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Online ordering is a popular trend for many businesses. In particular, though, it has proven to be a real boon for restaurants.

In fact, the number of online orders for restaurants has tripled over the past five years. And for restaurants with low footfall, especially, online ordering has brought a new opportunity to attract and retain customers.

However, it’s important to get your restaurant’s online ordering right. As a matter of fact, having your own online ordering system is essential if you want to increase business for your restaurant in 2019.

Here’s Why You Need Your Own Online Ordering System

Eliminating Cuts to Third Parties

Direct orders on your own website ensure you do not pay commission to third parties. This in turn helps in generating more profit from each order. Reduced dependency on third parties is also a safeguard against future volatility in commission rates.

Enjoying Cross-Selling Opportunities

When you are not restricted by the space constraint common in third-party portals, it is easier to provide more options. This gives you the chance to increase the average cart size or order value on your own platform.

Integrating with Your Loyalty Program, CRM, and POS

Your restaurant online ordering system can be equipped with loyalty and CRM integrations, as well as with your point of sale (POS) system. The first two drive your customers to order more frequently as they redeem points for greater discounts. Additionally, a direct flow of online orders on your restaurant POS system can save you a lot of staff time.

Increase Sales with Your Online Ordering System

What are some ways you can optimize your online ordering platform and get more sales?

Showcasing Your Restaurant’s Storyline

Your food is what customers should love the most about your restaurant. However, a great storyline embedded in your online ordering system ensures that you get added attention and connection. Your storyline goes a long way in telling them more about your restaurant’s brand.

What should you include in your story? Share how you came into existence and what keeps you going. Make sure that the essence of your brand is a part of your restaurant’s website. When your website and other promotions share a common story, your customers will relate to you better. And business will follow.

Offering Table Reservations

People prefer saving time by directly reserving tables online. This not only benefits your customers but is also great for your restaurant’s operational efficiency.

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When a customer makes a reservation through your online ordering system, you have a unique opportunity. That is, you can interact with customers without taking much time. For example, your online ordering system can show them that their booking is confirmed. Also, you can add a personal touch by mentioning your daily specials or the best items from the menu.

Optimizing for Mobile

Most people today use mobile phones for all their activities, especially ordering food. Therefore, make sure to have a mobile-friendly version of your restaurant website. As a matter of fact, your website should account for multiple screen sizes and load times.

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Plugging Your Promo Codes

What’s a better incentive to order online than a discounted meal? So encourage your guests to order directly from your website by offering them a discount for their online order. You can also add loyalty benefits to their future orders.

An important consideration is to use topical offers to derive more opt-ins. That’s because topical promotions are more likely to be used. For example, if the final season of Game of Thrones has just begun, use a code like “GOT10” to give customers a discounted meal.

Showcasing Real Customer Reviews

Online reviews influence the shopping and ordering behavior of 88% of customers. In other words, real customer reviews work. Your happy customers can act as your brand ambassadors on your website as well as on your online ordering system.

Therefore, add reviews people leave at your restaurant to your website. Or take them from Yelp or Facebook. This will add credibility to your brand. Reviews will also help prospective customers with dish suggestions and reviews.

Providing Easy Customer Checkout

An increasing number of people now prefer online payments over cash payments. This is why setting up different payment methods is essential for your restaurant online ordering system.

Offer multiple options such as pay now online, pay by cash on delivery, or split your bill. Giving customers choices allows for a smooth checkout experience.

Take Your Restaurant into the 21st Century with Online Ordering

Having your own online platform keeps your margin safe and gives you a window for connecting with your customers. So set up an online ordering system for your restaurant soon. You’ll be glad you did.