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5 things restaurants must consider before choosing an online ordering system

Jul 27, 2020 12:29:49 PM

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Needless to say there are a tonne of online ordering solutions out there. So the key question is how do you really decide which one to choose.

In this post I will give you five things to consider before you really invest on an online ordering system.

#1: Order delivery:

The first thing to look out for in any online ordering system is to check how the actual order is delivered to the restaurant. Most online ordering providers give you the option of delivering the order via email, sometimes they even offered to call you over the phone to inform the order.

A handful of providers give you a tablet, on which you could actually receive the order and even less gives an actual kitchen printer, which will not only display the order, but also print the docket for you.

If you are a busy restaurant, having just a tablet is not enough, you definitely need a docket. So the first thing to look out for in any online ordering system is to check if you if they actually give you a printer which will print the order for your kitchen.

#2: Admin Portal

The next thing to look out for is the admin portal.

When you choose an online ordering system, it is so easy to look at the marketing material on the website. While it’s way too easy to just ignore the backend, the admin portal is essential for you in many respects: 

  1. check your order history 
  2. to make any updates to your menu
  3. create and manage promotions 
  4. manage customer database etc ...

If the provider hasn’t sufficiently invested on the backend, then there’s no point in buying a flashy online ordering system just for the sake of it, because sooner or later you’re going to feel the fact that your are not in control of your online ordering system. You have just bought a static website and it wouldn't last long. 

#3: Maintenance and support

Because you are online ordering system defines your customer's experience of interacting with you online, which is becoming ever more important considering the Covid situation and also given the fact that more people are ordering online now-a-days, you definitely have to sign up for the product which just got a proven track record of maintenance and have got good support.

The easiest way to check this is to look at the release history of the product or to look out for recent updates. A good system should have at least a couple of updates every month. 

The last thing you want is for a customer not being able to place an order and you don’t have anyone to talk to. When it comes to online ordering systems, reliability is the key, just make sure that you are signing up with a player with proven track record of providing reliable ordering systems for considerable number of clients.

#4: Mobile ordering experience

I cannot overstate the importance of the online ordering experience on a mobile device. Most customers are using their mobile phones to place food order, so before you make the choice, check how the product works on a mobile phone and also try to place a few orders to experience firsthand how the product functions on a mobile device.

A majority of online ordering systems are simply made for bigger screens and  doesn’t really give superior experience on mobile phones.

#5: Loyalty program

One of the main reasons why you would want to have your own online ordering system is to make sure your customers order directly with you, and it makes sense to have some feature that will help retain the customers and make sure they come back for more.

A killer loyalty program is key to customer retention, so if you’re investing on an online ordering system, you might as well find something that has a good loyalty program built-in. At the end of the day if you have to run a successful business, then you have to maximise the the life time value (LTV) of a customer.

Acquiring a new customer is one thing and retaining him is a totally different ballgame. So look out for a nice loyalty program to compliment your online ordering system. It definitely goes a long way in improving your bottom line.

Bonus (for Pizza shops only):

If you’re a pizza shop owner, definitely look for the ability to place half-and-half orders. Because it is really challenging to implement half-and-half's and most online ordering system doesn’t get it right. So always make sure you could place a half and half order on your online ordering system otherwise your customers are simply going to hate it.

Hope this post helps you choose the right online ordering system for your restaurant. At Restoplus, ordering online is at the heart of what we do. If you’re looking for one, check out our product or talk to our sales team for more information.

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Nish Sowdri
Written by Nish Sowdri

As the founder and CTO of Restoplus our objective is to make mobile apps affordable for restaurant owners

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