The restaurant market is evolving at an accelerated pace. The market for food delivery stands at €83 billion worldwide. 86% of consumers are using online ordering services at least once a month, while about 60% of operators say that offering delivery has generated incremental sales.

In the seven years since domino’s pizza introduced their online ordering system, their stock price has seen a 25x growth! With the proliferation of technology and the convenience of online ordering, Food delivery industry is expected to grow at a staggering rate at a rate of 12% per year over the next five years. In such a scenario, providing your customers with the convenience of online ordering should be one of your topmost priorities as a restaurant. However, before you provide this service to your customers, you must work on all details including things like whether you would be offering delivery, how far could you deliver, or from where would you source good quality packaging for takeouts.

In this article, we will talk about ways in which a restaurant can make sure that the online ordering platform is leveraged to bolster sales.

We can categorize these strategies into three groups.

Technology Parameters

Until a few years ago, only large restaurant chains could afford sophisticated software and global data infrastructure for the benefit of their business. However, the breakthroughs in cloud computing, have now made these services accessible even to small family owned restaurants. There are several different solutions out there from third-party online ordering POS integrations like FoodKonnekt to the restaurant point of sale systems that have their own integrated restaurant online ordering software. You can select any one that meets your requirements.

A Roadmap To Increase Online Ordering Sales
A Roadmap To Increase Online Ordering Sales
  1. Your online ordering platform should work across different browsers.

2. With the average attention span of customers decreasing rapidly and the “right now” attitude of customers, you want to make sure that your online ordering platform is available on multiple platforms – website, mobile, social media, voice assistants (Alexa, Google home etc). Use of the latest cloud-based technologies will enable this kind of a transition.

3. The millennial customer is more likely to access your website on their mobile phones. So, it becomes important to ensure that your restaurant’s website is mobile optimized for a smooth online ordering experience.

4. You could consider collaborating with the popular Online Ordering and Delivery Portals such as GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash to increase your reach and visibility. However, it is imperative that your staff remains on top of these orders and for that, you would require POS integrations to these third-party portals.

5. PoS integrations make it easier to automatically process orders accepted from the various Online Ordering platforms like. FoodKonnekt is one such solution with integration points to Clover, Focus PoS, FoodTronix and many more in the pipeline. Consider online ordering providers that can help you automate your marketing efforts – for instance, sending out coupons and offers at an opportune time depending on the customer’s past purchase history and other factors. With the advent of AI, smart online ordering options would become the norm of the day.

6. Your online ordering system must have the ability to accept multiple payment options including wallets like Apple Wallet, Samsung Pay should be factored in.

7. Consider a Mobile app for your Restaurant: Even though for small mom and pop stores usage of an online ordering app might be on the expensive side – from building to adoption point of view. But if you can partner with a third party and include some kind of gaming option that would help in app adoption. An app makes it much more convenient to order food. Customers can save their delivery address and preferences to order food in just a few clicks. An app also makes it easier for you to promote offers and deals by sending regular notifications or updating customers with regard to their reward status.

User Experience

In today’s world, there is a shift from feature development to design development approach and hence an emphasis on user interface/user experience is a must. You design should be simple and intuitive.

  1. With multi-device options for customers the user experience across these devices should be seamless – for example, if you look at Dominos one can order through SMS, emoji, chat, voice, and other devices

2. Focus on the mobile part of the user experience as the majority of the traffic comes from there. The user experience on mobile should be such that one should be able to order on mobile with very few clicks.

3. Ensure that your online ordering system has the ability to save previous orders based on the timings, delivery address and card information so that the customers have a pleasant online ordering experience.

4. Pop-up or menu-suggestions are a good way to draw attention to new menu items.

5. The ability to keep track of the order status enhances user experience. Domino’s, for instance, enables customers to see where their order is in the delivery lifecycle.

6. You could consider apps that help you to assign the delivery orders to your riders based on their availability and location. These apps can also help you track the location of the delivery person and the average time is taken to deliver an order.

7. Having a consistent menu across all platforms is another feature that you want to focus on to enhance the customer experience. This in part is related to PoS integration so that once an added on PoS the same would be reflected on the online ordering platform as well

Right Marketing

Promoting your online ordering platform is essential – your customers should be made aware of this platform.

  1. Promote your online ordering link via in-store messages on window displays, table tents or even menu inserts.

2. Ensure that your online ordering link is prominently printed on your takeout packages and receipts.

3. Use social media platforms to promote online ordering via posts and updates. You could even integrate online ordering on your Facebook page.

4. Make sure that you market or upsell your online ordering system to members of your loyalty program.

5. You could create a special offer or discount to promote online ordering among your customers. Several prominent players offer discounts to customers who others through their online ordering link.

6. Before ordering food from any restaurant, customers usually check the website and sites like TripAdvisor to get an idea of the quality of food and services. Ensure that your website is updated regularly and you have a well-organized system of monitoring and replying to reviews.

Remember you may have to invest some time to promote your online ordering service in its initial days, but once it has taken off you can sit back and reap its benefits over the long run.