Direct online ordering is a vital revenue tool for restaurants in today's COVID-19 landscape. The benefits of online ordering are increased revenue, a boost in online presence, and higher customer satisfaction.
Online ordering for curbside pickup and contactless delivery is a solution and lifeline for restaurants to boost their bottom lines and keep their doors open to continue serving their customers.
Read through our Online Ordering Prep Checklist below to review all the questions you should be asking yourself as you get set up with online ordering. This checklist outlines all the features and optimization tools that will help make online ordering a seamless experience for both you and your customers.
Does your restaurant offer online ordering yet? If not, these stats may change your mind!:
- 86% of operators added online ordering during COVID and plan to keep it.
- 84% of consumers currently order delivery or takeout once a week.
- 70% of consumers prefer to order directly from a restaurant.
- Restaurants that offer online ordering get 32% more orders than those who only accept orders placed in person or over the phone.
- Takeout increased by 286% in 2020.
- Curbside pickup has increased by 208%.
- Do you have a website for your restaurant?
- Do you have an online ordering button that's easily recognizable?
- Do you have high-quality photos on your website?
- Are all your different menus accessible?
- Is your website mobile-friendly?
Offering online ordering is one of the most effective ways for restaurants to boost their online presence. First, it's imperative to get a website set up for your business.
90% of guests check out a restaurant online before eating there. If your website is out of date or hard to navigate, you could be losing lots of potential customers and leaving money on the table. Your website should include your restaurant's story, contact info, address, menus, and photos of your food.
Restaurants are also seeing an increase in mobile ordering. This indicates that your website and online ordering system must be mobile-friendly. The flow of navigating your website to your online ordering needs to be seamless and easy to use for your customers.
- Which features are you looking for in an online ordering provider?
- Do you want a direct online ordering system, third party, or both?
- Does the provider charge a flat monthly fee or are fees based on commission?
- What are the processing fees?
- Is customer service offered 24/7/365 for when you run into technological issues?
- Does it simplify the ordering process for your guests?
- Do you have access to online ordering analytics?
- Does it integrate directly into your point of sale system?
- Can it accept a variety of payment methods such as Apple Pay and credit cards?
- Is your online ordering page customizable to match your branding?
- Does the system have unlimited orders?
- Can you make instant menu updates?
- Is the checkout process simple and easy to navigate?
- Can guests add promos & discounts without difficulty?
Choosing an online ordering system is more than just going with the fastest or cheapest option. You need to look for many things, such as the payment processing fees, menu management, and customer support, to name a few.
A direct online ordering system will give you complete control over your menu, promotions, and customer data. Third-party ordering apps often do not allow this level of control and are therefore limited in these systems.
Online Ordering Must-Haves
- Is your phone number available?
- Are your ordering hours clearly visible?
- Is your address correct and displayed?
- Do you have different pickup options, such as curbside or contactless delivery?
- Can guests choose the pickup time?
- Is there a place where guests can enter order notes?
Many consumers prefer to order online because they can order ahead and select different ways to pick up their food. Recent data from Datassential shows that the most wanted innovations to continue post-COVID are contactless delivery at 45% and expanded curbside pickup and online ordering at 44%. Providing these different pickup options allow your guests to order and pick up when it's convenient for them.
When guests have specific requests, your online ordering system should have a place to write in notes if they need to. And for those last-minute changes, your restaurant's contact information should be clearly stated so your customers can give you a quick call.
- Do you have your online menu separated into categories (breakfast, lunch, combos, desserts, etc.)?
- Do you have easy-to-read food descriptions?
- Is there a place for special instructions where guests can enter specific modifications?
- Are there enticing photos to go with each dish?
- Do you have add-ons & customization features with each dish?
- Do you want to price any items differently for online ordering?
- Are there any items on your menu you do not want to offer online?
- Are there any items you want to provide exclusively online?
The way your online menu is structured has a significant influence on how guests order and how much they order. Adding enticing high-quality photos is proven to boost sales by up to 30%. We've all heard the phrase, "People eat with their eyes," and it's true.
Additionally, you can also capture your guest's attention to certain dishes by the item's name. What sounds better, "Tacos" or "World Famous Birria Tacos"? Minor and simple enhancements such as this can lead to higher-order values and online profitability.
Your items online should each have add-ons and customizations, so there's an opportunity to upsell with every order. Restaurant operators sometimes may even price items slightly different online to cover free delivery or the costs of takeout containers. These are the tiny specifics that operators need to think about and do what's best for their business.
Online Sales Optimization
- Have you added your ordering URL on Facebook as a call-to-action 'Start Order' button?
- Is your ordering URL in your bio on Instagram & Twitter?
- Do you have an 'Order Online' button on your Google My Business profile?
- Do you have thank you cards in your to-go orders telling guests the benefit of ordering directly through you?
Once your restaurant has online ordering, there are many ways to optimize your online sales. The more places you have your online ordering URL accessible to your customers, the more likely they are to order.
This includes adding your URL to your social media platforms, review sites, and Google My Business listing. Also, throwing in a thank you card explaining the benefit of when guests order directly can help them better understand the support it brings to your restaurant.
Customers crave convenience and efficiency; thankfully, that's what a direct online ordering system provides. Let your guests enjoy your food from the comfort of their home and start streamlining your takeout orders today with online ordering.
Create a seamless digital ordering experience, complete with curbside pickup and contactless delivery options with CAKE's Online Ordering. All your online orders fully integrate straight into your CAKE Point of Sale so you can save time, keep more of your money, and increase your order accuracy, giving your guests precisely what they want every time.
Download our interactive Online Ordering Prep Checklist today and get your restaurant ready to start offering online ordering.