As an owner of a business, you have to think of various ways to please your customers. Whether that is by natural facilities you aim to provide from the start of your business, or it can be something you work to perfect by understanding your customer base, their wants, and needs. One of the main criteria for owning a restaurant is of course the best quality food. But! Now days successful restaurant business not only base on good quality foods, depends on also quality food delivery services. When customer order online then as a restaurant owner you have to make sure Quality delivery service also.
What will you get out of using this system? In this blog you will learn what is online food ordering system , advantages of online food ordering systems, and more about online ordering systems in general.
What is Online food ordering system?
Online food ordering system is a website or software application/App where customers can place orders using the internet. An online food ordering system has two important criteria to fill – First, the user interface, and second, the administration management interface.
The user interface is for online customers to comfortably use the website or app without facing any difficulty. This includes navigating to the menu list or the search bar to search for something the customer is craving. Previous orders, coupons, or special offers are some of the things that fall under the user interface.
The administration interface is for your restaurant. This is the interface managed and handled by the restaurant to look up the orders placed by the customers. Details of the orders such as customer contact info, address, or probably even certain dietary restrictions.
This is where a software development company comes in to provide you with an application unique to your restaurant. Providing a user-friendly customer interface as well as a user-friendly admin interface only for your restaurant. A software development company can provide you with expertise on such interfaces where the customer will find it easy to navigate your app. This also assures your customers that they will be able to reach you at any time and at any place, which is what the online food ordering system is for. This system helps you to expand your reach to customers on multiple platforms and gain more customers. A software development company can also provide you with an interface where you can manage multiple orders and provide excellent service to each of your customers.
Types of online food ordering
Ordering food online has become a niche business in itself. From just ordering raw uncooked foods or precooked meals or just ordering a completely cooked meal from a restaurant, there are even websites that offer meal kits. Websites offering meal kits provide uncooked portioned ingredients with the recipe for people who want to prepare their food at home. In a way, meal kits are also an online food-ordering business.
Read more: 10 Best Way To Boost Local SEO For Restaurants.
With the rise of health consciousness and/or dietary restrictions among general consumers makes this business even more profitable. Also, the fact it is online using an app or a website makes it easier for customers to approach your business without unnecessary communication, as well as increasing your customer base. There is more than one type of online food-ordering business, the most popular types are explained and listed below.
Here are four types of online food ordering platforms – Delivery platforms, Food cooperatives, Independent websites, and Restaurant controlled.
1. Delivery Platform
Delivery platforms work as a third party in the “restaurant-to-customer” relationship. Usually, we see a restaurant directly delivering food to the customer. From the preparation of the food to the delivery of the food, everything is done by the restaurant. By using a delivery platform, all you, the restaurant, have to do is prepare the food and the delivery company you are in association with will do the delivery. But of course, there is a delivery fee that will be paid, if not by both parties (restaurant and customer), at least one of the parties will have to pay for the delivery service the platform provides. These platforms usually have a website and an app to widen their reach of customers. As this is a business that provides its service to restaurants and customers.
2. Food Cooperatives
Food cooperatives are a different type of online food ordering. They do not offer prepared foods, rather they offer locally grown produce. These can be seasonal vegetables or fruits and seafood as they are negatively affected if not grown in their habitual environment. This type of online food ordering is used by restaurants and the general consumers as well. Since buying good ingredients is important for a great meal. These types of vendors mostly have a website you can visit and order from. The delivery is probably done by delivery platforms, or it is done by the vendors themselves.
3. Independent Websites
These are vendors that provide pre-cooked or cooked home-cooked meals. Due to the rise of health-conscious people and/or people with dietary restrictions among the consumers nowadays – these vendors provide home-cooked meals keeping all the dietary restrictions in mind. This is helpful for customers with less experience in cooking or who just do not have the time for it. These types of vendors usually have their own websites by which they conduct their business. Thus, the name “Independent website”. For independent vendors, the delivery is also probably done by delivery platforms, or it is done by the vendors themselves
4. Restaurant Controlled
Restaurant-controlled websites or apps are restaurants that provide customers with the complete service. From the preparation of the food to the delivery of it to the customer’s location. This way there is a more clear line of communication, as it is directly from customer to restaurant or vice versa. Restaurants or Fast-food chains like Domino’s Pizza, Rhino Coffee, Starbucks, Mini Bar, Chipotle, Pizza Hut, and many more have their apps. These restaurant-controlled apps provide a menu to choose from, coupons, especially for the customer, seasonal special offers, delivery service, and an easier way to place orders without any unnecessary interactions or miscommunications. Hiring a software development company to create your app gives you the option to customize an app to your customer’s preference. Give them features you think your customers will appreciate.
A white label food ordering app is an app created by a software company for your restaurant controlled solely by your restaurant, in other words, restaurant controlled. It is the most effective and popular way to connect with your online customers.
Advantages Of A Restaurant Online Ordering System
When it comes to using an online ordering system for a restaurant, there are many advantages. There are advantages from the customer’s perspective and there are advantages from the business perspective. Of course when customers are satisfied, your business blooms. So some advantages from the customer’s perspective are also an advantage for your business. In a business, pleasing the customers takes the number one priority.
1. Searching menu
It is a search bar within your app to search for items your customer wants within seconds without scrolling through the list. This of course pleases the customers as they did not have to waste their time scrolling through. Another way to entice your customers is by feeding into their carving of food. By putting up mouth-watering pictures of the item they are carving and offering suggestions to pair with the item they are already purchasing. This way you can entice your customers into trying more products, thus generating more business for you as well. Satisfying your customers and your business.
2. Placing order
Placing an order over the phone has become a thing of the past. Nowadays, people in general, prefer the ease of simple and precise communication. This minimizes the frustration,s of miscommunication. Placing an order online removes such confusion or misunderstandings. Since you receive the order exactly as the customer wants, thus removing the possibility of miscommunications. Making it easier to run your business without any possibility of error.
3. Tracking the order
This is a feature your customers will appreciate, as being transparent is widely appreciated by the general public. Giving customers the ability to track their orders can keep them at ease. Because this gives them an insight into how long they have to wait, making them a little more patient. This can also decrease customer dissatisfaction or frustration with the restaurant if the delivery was late. As it will be transparent that external factors were the cause of it. Therefore, this minimizes customer complaints, making your business a transparent and trustworthy business.
4. Digital payment
Having an online ordering system means you have a way of receiving payments and transferring refunds online as well. The most popular way for restaurants to receive online payment is by PayPal, visa, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Payoneer, etc. These kinds of transactions are transparent and clear. As the order is placed before the transaction, the customer can check their final bill and decide to remove or add an extra item without any hassle. From the touch of their finger, the customer can check out their order, scan the bill and select a payment method of their choice. Simple, easy, and most importantly efficient.
5. Business analytical insights
By using an online ordering system, keeping track of the number of people visiting your website or downloading your app is valuable insight. The number of visitors per week or month, or the location of these visitors. This information is valuable for a restaurant so that you can plan and execute ways to grow your business. Also, critical feedback on the app itself can be very useful. This way, you can understand your customer base and come up with unique features for your restaurant app. This is an advantage for you as the restaurant owner or manager.
6. Efficient customer management
A good online ordering system helps keep track of the CRM (Customer Relationship Management). A CRM system tracks and stores customer interaction, and customer service, and manages marketing and sales. Using customer data to get insight on popular items or customer locations to know where your customers are highly dense. Or you can understand the age range of your customers and cater to them.
7. Promoting your brand
Using an online ordering system you can send promotional emails, SMS, or give coupons to keep your customers coming back for more. Maintaining a social media presence can bring a flow of new customers. Showing the use of technology for customer efficiency and ease can bring in more customers. Thus, advertising your app can pique the general consumer’s interest. In turn, drumming up more business.
These are just some of the advantages you have when using an online ordering system. Using an online ordering system, you can keep your customers happy and run your business efficiently. There are more ways to productively use a restaurant’s online ordering system. But these depend on the number of features you add to your system.
Create An Online food ordering system?
As mentioned before, to make your own restaurant online ordering system, the first thing you need is a software development company. A software developing company will guide you through the dos and don’ts.
First things first, outline your objective. Decide on a feature you want in your app. Things like “what is the app for?” “Let the customers leave reviews on any items”. Also, think about the result you want from an online food ordering system.
Second, what functions do you want your app to have? There is a lot of restaurant management software with different functions. Using the software itself costs money. You might be thinking making an app costs money too. Well, yes! But this is just a one-time charge, while restaurant management software will charge you monthly. Looking into this restaurant management software, you will understand the kind of features you want in your app. One of these features is online ordering software.
In online ordering software, there are some must-have features you need to create an efficient app. Some of these features are website ordering, loyalty programs, integrated marketing, order management, POS integration, and payment integration. These are the most important features you need to get a proper online food ordering system.
It is a simple automated system that allows you to process orders from online customers via a website or an app.
This is a way to increase customer retention by providing your customer with rewards, special offers, discounts, coupons, or other special incentives. This way the customers will be willing to continue being loyal customers. Of course, this will also improve customer relations.
This makes sure to eliminate unwanted misunderstandings among the customers by unifying any posts across all the marketing channels. This ensures that all of your customers are informed, without any miscommunication, no matter which platform the customer chooses to interact with you.
It is a system to manage a complete process of an order. The order management collects the order information and processes the order till its completion. The processes include order entry, pathways, inventory management, order completion, and service review.
Read more: How Do Restaurant POS Systems Work
POS integration is a combination of hardware and software that connects your POS software and your restaurant operation platform. This helps the business process sales, handle payments, and also helps manage inventory, employees, and customers. POS, or Point Of Sale, in itself, is an easy-to-handle sale and transaction only. With integration, your operations platform can get data from your POS in real-time.
It is a system that allows automatic accounting processes. This allows a business to do automatic transactions without having to physically prove for the transactions which are time-consuming and are likely to be filled with errors. With an integrated system, the payments are done automatically and posted at the time of sale.
The third most important thing you have to consider, other than a software developing company and the objective or functionality of your app, is the budget. The budget is something you must think of before you start. Of course, planning in any business is essential, but it is also important in any new business endeavors you start. Especially in this case, financial planning aside, maintaining the app is more important. Since a new app can take some time to be relayed by your customers. But if made and marketed well there is a lot of potential in restaurant online ordering revenue.
Every information above is to give you a rough insight into every little detail you have to consider before you leap into this blindly. From details about why you have to be in touch with a software developing company to details about what systems you need to make a functional restaurant online ordering system. There are details about the functions of each of these systems and what they are called. With this information, you can now make a more informed decision.
An online food ordering system increases your business cause there are more potential customers online. To tap into this potential, an app built for customer satisfaction is what is most essential.