The world has become increasingly digital, to the point where most of your customers likely own a smartphone or computer at home. These advancements bode well for your business because people are able to surf online and find your restaurant quickly and easily. They can peruse reviews, look over your menu, and see your operating hours. But can they order food from you online? If you want to take advantage of a golden opportunity, here is how to begin online ordering at your restaurant.
Figure Out Your Exact Needs
Before signing up for any programs or buying any software, you should figure out your restaurant’s specific needs. Every restaurant serves a slightly different clientele, with various types of food and unique dishes. When setting up online ordering, you should know what you will need from the service. Do you have an extensive menu with lots of alternating options? Or do you have a straightforward menu that hasn’t changed since you opened 20 years ago? Ask yourself questions like these to determine the amount of personalization and access you will need, both now as you set it up and in the future.
Your needs will also connect to your competitive advantage. As a business in the food industry, you probably work hard to differentiate yourself from the other restaurants in your area. Your online menu should reflect your strategic edge; otherwise, you will fail to stand out as well as you do in all other realms of the customer experience. Look for ways to style your menu’s colors, wording, and presentation. You can tailor the appearance to reflect your restaurant’s boisterous, straightforward, high-end, fun-loving, or streamlined personality. With your specific needs and customization expectations in mind, you can better shop for the right program.
Find Seamless Integration
The biggest challenges for businesses in this digital era often relate to technology. Whether you have consistent glitches, outdated hardware or software, or incompatible systems, you likely struggle with your technology from time to time. With online ordering, you should work to head off any problems in the future by finding a program that will seamlessly integrate into your current system. It can be challenging, but you can save a lot of time and money by doing your due diligence and researching your options. For example, you may have a credit card processing system that works well for your business. When adding more point-of-sale features like online ordering, you must consider how your older systems will integrate with the new.
Here at Business Software Solutions, we developed a simple solution. Instead of mixing and matching from various companies and finding incompatibilities a few weeks down the road, you can opt for something like EatOnTheWeb, our comprehensive online ordering platform. For users of our restaurant POS system, this online ordering addition will communicate with your existing platform. If you have any questions about our POS or online ordering systems, reach out to our team for more information.
Set up Your System
Once you finish researching your options, it is time to select the right platform for you. Each one will come with specific instructions and explanations, but be sure to pay special attention to any customizable options. The setup will likely take you through various parts of the process, such as writing up your menu, styling the interface, and connecting to your point-of-sale system. When you input menu items, double-check your spelling and pricing to avoid the need to go back and fix mistakes later. If you have trouble with the setup process at any point, reach out to a customer service representative.
Check the Interface
Setting up your online ordering system is one thing. Ensuring that it looks right, is accurate, and works well is quite another. Be sure to check the interface after setup. Access your website and try ordering various items to see if the sale goes through. Work every angle of the service that your customers will use so that they do not run into problems along the way. It can be quite frustrating for customers to try finagling with a website to get their order in, only to end up needing to call the restaurant instead due to technical difficulties. If you notice any discrepancies, try to fix them on your end. When all else fails, again, contact your provider’s customer service personnel.
Advertise To Customers
When you invest in a new service, such as online ordering, you want your consumers to know about it. Craft a marketing strategy that will alert people to your new ordering option. Present the service to your customers on your website, whether your online ordering is available directly from it or only links to it. Also, put up posters and signs in your store so that people will know that they have the option in the future. With COVID-19 regulations changing due to the fluctuation in cases, you never know when people will begin preferring online ordering to in-person dining. Reach out to your other advertising locations to put up relevant information there.