With so many options on the market, choosing the right restaurant online ordering system can seem like a daunting challenge. Before you get started, however, consider the features and capabilities that your platform must have in order for you to grow your business.
Does it Enable Pickup?
“Click-and-collect” has been popular with restaurant customers for years and for good reason. People love convenience; they love being able to place an order at their own leisure and fetch their food when it fits into their schedules. Be sure your online ordering system includes this feature. Pick-up orders use fewer of your resources, too, while maximizing sales.
What’s more, some ordering systems let you customize how you receive orders: via email, text message or printed out (in addition to displaying them on your POS). By choosing the method that works best for your kitchen operations, you can process orders smoothly and keep backlogs to a minimum.
Does it Facilitate Delivery?
Delivery is the “yin” to the click-and-collect “yang.” Whether you employ your own delivery drivers or partner with a third-party service, your restaurant ordering system must be able to manage delivery orders. Consumers from all walks of life — from the harried working mom to the no-time-to-cook millennial — embrace the ease and convenience of placing delivery orders. Many consumers will choose a restaurant over competitors specifically because it offers delivery.
Is There Easy Menu Setup and Installation?
Look for a restaurant ordering system that makes menu setup and installation a snap. The faster you can get up and running, the better — because you’ll be that much closer to quicker orders and simplified upselling. Does your system work out of the box or require customizations?
Does It Automate Marketing?
This is where online ordering systems really start to shine. With the right platform, you can start to do email and text message marketing campaigns with your customers, driving traffic to your restaurant and increasing interest in your business. In addition, these software systems should include a module that helps you manage a loyalty program to encourage and reward repeat customers.
Can Customers Order on Mobile Devices?
This one is critical. As customers use their smartphones more for commerce, they’re increasingly comfortable ordering food with just a tap or a swipe. If you don’t have mobile ordering on your online ordering system, you may be missing out on major revenue.
Mobile ordering functionality optimizes your traditional website for maximum usability on small screen sizes. You also can create a dedicated mobile application that your customers can download and use to place orders with you anywhere, anytime.
Is There a Good Support and Service Plan?
In case you run into any issues down the road, it’s important to have a solid service and support plan. After all, every minute your system is down translates into lost sales. A good restaurant online ordering system will come with a dedicated troubleshooting team to assist with any snafus along the way. These service and support solutions give you the confidence that an online ordering system is a safe and smart investment.
These six features should be your biggest priorities when evaluating online ordering systems. Selecting the right platform is an important — and indispensable — step in growing revenue from online ordering.