How to Set Up Online Ordering for a Restaurant

Naturally, like any other business owner, you’re always looking for ways to increase sales and grow your business. One great way to do this is to offer online ordering for your customers. As many people shift to digital rather than physical solutions to their needs, this is a great way to make it easy for your customers to get their food. It’s fast, convenient, and can boost your bottom line. Here’s how you can set up an online ordering system:

1. Choose the right platform

The first step to setting up online ordering for your restaurant is to choose the right platform. A few different options are available, but not all of them will be a good fit for your business. Do some research to find the platform that is right for you. Some options are:

  • Use your website
  • Use POS software such as TrufflePOS and an ordering app
  • Use a third-party online ordering system

Use your website

If you already have a website for your restaurant, it’s easy to set it up for online ordering. Your website allows customers to make direct orders, and your team manages the requests through your usual channels.

However, there are a few drawbacks to this option. First, ensure that your website can handle the extra traffic and orders. Second, you’ll need to create a separate page or menu for your online orders. Finally, you require a team that handles the online orders. Nevertheless, this system gives you more control of the ordering process and can be a cost-effective option. To try this option:

  • Have a reliable website with all the security features that protect customer data
  • Make sure your website can handle increased traffic from online orders
  • Create a separate page or menu for online orders
  • Train your team to manage online orders

Use POS software and an ordering app

A POS system is a great way to manage your restaurant’s sales, inventory, and customers. This solution is an excellent option if you’re already using a POS system and want to expand its capabilities. Customers can place their orders through an app or your website, and the order will go directly into the system. Your team can then manage, prepare, and fulfill the orders through the same platform. To try this option:

  • Choose a POS system that’s easy to use and offers an ordering app
  • Make sure the system can handle the volume of orders you expect to receive
  • Install the software and train your team on how to use it

Use a third-party online ordering system

If you’re not interested in using your website or a POS system for online ordering, use a third-party system. This option is a good choice if you want to outsource the management of your online ordering system.

Customers can place their orders through the provider’s website or app. The orders are then sent to your restaurant, where you manage, prepare, and fulfill them through the same platform. The main advantage of this option is that it’s easy to set up and you don’t need any special software or training.

However, there are a few drawbacks; you’re dependent on the third-party system to stay up and running, and you don’t have as much control over the ordering process. The third-party system might also charge you a fee for using their services. To try this option:

  • Choose a third-party online ordering system that’s reputable and easy to use
  • Check if the system has any monthly or per-order fees
  • Make sure the system can handle the volume of orders you expect to receive
  • Install the system and train your team on how to use it

2. Factors to consider when choosing any ordering system

Before opting for any of the three systems, there are a few factors to consider:

Control over the ordering process

Your website is the best option if you want total control over the ordering process. However, if you’re okay with giving up some control in exchange for ease of use, then a POS system or third-party system might be a better choice.

Giving control to an experienced, third-party system is an attractive proposition that many overlook. It has immense rewards, voids the stress of doing everything in-house, and keeps you focused on the core business.

Volume of orders 

All the options mentioned here can handle any number of orders with the correct settings. If you’re expecting a large volume of orders, make sure the system you choose can handle it. Failure to do this will result in an overwhelmed staff and unhappy customers.

Cost of the system

The cost of the system is a critical factor to consider to avoid losses. Some systems have monthly fees, while others charge a per-order fee. Know how much the system will cost to avoid surprises or hidden fees.

Level of training required

If staff members are not familiar with the online ordering system, they’ll end up making mistakes that could cost you business. Budget for adequate training when considering the cost of the system.

The level of customer support

Having a reliable system that offers good customer support is critical. If something goes wrong with the ordering process, have other options to fulfill the orders without inconveniencing the customers. Keep clients informed of any expected delays or setbacks. No matter what platform you choose, test the customer support to ensure you’ll get help quickly and easily any time of the day.

Ease of use

A user-friendly interface is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online ordering system. If it’s not easy to use, customers will get frustrated and never return. When evaluating the ease of use, pay attention to:

  • The design of the website or app
  • How easy it is to find what you’re looking for
  • The level of customer support available
  • The size and layout of the ordering form
  • Any special features or functions that might be helpful

Endnote

Choosing the right online ordering system is critical for any restaurant business. With so many options available, take time to understand the different systems, ease of use, and the benefits it offers your customers. Customers will have a smooth and successful online ordering experience, while you’ll end up with a better bottom line. 

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