Online Ordering

Restaurant Online Ordering for College Campus

5 Great Reasons to Deliver Food to College Campuses

It is almost a cultural cliché that college students are always starving and broke, so many restaurants ignore college campuses when they are looking outward for expansion of their delivery programs.  Believe it or not, college campuses represent some of the most concentrated markets for certain types of delivery food – and many restaurants find that delivering a limited menu to local college campuses can exponentially increase their order volume when college is in session. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to advertise your delivery options to a college campus near you, these five stats and tips might change your mind.

College Students are twice as likely to use Social Media as the General Population

When a college student has a great meal, or places an order for something to eat, they are more than twice as likely as the rest of your target market to go to their social media networks to place an update. Whether you are looking to expand your presence on Facebook (still the most commonly used social media network in the world) or upstarts like Foursquare and Yelp, college students will become your best friends if you can provide prompt and professional service.

Many college students even use social media as their primary “research” tool when they are making buying decisions – so a single review on the social media page of a well-liked college student can translate into dozens of orders for your company, or even your selection for catering projects and large institutional orders.  Of course, if you don’t deliver to your local college campus, you’ll never break into this close-knit social referral community.

Young People develop their buying/eating habits during college

According to the US News and World Report, up to a third of all college students will settle, work, and ultimately live in the city that they went to college in – and they will continue to frequent many of the same restaurants and establishments that they used during their college years. Your ability to cultivate a future audience for your restaurant is dependent on your ability to bring in college students – showing them the variety of cuisine that you offer, and guiding their tastes and their appreciation for fine dining.

This tip is particularly important if you are an “upper budget” restaurant that doesn’t typically do a lot of business with budget-conscious college students. It might be worth investing in a limited delivery menu that you advertise specifically for delivery to colleges – “hooking” college students on your food and your brand, and gradually upselling them to your fancier fine-dining options by the time they graduate and start working locally. For example, a fine Italian restaurant might consider offering pasta deliveries to college campuses during exam time as a great revenue-boosting marketing stunt.

College students might be broke… but their parents aren’t

While there are certainly exceptions, the average college student has parents that are 40% wealthier than the national average.  Aside from paying their children’s college loans and giving them money for textbooks and tuition, these parents also take an active interest in their young students’ lives – and they frequently visit campus for formal events and to check on their kids. When parents are in town, students always go out into the city for their meals – since they use their parents’ arrival as their chance to have a nice dinner without being on the hook for the bill.

When students are doing their research for a nice restaurant to take their parents to, their mobile devices will be the first place that they look.  A good advertising campaign on a local college campus, coupled with a delivery program that exposes a large number of students to your food, can put you out ahead of the competition when graduation and alumni events roll around and your restaurant fills up with parents and students.

College Students have Limited Mobility

Many a sports bar and casual dining restaurant has opened up within two or three miles of a college campus, only to be disappointed with the paltry in-restaurant crowds that they receive from the schools. No matter how perfectly priced and designed your menu is, you’ll have trouble filling the seats of your restaurant with college students because of their low mobility. Only a small percentage of college students have cars on campus – so they usually only go to restaurants that they can walk to. College students would much rather order their food online using their mobile devices or computers, and have the food delivered to campus where they can share it with their non-car-owning friends – all without having to take an hour or two out of their day to walk to a restaurant nearby. If you don’t offer delivery to your local college campuses, you’re missing out on as much as 70% of the potential orders that you could receive from students.

College Orders are Highly Seasonal

As every restaurant owner knows, it is far easier to adjust the scale of a delivery or take-out business than to adapt to seasonal demands for a large sit-down restaurant. Offering delivery to college campuses allows you to tap the high demand around exam time and during the school year, without leaving you on the hook for massive facility expenses and staff fees during the summer when the orders from the college campuses dry up. Many popular delivery-only restaurants hire the majority of their staffs from college campuses – allowing them to adjust their workforce and their order volume along with the return of the students in the fall.

The best times to offer delivery specials to college students are in the fall (during move-in, when college students are too busy with campus events and socializing to go out to restaurants) and during the very end of each semester, when meal plans start to run out and students are looking for alternatives to their food that they’ve been eating all year.

How Does Our Online Ordering System Work?

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.


Benefits of an Online Ordering System

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.


FREE Website for Your Restaurant

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.

What your restaurant website can look like:
(click image to view the sample restaurant website)

1) Demo Mediterranean Site


2) Demo Pizza / Italian Restaurant Site


3) Asian Restaurant Site


4) Burger / Fast Food Restaurant Site


5) Cupcakes / Bakery Site