Due to COVID-19, online ordering is more popular than ever. It doesn't matter if your restaurant serves subs or upscale Thai food, you've most likely seen a significant uptick in people ordering for pickup or delivery due to stay-at-home orders and the general advice of the CDC in regards to pandemic protocol.
Some restaurants already had an established take out and delivery system, while others are just getting acquainted. If you're new to the online ordering game, the great part about this influx is that you can serve more people than you would just in your dining room alone. However, it's an understandably difficult transition if you're not used to dealing with online orders.
Getting it right is so important if you want to keep your customers. Gone are the days of calling in to order food. Using an online ordering system is faster and more convenient for your customers because they know that their specific needs—including substitutions and dietary restrictions—will be clearly written out for you to follow. There's less room for error in online ordering making it a preferable method. Also, it seems that in general no one makes phone calls anymore unless it's absolutely necessary.
Keeping your customers is the difference between sinking and floating during this financially challenging time. One of the best ways to promote reorders is through an easy online ordering process. Being able to offer delivery, through places like Grubhub and Uber Eats, will make your customers feel safer than coming inside and waiting in line to pick up their orders. If your customers have a smooth and conscientious experience, you'll be top of their list next time they decide they're tired of cooking themselves.
Having an online ordering system that's simple to use isn't as complicated as it sounds. Here are a few tips that will have your customers coming back for more.
Tidy up your website.
Due to public recommendations to mitigate transmission of COVID-19, one of the only ways that people can have new experiences right now is through food. Your customer base has a great chance of growing due to an interest in supporting local businesses.
Website design contributes to the overall aesthetic of your business. Many of your guests will have never set foot inside your brick and mortar restaurant, so their first impression of your establishment will be your website. If you haven't taken a look at your website's design since the early 2000s, it's worth the extra time.
Nowadays, website design is quite easy. You don't necessarily need to pay a lot of money to an expert in order to have a great and functional web presence. Ask a millennial you know to update your page. Even people with intermediate computer knowledge can build a website that your customers will love.
Consumers are accustomed to using websites that are very straightforward. If the page where you place an order on your website isn't abundantly clear, they may just pick a different place of business with a similar style of food. One of the first links or tabs on your website should be to the ordering page. Test your website out on a variety of people you trust. They'll let you know if they find it easy to use.
Streamline the process.
It's important that your restaurant is on all of the major apps that people order food from. Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats are all places that people go to find their meals. If someone uses one of these apps and does a general search for the food style you serve, you want to be top on their list of places to order from. These apps make ordering and checkout very easy for your customers because they're compatible with Google Pay and other popular payment platforms.
Processing online orders can be a headache if you're using multiple tablets for each different service. It can be difficult to stay on top of managing various tablets and even more frustrating when you need to record all of your commissions in your POS. If this disruption in organization and the concern over giving great customer service is one reason you've avoided online takeout or delivery, there's actually a solution.
Cuboh puts all orders on one tablet, no matter which mobile app it's coming from. Also, everything goes directly into your POS. It's easier to manage in the moment and when you're looking up statistics like taxes and product mix breakdown. Don't shy away from technological advancements, even if your restaurant is "old school." They're here to help you and your younger staff will understand how to use it.
Make payment easy.
If you're going to set up online ordering on your website, it's important that you accept all major forms of payment. Very few people feel like fishing their credit card out of their wallet to make an online food order. This means that in addition to all usual forms of credit cards, you need to be able to accept Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal. Your consumers will love that they can check out quickly on your site and never have to leave the couch until their food arrives. In fact, they expect it. Supporting all payment types will allow you to be competitive with everyone else in the business and should increase your sales.
Incentivize customers to try your food.
Once you've made necessary changes to your website and have signed up for all of the major food apps, it's important to spread the word on how easy it is to order from your restaurant online. Whenever you make a change to your business, it's a good idea to incentivize the use of new perks. In order to attract customers—old and new alike—it's not a bad idea to run a promotion. You can send out physical coupons if you have the resources or simply post a promo-code to your social media to be used at online checkout. You don't have to run this incentive for very long, just until you get the word out and see the commissions rolling in.