Restaurants are now adjusting to the new normal and online ordering is paving the path to success for many restaurants. Dine-in income has dropped by over half and as a result, numerous eateries have closed or are considering transitioning to online ordering. Online ordering is a lifeline for restaurants these days, and it’s difficult to argue against the advantages of having an in-house online restaurant ordering system.
Online restaurant ordering systems aren’t only a product of COVID-19. They first emerged some years before the pandemic. Takeout, drive-through, and delivery accounted for 60% of all restaurant and foodservice sales in October 2019, according to the National Restaurant Association. However, in light of our new reality, online ordering is now a must rather than a choice. During the pandemic, many restaurants wholeheartedly embraced online ordering, and they recognize that it’s here to stay, even as on-premise consumption returns to normal levels. Despite significant challenges, restaurant owners and staff embraced it wholeheartedly over the past year.
As a restaurant owner, you probably are already convinced of the need of offering your customer the convenience of online ordering. An in-house online ordering solution connected with your point of sale system, on the other hand, has numerous significant advantages. These benefits include the opportunity to collect data on individual consumers, the capacity to customize the user experience and interface, and, most crucially, the option to keep 100% of the earnings from delivery meals, rather than paying a third party a cut of up to 15-30%.
In House Online Restaurant Ordering System – The Basics
In this blog, we aim to guide you in getting your in-house online restaurant ordering system up and running.
1. Restaurant Website
The first thing you need is a website from where your customers can reach you and order food. Customers place orders directly on your restaurant’s website, and you keep track of payments, pickups, and orders as they come in. As a restaurant owner, you have complete control over your restaurant’s online ordering and pickup/delivery experience, including the menu, price, and delivery area.
Your website can also link visitors to multiple social media handles to drive engagement and referrals. Receiving and handling customer orders online means your company keeps all of the earnings instead of paying delivery or hosting costs to a third-party delivery provider.
2. Third-Party Apps
Customers can browse and order from specific menus right on their phones or laptops using third-party online ordering applications like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub, which provide a comprehensive list of restaurants categorized by location and cuisine type. Also called aggregators, these platforms act as a virtual food hall, putting you in front of hungry clients in your region who are eager to buy.
While some of these apps focus on pre-ordered takeaways that consumers pick up, many also enable independent contractors to transport meals from your restaurant straight to the client, saving you the time and money of hiring, training, and paying for that labour.
3. POS System
A Point Of Sale system is the best way to take online orders and also keep track of them. When directly linked to the restaurant website, POS can take orders without any manual work and send them to the kitchen to get prepared. A POS system also tells you the time estimated for the preparation and the delivery.
If you plan to utilize many online ordering applications and manage a large number of orders, integrating them via a POS system will help you automate your ordering process. You won’t have to manually enter orders into your POS since integration takes care of it for you, saving you time and reducing mistakes.
Make sure your third-party takeout app is linked to your POS system with adequate firewall protection to secure your data. Appoint someone who can keep a close eye on your online orders, pay attention to your POS inventory, and communicate with the kitchen to ensure that items are removed when they are no longer available.
Reasons To Adopt In-House Online Restaurant Ordering System
Here are the reasons why you should get an in house online restaurant ordering system.
1. More Profits
There’s a reason why customers choose to purchase through mobile applications or online. Customers are more likely to go through all of your menu selections when they are not under pressure to complete their purchase and they may even spend more than they would have otherwise. Guests nowadays have more time to linger over a menu for minutes, if not hours, while planning and anticipating on their own. With no one in front of them, your customers will not feel pressed to make quick decisions, and they will be more likely to order that extra menu item.
The majority of third-party aggregators charge large fees ranging from 20% to 28% on each order done through their platforms, which is a significant income loss. The commission frequently dilutes the rise in revenue owing to the increased number of orders received via these apps. With online ordering, you make more profit and your customers are also likely to be happy as they are safe and sound and getting their favourite dishes.
In any restaurant, whether an order is accepted over the phone or in person, miscommunication can occur. When you have a busy kitchen and high inbound order volumes, your staff can also get stressed and make more mistakes. With online ordering, your staff and your customers both are satisfied and happy.
One of the advantages of restaurant online ordering is that the consumer has more control. When the customer is in charge, they have a better grasp of what they are doing. There’s no risk of a mix-up because everything is recorded automatically in your POS system. This is especially crucial for those with allergies or dietary restrictions. Many online ordering systems have simple, unambiguous checkboxes for indicating allergies, making it easier for kitchen personnel to make necessary adjustments.
3. Customer service
You have total control over the online ordering experience, from the look and feel of your menu to how the item is packed and delivered when you have an in-house online ordering system. Even if the order is placed through a third-party app, customers frequently blame the restaurant for a delivery delay or the condition in which the meal is delivered. You can customize the pick-up experience by properly educating your workers and ensuring that the food is wrapped in correct containers and handed over at the proper temperature.
You can even use your POS system to collect customer data like names, birthdays and offer discounts that are customized exclusively for them. As a restaurant owner, customers are your priority, and making them happy is critical to ensuring their loyalty. With customer data, you can also strengthen your marketing strategy while retaining existing consumers and generating repeat orders.
In the current times, the safest way for your customers to enjoy your food and hospitality is through online ordering. Make sure your online buying system is set up to turn first-time customers into repeat customers, especially once the COVID-19 situation has passed. Check to see if you’re getting the most out of each purchase.
Because of the influence of online food delivery on restaurants, owners are forced to choose between advertising their establishment on food delivery portals and choosing the best online ordering system for them. If you have clients who are registered on third-party applications and want to transfer them to your website, encourage them by giving loyalty rewards, meals that are only accessible on your website, unique pricing reductions, and other incentives. Customers are encouraged and eager to support local companies now more than ever.