easier for your team – maybe slim it down to the classic customer favorites, or dishes you think will be easy to eat at home.
- Go Social
Take your system to social platforms. Create pages and groups on Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter etc. They go a long way in publicizing your system.
- Advertise it all
Google adverts and Facebooks ads on pages will help a lot in publicizing your online restaurant. They inform the masses about what you have to offer. Going for an adverts will boost the number of customers patronizing which will result to lots of revenue.