How can you serve more customers without investing a fortune adding more space to your restaurant?
You may have decided to implement some digital marketing strategies, strategies like building an elegant website or setting up your social media pages to attract new clients.
But once the traffic is there on your website, the next logical step is implementing an online menu and ordering system.
Sounds good, but do you know where to begin? If not, don’t worry. When choosing the right ordering and menu platform, there are a few things you should look at. Here is a full guide to the questions you should be asking for integrating your online ordering service.
What are the benefits from having an online ordering system?
These online platforms are a great asset for any restaurant own to have, and the reasons are simple.
- Customers can order on the go, allowing them to pick up and enjoy their food faster.
- Because ordering online is more convenient to your customers, it helps to increase the number of customers you can service.
- It allows customers to customize orders without the fear of the servers getting them wrong.
Should I get an integrated take out system for my website or should I enter my menu into a third-party service?
While there are pro’s and con’s to both, we have found that it truly is best to integrate the system directly into your website. With applications that flow directly into your POS system and offer customized options, integrating a menu and ordering system into your site gives you more control than a third-party site.
Best of all, you are in control of any and all advertising that occurs through the system. With several third-party sites, you could easily have advertisements for other companies, or even competitors, that appear right on the ordering screens. Why pay a third-party to advertise someone else’s menu when you are trying to get customers to order from you?
Can this system look like how I want it?
When vetting online menu and ordering systems, it is important that the user interface looks and feels the way you want. Make sure that you get a platform that allows for customization both on the design side and the functionality side.
Here are some generic features for consideration:
- It needs to blend in into your website design.
- It needs to be responsive so it works well on smart phones.
- Some system has the option to get a smartphone app as well, but usually for an extra charge.It is an important decision, especially if have more than one location, this feature might make sense for you.
- Promotional options and possibilities.
- Of course, different systems will come with a different price tag. In some cases, they charge a fixed amount for the usage of the ordering system, and in some other cases, your fee is a percentage based on the amount of traffic you have.
How do the orders come in when placed online?
This is important. The last thing you want to do is to have to fill another full time position just to process orders.
We only work with online ordering systems which integrates directly into your restaurant’s POS. What does it mean? It means that you get a “virtual waitress” who enters the orders for the kitchen just like if it came from the front of the house.
You will not have to monitor your emails to get these orders. You will not have to answer extra phone calls. You will not get text messages to your private phone about these orders. It is set up to work and blend in with your existing ordering chain and workflow.
Do I have to buy a new POS device or any special hardware for the online ordering system?
If you don’t want to break the bank with your new integrated menu and ordering system, this is an important question.
If you have a standard POS that has Internet connection capabilities, then most likely there are online ordering systems available for you to choose from. Also, it will work with your existing printers and other equipment.
Our staff has to run the customers’ card when they come to pick up their orders?
There is no need to do that. By the time you see an order, it is already paid by the customer.
The real good news is that there will be no extra burden on your side. No time consuming training is necessary for your staff. The online food ordering works as a virtual staff member entering the orders to your POS system. The takeout system will blend in to the existing workflow of your restaurant.
Can I make updates to the ordering menu on-the-fly?
What happens if you are having a really busy night and you run out of that special dish everyone has been wanting?
Easy. Once you mark any item “out of stock” in your POS, it will be carried over to the online system at the same moment. There no need to log in to the online ordering system and do this manually.
Can we set up our coupons and promotions in the online ordering?
Accepting Coupons, running promotions, and processing gift cards are life blood to many restaurants. Ensure your capabilities of handling these and more changes when going through the selection process for your ordering system.
Every system we work with can handle promotions. We can set up your in-house promotions for you, but also special ones, which only available for the online orders. For example, if you want to run a discount on appetizers between 3 and 7pm on every first Wednesday of the month, then we will set up your system to run those specials automatically. There is no need to manually turn them on and off.
Can I set up multiple menus?
If you serve different menus during different times of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), this option would be essential for you.
Most system allows you to create special menus based on the day of the week or the time of the day. We can even create a specific menu for the online ordering. These menus will be scheduled to appear automatically on the right day at the right time.
Start Taking Orders
Now that you know the questions you need to ask when choosing your online menu and ordering system, you can start the selection process. However, we know that there are many systems from which you can choose. That’s why we are here to help.
Your friends at Epic Marketing Partners are ready to filter through the maze of system developers to find the perfect fit for your restaurant.
Since we are unbiased and solely dedicated to help you get the most out of your ordering platform, you can rest easy knowing that we will do all the heavy lifting for you.
We’ll even help you get the system setup and customized just the way you want it!
Contact us today for a FREE consultation!
What is your biggest concern with an ordering system? Ask your questions below.