Well, you can not deny the fact that smartphones have increased the appetite of urban folk. Customers across the globe check review about particular restaurants online and browse the menu before heading to the place. According to the research, more than 85% of users prefer browsing digital menus before placing an order, and around 94% of users check out nearby restaurants before booking or ordering.
So, no wonder while more and more restaurant business owners are heavily spending on online ordering systems as it will not only grow their business but enable them to thrive their business during challenging times.
What is the Online Ordering System
An online ordering system allows users to place an order through a website or app and lets restaurants accept and manage it seamlessly. A user can look for a favorite restaurant, browse the menu, and place an order online. Later, they can make payment via cash or digitally.
The above graphic shows the rise of online food ordering and it will soon cross offline ordering. (source)
In recent years, the rising popularity of online food ordering benefited restaurants as well as customers. More than 63 % of customers use technology to interact with a restaurant, and this number will grow in the coming years.
But the question is how to choose the best online food ordering system that’s best suitable for your food business.
Choosing the Best Online Ordering Software for Your Restaurant
As we have said earlier, with the increasing usage of smartphones, digital ordering is experiencing massive growth as it offers comfort to the customers and enables them to get food at their doorsteps.
Each restaurant is unique, and thus each one has its own set of prerequisites. It means you need to find an efficient, cost-effective online ordering system that fulfills all your needs and eliminates errors. However, picking the ideal online ordering system for your restaurant can open up new revenue streams for your business and also increase footfall.
Besides, if you end up choosing the wrong online ordering platform, chances are you might have to work harder and end up disappointed. Here we have mentioned several parameters that help you choose the best online ordering system that increases customer loyalty and satisfaction.
# Is it Quick and Intuitive?
Today, everyone is facing a deficit of time, which is why the online food ordering market is growing. The world moves fast today, and restaurants are also adopting quick and user-friendly online solutions that increase sales and profit altogether.
Your digital food ordering system should deliver results at blazing speed; you have to make sure that it is easy to use for both customers and restaurants. The more quickly your customers place an order, the quicker your staff will be able to operate it. It builds brand image as consumers won’t feel any hassle while placing an order.
Whether your customers place an order for the first time or place an order often, you need to ensure usability and easy access to the required features. Ease of use may be defined by quick search options, smooth payment options, and speedy functioning.
On the other hand, a slow and complicated ordering system will be painful for owners and customers. Consumers will get irritated, and it will create an adverse impact on the restaurant’s reputation.
# Payment Flexibility
In this contactless payment environment, most customers prefer to pay digitally. You need to offer multiple options such as PayPal, credit/debit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay; it would be a good idea to enable customers to pay exactly the way they would like to.
Before choosing an online ordering platform, make sure it supports multiple payment options; today, virtual wallets are becoming immensely popular as people don’t like to carry huge cash.
In the above snapshot, you can see customer’s inclination towards online payment is increasing, and mobile payment transactions will reach $275 billion by 2021, offer customers an option to pay directly from their smartphones and let them enjoy rewards and cashback without carrying wallets.
Some of the crucial things to note when choosing whether an online ordering platform offers a multiple and secure payment option for your customers are:
1. Offering more than one payment methods
2. Customers should able to access all the payment methods without creating an account
3. Single checkout window or page
4. A clear call to action
5. Swift and secure transaction
Integrating multiple payment gateways will help customers to pay for their meals without any hassle, and this will keep things simple and ensure safe transactions.
# Quick Customization
This is the most important factor to consider while opting for any online ordering system. Each restaurant is unique, and each has its own set of requirements and preferences. Each wants different colors, themes, images, and layout that match with their restaurant identity and website.
So, the first and foremost tip while selecting an online ordering system for your food business is to check whether the platform has the ability to enable you to customize the system as per your preferences or not.
With the customization, restaurants will get the freedom to make a design that reflects their brand identity and enable them to make a change whenever they want. There are many benefits of choosing customized online ordering for your food business, such as,
1. You own the site and content; this means you can make changes when you want and how you want.
2. You can customize the site look as per your own branding preferences
3. Personalized content and site layout help you drive traffic and conversions
Therefore, it is always better to select the service provider or technology partner that offers a customized online ordering system for your food business.
# Add Unlimited Items in Menu
Your menu should be fascinating to users as it is the only tool that creates a positive impact on the user’s mind. You must be able to display all of your dishes to your customer. If you will offer more choices to your customers, it will encourage customers to try different cuisines.
One of the benefits of an online ordering system is it offers an opportunity to upsell items to your customers that can boost sales. Furthermore, you can add/remove items easily and quickly based on popularity. Make sure when you add a new item or remove a dish, your menu does not look cluttered; otherwise, it will leave a negative impact on users.
You can also mention words such as “hot,” “trending,” “most ordered,” “popular” it will push customers to place an order without searching too much. Eventually, it will increase sales and customer retention ratio. For instance, if a customer orders a pizza, the menu should suggest items like breadsticks or cocktails.
# Support and Maintenance Service
Last but not least, but you can not overlook this factor while choosing the online ordering system for your restaurant business. In case you are facing any problems while using, it is significant to have a solid support plan. After all, if your system gets down, it will down sales also.
A good online ordering system will come with a dedicated support and maintenance service that is able to troubleshoot issues quickly along the way. This will give you confidence that an online ordering system you are using is a safe and smart investment.
Today, customers want everything quickly, which requires efficient and quick operations; delays in a transaction can cost expensive both revenues as well as customer loss. Therefore, you need a prompt customer support service that helps you run the system smoothly, no matter what.
Make sure you have chosen the right technology partner who has good reviews for the customer service they offer, and they will be with you through integration, launch, and even post-launch on a daily basis.
Advanced Online Ordering System Means Smooth Operations
Choosing a smart and efficient online ordering platform for your restaurant business is not hard; all you need to invest enough time and diligence. By doing the homework, you will end up with the right solutions for the very first time.
It is important to work on above- mentioned questions before setting for a system that won’t’ help you achieve business goals. A worthwhile online ordering platform will help you gain more customers and let you focus on what matters actually for the expansion of your restaurant business.