With many foodies ordering meals online or taking them to-go instead of dining in, it is more important now than ever to cash in on this type of customer. A software program that makes online food ordering easy adds to your restaurant marketing strategy and helps boost your sales. Here are some ways to attract …
Online Ordering System
Convenience is key when it comes to enjoying a good meal at home. Everyone likes to spend a night in with some delicious restaurant food, but no one wants to spend time on hold when calling in to place an order. You can make it easy for your customers to have the appetizers and entrees …
Turn your customers’ Netflix and chill into a foodie delight! A convenient restaurant order-taking system fulfills many of your customers’ wishes. You can make it easy by offering all your menu items online. They can get your food delivered to them or pick it up on those occasions when they don’t feel like cooking a …
When your customers order over the phone, have you ever noticed that they often feel rushed – and that your employees hurry them through their orders so they can get back to preparing food? Not only will online ordering greatly add to the convenience of your delivery and carry-out ordering process for both your customers and your employees – but it will also increase the amount of food that your customers order as well. Online ordering allows your customers to take their time when they order, and it gives them an online interface so you can push them towards specials, combos, and upsells.
Allow Customers to Take their Time
When your customers order over the phone, they have to speak to one of your employees in order to place your order. Even if your employees are perfectly trained, the stresses and speed of restaurant work means that your customers are going to feel slightly rushed when they order over the phone – so most people that order over the phone have their order together and you don’t have a good opportunity to tell them specials or to convince them to add additional items onto their order. Even companies that have “scripts” for their employees to follow when they answer calls (things like asking if the customer would like to add a desert at a promotional price), the scripts aren’t always followed to the letter – and the over-the-phone transaction can come off as a bit harried and impersonal.
When the option is provided, more than 70% of customers prefer to order online rather than over the phone – a testament to the reduced complexity of ordering online, and the ability for customers to manage their order without feeling rushed. This is even more important when your customers are ordering large orders, such as for catering and parties, and ordering over the phone would take a long time… and still wouldn’t end up being as accurate as if the customer was able to just select from your mobile website or application.
Provide the Whole Menu
According to Matt Maloney, CEO of Grubhub, a majority of food orders in the United States are still placed with paper menus and phone calls. This method of ordering makes it difficult for restaurants to make changes to their menus, since any change would require a re-printing of the entire menu and would confuse patrons that order from the store with the older paper menus. Paper menus are also difficult to navigate quickly, and they can’t be “programmed” like online menus to show specials and to automatically calculate the value of promotions and combos.
Your online ordering process will put your up to date menu right on the mobile devices of your customers – so they can order with confidence, knowing that the prices and the menu items are all correct. You can also create combos, promotions, specials, and discounts – and you can rotate them as you need to, so your menu is never stale and you can respond quickly to what your customers want.
Most restaurant websites fail to deliver the most basic information required by customers. Basic info such as phone number, hours, address, menu, specials are often neglected. Unfortunately many restaurant owners focus on design only, instead of the contents. In many cases, customers can’t even find the menu; even worse, some menus are heavy PDF files that take too long to load or the site is filled with so many graphics which makes the whole site slow. Instead of finding what they need on the website, customers end up seeing a ton of graphics and hear annoying background music. With any website, especially a restaurant website, the following points are important to keep in mind.
- Mobile Website – Nowadays, people access the web from many different devices, not just computers. Websites need be mobile-friendly, which allows smart phone & tablet users to view the site with ease. Site contents should not be heavy and deliver the most necessary & basic information commonly requested by users. Some site homepages are filled with flash animation, music, pictures and more. While this might be easily accessible from computers, but for a mobile device, this is total nightmare. Considering the increasing amount of handheld devices, mobile websites for restaurants are 100% necessary. Restaurant owners, if you don’t have a mobile website you should think about having a mobile website or at least make your existing site mobile friendly.
- Site Contents – The most common mistake found on restaurant websites is the absence of important information pertinent to restaurant customers. Restaurant customers visiting a restaurant’s websites are not there to see how nice the site looks, how many flashy graphics are displayed or what kind of annoying music is playing on the page. They want to see one of the following things, address, phone numbers, and business hours, menu and any specials if they exist. These things must be clearly visible on the homepage or within 1 click. Some pictures showing the design of the restaurants and/or foods are always nice additions, but not necessary.
- Menu – Some websites provide their menu in a PDF file. For a user on a mobile phone or tablet device this will take too long to load. Menus should be on the restaurant website and/or mobile website directly so it loads as fast as possible. The best way to display your menu would be to show it along with an online ordering system, this way your customers not only see what your restaurant is offering, but order directly order from it.
For the best example of restaurant websites, including a mobile website and online ordering system, you can click our demo page here and see the sample of restaurant websites we offer. Restaurant website, mobile website, online ordering system all in one. Low cost monthly fee, no contracts!
Dear Restaurant Owner,
Here’s what your customers has to say…
Like most people I work hard to provide for my family. Some nights I don’t want to cook and in today’s technologically advanced age, the convenience of online ordering is a wonderful thing. Yes while I do have a cell phone, I don’t want to call a restaurant, ask what they have on the menu, ask what’s in specific dishes, all the while trying to remember the names and prices of those that sound interesting. This is the main appeal to a restaurant having its own website. I can see it for myself, get the input of my family and all in less than half the time it would take for me to call them and ask. To make it even easier on me, the customer, to be able to place an order at the same time, now that is a wonderful thing!
Let’s say the restaurant has a website with the menu listed but no way to order. Well now its extra work on my part! I’ve gone out of my way to pull up the company, review the dishes, and now I have to call them just to place my order. What if they get my order wrong? What if my daughter changes her mind at the last minute? As the consumer I want the guarantee that it is right the first time without hoping that whoever took the call didn’t mess it up.
As a restaurant owner you want to get the word out there about the quality of your food, your selections, and your customer service. What better way to do this than letting 247Waiter handles your site and online ordering system? Read the testimonials for yourself and see what others have to say about the service we can provide and how it has improved business for them.
Hungry customers are now provided the option from many innovative and sales-conscious restaurants of placing their meal orders online through their computers or cell phones. Marketing studies have determined that this usually results in larger sales. Restaurant owners and managers have long known that making it easy for customers to order is one of the keys to optimizing food sales, and it doesn’t get much easier than pointing and clicking on an item on a restaurant’s website.
Those who take advantage of convenient online ordering are often busy, time-pressed professionals. Others might be active families with several mouths to feed, couples looking for takeout for a picnic in the park or single people wanting a meal on their way home from work. Whether they’re ordering for dine-in or food to be consumed in-house, those with time constraints especially value the convenience of being able to order easily in advance. This eliminates frustrated wait times at tables in crowded restaurants or standing in long lines at takeout counters.
All of these types of consumers have one thing in common — they’re hungry. Just like how hungry people fill grocery carts fuller, they also purchase more restaurant items. Providing them with an online venue where they can click on pictures of desired entrees and ala-carte offerings creates a situation where they’re ordering more than they actually need. Human beings are visually hard-wired when it comes to primary needs such as food, so looking at tempting photographs will create more desire to eat than reading the descriptive text of even well-written menus.
Restaurant owners can even cut costs on staff by providing customers with an online ordering option. Because the customer is essentially putting in his or her order directly to the kitchen, serving staff can be reduced in establishments where online ordering is a substantial part of how they do business. It also significantly reduces chances of server error in ordering, therefore decreasing costs accrued by food waste and ordering mistakes.
There are three major factors that make online ordering systems beneficial for restaurants, delis and takeout facilities. Convenience is the first; most people like being able to click on a desired item and have it ready for them by the time they arrive at the establishment. Because most people are closely connected to their online electronic devices throughout the course of the day, offering online ordering options simply makes sense for restaurants that want to successfully compete in today’s tough marketplace.
The second factor is hunger. When people are hungry, they want the quickest available option. Hungry people are often also tired or winding down after a busy day. Hungry and tired people love the convenience of clicking on a tempting culinary photograph and having it quickly available for consumption.
The visual element is the third factor involved concerning why this strategy increases food sales. As mentioned before, the senses of most human beings are stimulated by pleasing images, and people are likely to order more food when they’ve got a visual reference.
Many busy restaurants have already increased sales by giving their customers an online ordering option. If you own or manage an eating establishment, you’ll find that implementing such a system will be well worth your time.
The following process is the same for both the web version and mobile version. Screen shots below is for the web version.
1. Restaurant Menu Items
Our restaurant ordering system is simple, yet sophisticated. You can have an unlimited number of food items all divided into their appropriate categories & sub-categories. These will be professionally displayed on your website & online ordering system for your customers to browse and choose from.
See image below:
2. Choosing What to Order
Your customers browse through your menu and choose as many items as they want to order. Our online ordering software is sophisticated, allowing customers to customize their orders and choose exactly what they want. Regardless of what kind of food/menu you have, our software can handle the options and choices your menu requires. For group orders, customers can also specify which menu items are for which members of the group. In addition, there’s a box to type in any special instructions the customer requires.
See image below:
2. Ordering Food
As your customers add restaurant items into the shopping cart (ordering system), a list with all their selections is maintained on the right side of the ordering website. They have the option to edit/delete/update/change options of any specific items directly in the shopping cart. In addition, they will be required to choose whether they would like place an order for “Pick-Up”, “Dine-In” or “Delivery” (Based on your restaurant’s specific settings). After selecting the order for option, they will be required to choose whether they want to place the order for right now (“ASAP”) or schedule it for a later time or date (Great for picking up your food on the way home from work, or placing an order early to pick up during lunch).
See image below:
3. Checking out – Step 1
There are 2 steps in the checkout process. Step 1 is to either login or register on your restaurant ordering system and Step 2 is to actually pay & submit the order. Your customers will have to register once on your website/online ordering system and they can place future orders just by logging in. Customers see a login screen with 2 options – login or join the site.
See login screen below:
3. Checking out – Step 2
Customers who have not ordered before through your restaurant’s online ordering system have to register and provide the following information (See screenshot below). All this information is stored securely and you as the restaurant owner have access to them. You will build a database of your customers and can market to them regularly for additional business.
Registration Screen below:
4. Submitting the Order
This is the last and final screen customers see in order to complete and place their order with your restaurant. They can either choose to “pay online” or “pay in person” (you can limit payment options to either or allow both options). In addition, customers can fully change their order. They can increase/decrease the quantity amounts, special instructions, whether the order is for pick-up, dine-in or delivery. Customers can also add tip amounts to orders.
5. Order Confirmation – Sending to Restaurant
Once order is confirmed (paid for), it is submitted to the restaurant to be filled. Restaurant is first alerted with a text message or an auto phone call letting the restaurant know someone has placed an order online, followed by submitting the order details to the restaurant through email, fax, kitchen printer or any regular printer.
Online Ordering is one of the newest phenomenons to sweep the restaurant industry and is quickly taking over take-out. With all the benefits associated with this process, it’s a wonder that more restaurants have not already implemented online ordering in their restaurant business. This process has revolutionized the way customers can get food to go, and has made ordering hassles a thing of the past. While traditional takeout methods have stood the test of time, everything changes and restaurants that want to keep up with demand, convenience and customer satisfaction need to consider an online ordering system to keep their business up to the standards of competition.
Online ordering eliminates many problems faced by traditional call-in orders. Many times customers are hard to understand, have an accent, or just simply a bad connection. Special instructions can be left out or unclear. Mix-ups and misunderstandings can lead to orders completed incorrectly that leave customers dissatisfied with their take out experience. Since customer satisfaction is the key to repeat business, repeated mistakes can cripple a business’ profits. Online ordering is a clearer, easier way for customers to place their orders to their own specifications, which are then transmitted directly to your restaurant as they are ordered.
See below an order submitted to the restaurant with special instructions:
An online ordering system not only eliminates misunderstandings, but it makes the ordering process much simpler for the customer as well. By having the ability to look at the menu and make their selections, they no longer need to ask what’s available, what side choices are options, or whether or not your restaurant carries a certain product. Customers are free to peruse the menu for as long as necessary before placing their order without tying up valuable time on the phone with one of your employees. Customers can order quickly and efficiently, which means they have to wait less time for their food to be ready. No one likes waiting, although it is a fact of life. Online ordering gives customers the convenience of ordering their meal from home, then driving to the restaurant to pick it up at the scheduled time, with as little waiting as possible.
An example of categories & specials, customers make decision on their own:
In addition to customer simplicity, the process of ordering food to go is much more efficient for the business as well. Without needing to spend a large amount of time on the phone answering questions, waiting for answers to options and delays while customers decide, employees can focus on other tasks, like preparing food, seating dine-in customers and ensuring that the service is up to previously determined standards. Having a menu online also makes up-selling an easy and efficient process that no longer relies on one of your employee’s time and effort. By laying everything out in an online menu, customers are easily able to see all the products and options available, and are more likely to purchase.
Options and up-selling:
There is definitely a reason that more and more restaurants are turning Online ordering to better serve their customers. Many customers would rather order online at their convenience than have to place an order on the phone, and many will gravitate towards businesses that provide this extra convenience in order to ensure their order is correct, quick and delicious. While many chains have already jumped on the online ordering bandwagon, it is predicted that many more will join them in the coming years. The word is out, and customers enjoy the convenience and ease of ordering that was previously missing in the take-out process.
Our solution kills 2 birds with 1 stone. You DON’T need to get both a website and an online ordering solution. With us, you get both in 1 because the site we give you is as a website and an online ordering system. We can add your own domain (“.com”) to it as well.
If your restaurant currently does not have a website, signing up for our restaurant online ordering system will give your restaurant a FREE professionally built restaurant website. We will put together the website for you and match it to your restaurant’s theme and colors. After signing up, just send us your menu and any pictures you’d like on your website. Keep in mind, this website will have an online ordering system built into it, so there’s no need to pay extra fees to set up the restaurant’s online ordering solution.
Both the website and the online ordering system is mobile friendly (web app) and your customers can easily see your menu/place their order either from their computer (PC) or their mobile/tablet devices.