Especially these days, with online orders taking center stage, it's important that you have an online order system that attracts customers. Simply providing promotions and coupons isn't enough to drive diners to your own website. You also need to think about the user experience and streamlining your online order offerings.
Whether you're drawing in customers from your Facebook page or fielding online orders through mobile apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and ChowNow, you need to create a strong online menu that showcases your brand more smartly. This means that your online order system needs to use the right tools.
Rethink Your POS system.
Your POS system has a big hand in how you handle your online orders. The right POS can help you build a healthy menu and drive online sales. However, the wrong POS doesn't work as well for order integration, loyalty programs, and top online ordering platforms. The bottom line is that it's important to choose a POS that works well with your restaurant website and online ordering software. A POS integration makes it easier to build and adjust your menu in real-time. You can reach out to new customers to collect customer data, send incoming orders to the kitchen, and upserve diners as needed.
When you're looking for POS system integration, consider some additional features like mobile app access, tablet connectivity, inventory management, and e-commerce features. When you're building your online food orders pages, it's important to make sure that your ordering system is firing tickets to your system. Whether you own a small restaurant or manage a local hotspot, the right POS can dramatically help your menu.
Pick the right online ordering software.
Whether you're setting up food delivery or you're developing a better takeout system, restaurants of all sizes need the right software on their side. Some restaurant owners rely on the free version of existing products. Unfortunately, this has some drawbacks. For starters, it's harder to customize your menu as closely. Using the free version of third-party platforms also means you're less likely to gain email marketing, customer data collection, and restaurant POS integration.
So, how do you find a mobile ordering platform that doesn't wipe you out with monthly fees but still has the necessary features? In most ways, it's about finding the right restaurant partner. A delivery platform or piece of ordering software needs to come with the ability to edit menu items as needed, differentiate delivery times, and schedule curbside pickup orders for hungry customers. It's also good to look for a flat monthly fee, so you don't have to worry about costs increasing every other month. If you want to dig even deeper, look for transaction fees, suss out customer satisfaction within the existing customer base, and see how the platform works on smartphones. While a free version can save you money, it won't help with menu management or customer relations.
A photo editing platform enhances the ordering experience.
Have you ever visited the online ordering website for a local takeaway and realized the menu photos were less than appealing? Whether it's in your marketing campaigns or on a social media platform, bad photography does little to attract your customers and doesn't help much with menu development. When online food ordering software is concerned, customers are eating with their eyes now more than ever. By focusing on your aesthetic needs, you gain valuable insight into what your diners prefer when they're getting ready to order.
Including photos on your online food menu can benefit you in other ways, too. It can promote upselling and encourage diners to order more than they normally might. Have your admin team ensure that the menu works well on mobile devices, too. While this isn't as beneficial for phone orders, it's excellent for Facebook orders and mobile app delivery orders. Finding the right photo editing program is the next step that restaurateurs need to attract more customers within their delivery zones.
Don't be afraid of templates.
In some cases, it's better to have a conventional menu than no menu at all. Sometimes, you need something quick that also offers seamless integration with the rest of your website. As a restaurant owner, you must have a menu in place, even if it's only serviceable. If you don't currently have the time and resources to use anything other than a free version of a program, it's a good idea to use a template. Many online restaurant menus rely on this premise, and, ultimately, it works.
Most templates make it easy for you to swap menu items as needed, separate dishes by category, and include ordering integration. If you're working with a table reservation or online ordering platform, talk to your vendor about basic menu building needs. Chances are, your vendor will be able to help you find a platform or piece of software that works within your budget and creates a functional, helpful menu.
If you're going to go for a more stripped-down menu, you must include quality descriptions, photos, and streamlined navigation. Work to write concise explanations of the different items on the menu but ensure you describe them in an appetizing way. Include a few quality photos (you may not need one for every dish) and make it easy for customers to find menu items and add them to an online shopping cart. Even if you're using a template, you still want a mobile app or online ordering platform that can take credit cards or gift cards and set the option to pay in-store for a customer pickup. It should also send tickets to your
restaurant POS system, so you don't have to create orders within your system manually.
Use multiple tools.
Since your menu is such a vital part of your restaurant's success, it's a good idea to use all the available platforms in your toolkit to develop an attractive one. Whether you're choosing tools that work with Grubhub, Doordash, or Uber Eats, or you're trying to include more menu photography, the right menu-building skills have a more considerable impact on your business than you might expect.