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5 Key ingredients to online ordering software for restaurants

by | Jan 21, 2016

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”1165″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]When it comes to the restaurant industry, online ordering software is much more (or should be) than your typical everyday installed computer software. As nice as it sounds, there is no “set it and forget it” easy button for a good online ordering system. It’s a demanding industry where customers have high expectations and little patience for error. The term HANGRY was coined, written about and tweeted millions of times in the past year or so for good reason.

So what’s the solution? How does one keep customers happy, keep the direct online orders rolling in and feed the masses with the food tech they desire?

Here is what we believe to be 5 key ingredients to a successful online ordering platform that every restauranteur should highly consider before purchasing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1185″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Online Ordering Software with Customer Service

This is a big one and purposely placed at the top of our list. There are a couple of scenarios that could determine the level of service you can expect from your online ordering platform of choice. If for example you have a free online ordering system that connects directly to your website, then your customer service level is going to be on par with what you pay for it, zilch. You will be responsible for any logistical issues, processing problems, incorrect orders, menu creation and the customer service tech side of the system. In essence, you will have created a system designed to put you back on the phones answering customer’s questions about your system. There is no free lunch, just a messy lunch that’ll end up in the garbage leaving you hungry again.

Commission based systems are a different animal altogether and I will say, possibly necessary for many restaurants to get the initial advertising they need. Billion dollar companies like Seamless, Grubhub and Delivery.com have a generally well-groomed customer service system put in place for customers placing orders, but it comes at a cost. It’s THEIR customers, not yours and you will pay to play. Additionally, the customer service is aimed at keeping the ordering public happy, not the restaurant.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1169″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full” alignment=”center” img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Flexibility

Is your online ordering software providing you with the ability create customized coupons specific to your restaurant or giving you access to the platform to change delivery zones, operating hours and add multiple menus with high resolution food photos? An online ordering platform needs to be all this and more, one size does not fit all in the restaurant industry.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1171″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full” alignment=”center” img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Branding

At the end of the day, it depends on your particular business goal. If you are looking to boost direct online orders, then the platform you use should actively promote your restaurants brand, not their own. Well rounded online ordering software will balance the line that allows customers to know they are secure via their third party HTTPS checkout security while simultaneously keeping the restaurant brand as a focal point during the order process. If you are going to use a flat rate platform, it’s likely that you are looking to convert customers from the third party commission platforms they are currently using to order food from your restaurant. Naturally, you should keep your brand in the spotlight from start to finish if your end goal is converting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1172″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full” alignment=”center” img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Customer Payment Options

The easier you make it for a customer to pay you, the more likely they are to do business with you. Perhaps more importantly, the more likely they are to do repeat business with you. An online ordering platform should allow you to receive multiple payment methods, including cash. Cash payments are not subject to payment processing fees and can be a life saver for your cash flow in an industry that is notorious for tying up your funds at inopportune moments.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1173″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full” alignment=”center” img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Responsive Food Menu

It’s hardly news that customers are doing business more and more on their mobile devices, it is however not always common place for a platform to be responsive to the particular devices of their clientele. It’s important that you find an online ordering platform (if not entire restaurant website design) that adapts quickly and efficiently to your users, because it won’t happen the other way around. Custom branded restaurant apps are becoming more and more popular for restaurants, especially true for restaurants with more than one location as it makes sense to promote a larger brand directly as the audience size may warrant frequency of app downloads and use. It can still make sense for a smaller “one of” restaurant if done properly and can really help capture the attention of customers with options like automatic push notification and built in promos.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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