Checklist: 13 Steps to Build a Perfect Restaurant Online Ordering System
The food business can be rough. If you’re like most owners in this hyper-competitive industry, you’re always looking for any easy way to boost your restaurant profits. Well, good news! You can easily achieve this with a restaurant online ordering system.
Online ordering systems are doing wonders for quick serve restaurants (QSR) and other hospitality businesses around the world.
Many merchants using the technology already experience a huge boost in their average order sizes, customer loyalty and operational efficiency.
“68% of consumers consider ordering online the most important aspect of restaurant technology.”
As a QSR, are you ready for a piece of that pie?
Accepting orders online is not just a simple substitution for traditional in-person purchasing, but rather, a separate avenue to enhance the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer.
With this in mind, just follow this 13 point checklist to build the perfect online ordering system for any restaurant, and start raking in the profits.
Save Time + Increase Efficiency
1. Increase Your Restaurant’s Exposure
The first step to doubling restaurant profits with restaurant online ordering system comes down to basic business math: The more places your products are available to purchase, the more chances you have to make sales.
Simply put, to increase profits, you must increase your restaurant’s exposure.
In today’s Digital Age, more and more business is taking place online. 50.8% of the world’s population is online.
This means there are over 4 billion internet users.
With this much business taking place online, and with a millennial market increasingly leaning more and more on delivery and mobile ordering, it is crucial to the success of restaurant to have an online food ordering website.
2. Reduce Payroll Expenses
If more of your business shifts to online ordering, that means you will need to spend less in payroll and associated taxes.
By lowering your payroll expenses, you increase your profit margins, and therefore, your chances of double restaurant profits.
The fewer people you have to keep on your payroll, the greater your chances of doubling your current profits.
3. Reduce Time Employees Spend Taking Orders
Restaurant staff and customers benefit from increased efficiency when restaurants take digital orders.
Customer satisfaction will grow as they are able to avoid jammed phone lines and irritating background noise.
Fewer phone calls means your staff on the floor can devote more time to the customers in house.
On average, 75 percent of phone orders take more than a minute, and 30 percent take longer than three minutes.
Imagine how much time your hospitality business could save by allowing customers to order online! This is a huge time-sink that can be avoided by integrating online food ordering platform.
4. Encourage Repeat Restaurant Customers
Restaurant technology also influences how guests experience your restaurant, which can determine whether they become a repeat customer.
The easier you can make it for your customer to order their favorite meals, the more convenient you can make the process, the more they will order food from you.
Restaurant online ordering system, ultimately, has an additive effect throughout QSR industry.
Mobile ordering platforms are proven to increase customer loyalty, increase the frequency of purchases, and even increase the average ticket sizes by offering customizations and easier checkout options.
The smoother a restaurant makes the customer experience, the more likely that customer is to come back to eat again, and again, and again.
This built-in convenience of restaurant online ordering system is proven to increase customer loyalty, and therefore, your restaurant’s profit.
Increase Profit Margin for Restaurant
These days, everyone is used to ordering food online.
There are many established ordering platforms for restaurant owners to choose from, but sometimes these sites can include fees, which can be exorbitant.
Often the big corporate restaurant online ordering websites can charge as much as 30% per order.
If you are a quick service restaurant struggling to turn a profit, these fees can make it hard to maximize your restaurant profit. However, for a creative restaurant owner, there are ways around this which can ultimately double your profit:
5. Sell on Your Own Online Ordering Website to Avoid Extra Fees
As a restaurant owner, just imagine if you could capture all of your orders internally!
An order placed on your own site will bring in more revenue than an order placed on a 3rd party site.
If there is a way that you are able to avoid paying 30% of every dollar that you bring in to a corporate giant, you must do that – if doubling your profits is your ultimate goal.
By handling online ordering on your own platform, you can keep the 30% normally charged by larger corporate aggregated online ordering sites.
6. Add a Promo Code to Your Restaurant Receipts
Here’s an example:
A restaurant owner takes an order, for example, through Seamless or Grubhub.
But now, they include a sales promotion on the order receipt. Or even, an employee simply drops in a note or promo card into the takeout bag with the order.
This note could offer the customer “30% off your next order – if you order through us with code LOCAL!”
This way, you are leveraging the reach of established ordering platforms, like Seamless, Uber Eats or Grubhub, but now you are using their system to direct customers back to YOUR online ordering site.
If this customer gets this promotion, and going forward, placing their order in your online ordering system, your profit margins will increase significantly!
7. Acquire Email Addresses to Use in Remarketing
Another easy avenue to increased restaurant revenue is capturing email addresses and contact information, supplied when a customer orders.
In 2017, global email users amounted to 3.7 billion users.
What’s more, recent studies show that 73% of Millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication.
If you are trying to double restaurant profits, then this is exactly where you need to place your marketing efforts.
While you are still using the corporate giants, you can leverage their power to increase your future profits by driving everything back to your own online delivery system.
Every email entered in a 3rd party online food ordering platform can be incorporated into your restaurant marketing.
With these collected email addresses you can:
- Email customers discount codes or promotional offers
- Direct customers to follow your restaurant on social media
- Encourage customers to visit your location on specific days to drive foot traffic
- Build customer profiles of repeat restaurant orders
Sync with your POS
If your restaurant serves both in a physical location, and online, it’s crucial that your restaurant online ordering system syncs with your POS.
Every retailer or small business is different. Perhaps you’re a brick and mortar boutique that doesn’t have much of an online presence. Maybe you’re not happy with your existing ecommerce platform.
Doubling your restaurant profits means lowering your overhead costs.
An important step toward achieving this level of efficiency is syncing your restaurant online ordering system with your point of sale.
By syncing eHopper POS with your eCommerce store, you guarantee that you are reaching your customers at the right points of your sales pipeline.
8. Sync your inventory between POS and restaurant online ordering system
This means that when you sell something in-person at your store, the inventory available online is updated.
This prevents you from over (or under) selling items between the two platforms.
We understand that every retailer or small business is different.
Perhaps you’re a brick and mortar sandwich shop that doesn’t have much of an online presence.
Maybe you already handle online delivery system through Seamless or Grubhub and you’re can’t keep up with the associated fees.
Maybe you’re not sure how to leverage these tools to increase sales over the holiday season.
If you fall into groups like this, there could be gaps in your retail strategy, and it might be time to consider Omnichannel.
An omnichannel retail strategy is an approach to sales and marketing that provides customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience by uniting user experiences from brick-and-mortar to mobile-browsing and everything in between.
This combines your mobile POS system with your online food ordering software. This synergy allows you to be in the best position to double your profits. It’s just that simple.
eHopper offers an Omnichannel Plan that seamlessly integrates restaurant inventory, customer information, reporting, and employee management.
By syncing eHopper POS with your restaurant online ordering system, you can ensure that you are reaching your customers at the right points of your sales pipeline. eCommerce, search engine optimization, email marketing, stock controls, and loyalty programs – eHopper offers the perfect solution double restaurant profits.
9. Use proper POS reporting metrics
Without the proper reporting metrics in place, a restaurant owner will never have an accurate picture of their business health.
By syncing your POS system with restaurant online ordering system, you will be able to have a snapshot of:
- What items are top sellers
- Which products cost your restaurant the most money to prepare
- What products sell the most, during what shift
- Which day of the week is best for your restaurant orders.
Analyzing this information, and taking actions based on the results, is one of the easiest ways toward doubling restaurant profits.
10. Establish a customer management program
Combining your point of sale with restaurant online ordering system allows a restaurant to establish a customer management program.
Establishing a customer management or loyalty program allows a restaurant to develop a snapshot of their customers.
By providing personalized customer service, restaurants can increase customer satisfaction, leading to repeat visits and higher profits.
Online ordering platforms allow a restaurant owner to:
- Easily deliver to customer’s location through printed address on receipt
- Easily repeat order with customer order history
- Send marketing material to customer based on personal information gathered
- Focus your promotional deals or marketing materials on items customer typically buys
Increase Restaurant Traffic
Everything goes through Google, these days. More and more consumers are turning to their phones and the internet to not only find food, but order it – either ahead or delivered to a specific location.
With restaurant online ordering system, you will be able to double your restaurant profit, by simply leveraging this proven digital exposure.
11. Create URL with Your Restaurant Name
With this in mind, if you want to double your restaurant’s profits, you HAVE to be available for online ordering. If you want to double your profits, the best practice is to have a healthy search ranking.
The easiest way to assure that you show up for these searches, and the only way to make sure that you are capturing some of this valuable traffic, is to set up a simple online ordering system for your quick serve restaurant.
Branding a URL with your company’s name, and hosting the site online, means your restaurant has an address with which to found on the worldwide web. This is the first step to using restaurant online ordering system double your cash intake.
Your URL should include the name of your restaurant, and be simple and easy for a user to remember.
12. Configure Your Restaurant in Google My Business
“Google My Business” is a powerful tool which lets a merchant modify how your restaurant’s site is seen, as well as, how it displays in Google results.
More importantly, it previews how your site appears in primary search results, Google+, Maps, and the Knowledge Graph.
For a quick serve restaurant, setting up Google My Business is crucial.
This listing go increase your profit, not only by bolstering your online presence, but also by increasing foot traffic into your physical location. If you submit this information to Google, a person searching for “food near me” is much more likely to see your hours, address, reviews, and many other valuable insights that can lead to converting these people into customers.
13. Use keywords best suited for your restaurant category
In ordering to maximize your search engine optimization (SEO), there are a few things to consider when trying to get your QSR in the best position possible to make more money.
Important searches like “food near me,” or “food that delivers around me,” or cuisine specific information like “Chinese food,” or “bagels,” are all crucial to the amount of money you are able to make at your restaurant.
In fact,according to a recent study of people who searched for food and beverage terms,35% did so on their phone.
These “what do I eat?” moments happen most at the start of the week, when people may be planning meals, making grocery lists, or re-devoting themselves to healthy eating after an indulgent weekend.
On average, searches for food across devices peak on Mondays, and slowly decline throughout the week until interest reaches its lowest point on Fridays.
A QSR looking to double their profits need to ensure they have done everything possible to optimize their search results.
Conclusion – eHopper Omnichannel offers all of this
To review the checklist for doubling your restaurant profits with restaurant online ordering system:
- Increase Your Restaurant’s Exposure
- Reduce Your Payroll Expenses
- Reduce Time Employee Take Orders
- Encourage Repeat Restaurant Customers
- Sell on Your Own Online Ordering Website to Avoid Extra Fees
- Add a Promo Code to Your Restaurant Receipts
- Acquire Email Addresses to Use in Remarketing
- Sync your inventory between POS and Online Ordering
- Use proper POS reporting metrics
- Establish a customer management program
- Create URL with Your Restaurant Name
- Configure Your Restaurant in Google My Business
- Use keywords best suited for your restaurant category
If you realize you can’t check off most of this list, there are gaps in your restaurant business strategy.
It might be time to consider an Omnichannel approach.
An omnichannel strategy is an approach to sales and marketing that provides customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience by uniting user experiences from brick-and-mortar to mobile-browsing and everything in between.
eHopper offers an Omnichannel Plan that seamlessly integrates inventory, customer information, reporting, and employee management.
Sign up today for a free trial of eHopper’s Omnichannel Plan.
Thanks for this comprehensive checklist. I think that it would be also good idea to create a restaurant online ordering app that can help to improve customer loyalty.
Thank you for your idea. It would be a good option for those people who prefer to order food via food delivery apps.
Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing it. How much would it cost to create an online ordering website for a small restaurant?
Thank you for adding comment! eHopper offers a complete eCommerce solution. Contact us at email@example.com to learn more about our pricing or check out more info here https://ehopper.com/pricing/
Good article, thank you. Implementing an online food ordering system is very important for my restaurant to stay competitive.