It’s no secret that consumers today are looking for convenience with everything they do. Ordering food from a favourite restaurants is no exception. With today’s technology, food can be ordered online rather than making a phone call or ordering at the location and having to wait for it to be prepared.
Ordering food online allows people to take their time, make corrections without being rushed and ensures a perfect stress free ordering process every time. What a difference compared to calling a restaurant and hearing a rushed staff member who can’t wait to get off the phone.
It normally starts with “ Hello… Please hold! “ When the call continues it’s often very noisy in the background, people feel rushed & there is no menu available for viewing. Asking questions seems to be a bother during these busy hours so in the end the overall spend of an order is usually minimized.
As for restaurant owners who wouldn’t want to have staff spend less time on the phone, orders being prepared with no mistakes and the ability to build a strong database of customers to communicate between visits.
For these reasons it’s no wonder online ordering has taken off. Unfortunately there are a lot of 3rd party food ordering websites that are really taking advantage of restaurant owners. These sites offer a commission per order model that seems harmless but the business model is only beneficial to the 3rd party website.
Commissions can be as high as 20% per order and this is normally charged on the gross fee. For example a $10 order placed online for delivery at 13% commission should work out to be $1.30. However, these companies charge the 13% after all fees are calculated. That $10 order has a delivery fee of $6, tax of $1.30, a service fee of $1 and therefore the gross total is $18.30. Now take 13% of $18.30 and the fee ends up being $2.38. For a $10 net order of food the cost is almost 24% on that order.
These companies are also experts at syphoning restaurants existing customers to their brand to ensure future profits on all orders from that restaurant. Tactics like claiming restaurants google places pages, adding redirect buttons on websites, promoting with stickers and signage, creation of apps, redirecting of domain names and very targeted adword campaigns ensure that these sites show up better than the restaurant itself in most cases. What this means is that restaurants are sending all their existing clientele directly to another companies brand that happens to have 100’s of competitors on the site. Not to mention that these 3rd party companies gather important email opt ins that are not shared and rather used to promote themselves and other high paying profitable restaurants online.
A restaurant look for the following in an online ordering system
1. Have a custom built platform that keeps the restaurant in control from beginning to end.
2. Customers should always be in front of the restaurants brand and never moved over to a 3rd party.
3. Restaurants need to ensure that all the marketing and contact information is collected by them and not others.
4. Money collection should be controlled by the restaurant. Cash flow is important and should not be held back by 3rd parties.
5. Use a platform that gets immediate feedback after each meal ordered. Getting more positive reviews online and knowing when someone has not had a great experience internally can make a huge difference in the bottom line.
6. Provide a loyalty program that encourages repeat visits and rewards loyal customers.
7. Use a platform that has phone or text notifications so during the busiest times incoming orders are never overlooked.
8. Don’t compromise for limited features. Customers need to be able to order the same combo’s as they can in person.
9. Never pay a commission for each order that is placed as these will become large payments as customers start to use the system. Find a company that provides a low monthly fee for unlimited orders.
10. Customers have questions sometimes. A phone number should be clearly available on the menu itself.
In summary online ordering is a must have for restaurants today. Setting up a custom online ordering system is no longer a difficult process and can normally be accomplished in just a few days for less than $100 a month.