ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM FOR YOUR RESTAURANT DURING COVID-19 AND BEYOND.
As the impact of the coronavirus is felt by more and more businesses around the world, restaurants are particularly affected. The need for social distancing has meant that many have already had to close their dining rooms, with many more expected to do so in the coming weeks and months. However, some Norfolk local cafes, diners, bars and restaurants are allowed to continue operating in a take-away or delivery capacity.
In this post, we’ll cover the steps that restaurant owners should be implementing onto their website to ensure a successful take-away and delivery experience that can continue after Covid-19.
1. UNDERSTAND WHY YOU NEED an online ordering system
We’re all familiar with the big players in this category. Postmates, GrubHub, Doordash, Uber Eats, Just Eat and Takeaway.com, along with more niche players like Slice and Caviar, are collectively used by hundreds of thousands of restaurants around the world to take orders and deliver food to customers.
A couple benefits of these platforms:
They come with a built-in user base for your customers to access right away, which may be particularly useful during coronavirus.
They provide a 3rd-party delivery service so your customers don’t have to manage their own delivery staff.
The current problem with these apps is that they are killing the restaurant industry, "taking 20-30% commission from each purchase made using their app, asking restaurants to pay for promotions that the app is offering to customers, and adding restaurants to the app without the restaurants' consent". Not to mention the several hundred dollars these companies charge restaurants to even sign-up to use their platforms. Restaurants can counter this by having their own online ordering system.
Veggie Taco in San Diego has implemented an online ordering system that is simple to use and did not burst their small business budget. All restaurants big and small can use this down time to ensure they develop a great online ordering system to improve their processes, increase sales and generate more traffic to their business. Once Covid-19 is over your restaurant will be established and more ready than ever.
2. ADD AN ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM TO YOUR WEBSITE
Our clients can essentially take 3 different routes to integrate an online ordering system into a restaurant website.
Option #1: Add a CTA Button that links to a 3rd party solution
This is the simplest and fastest option for restaurant owners, although they will have to pay more for the 3rd party online service.
Option #2: Drop an HTML Widget
Simply add HTML for a solution's widget directly into your site. Here is an example from Positano’s Italian restaurant in Westport, Connecticut of an Uber Eats widget that was added in this way.
Option #3: Create your own online ordering system
If you have your own online ordering system then there is no need to pay for third party sites you can optimize your own sales when people search your restaurant online. Our online ordering system can provide your business with:
Customize menu options
Track orders all in one place
Accept payments everywhere
2. PROMOTE YOUR NEW DELIVERY AND TAKE OUT OPTIONS
Every digital marketer knows the everyday challenges of trying to have your desired message breakthrough, but this is even more challenging when consumers everywhere are flooded with information about a global pandemic. A strong social media presence, a regular drumbeat of content (e.g. blog posts, videos, social posts with updates, etc.) and accurate, current information on a website will be needed to keep customers engaged and primed to fill dining rooms when the crisis subsides. So make sure you are:
Updating your social media channels
Sending email marketing (a great time to review your CRM and ensure you have a high quality lead list)
Promote your gift cards using your online ordering system
Provide an online community for people to chat
Create video content
Plan your holiday campaign and how best you can optimize and grow during Thanksgiving and Christmas
Ask your fans/followers what they'd like to see in your restaurant when it reopens
Take this time to get your restaurant business online. Take this time to provide your own online ordering system so that you do not rely on 3rd parties. Take this time to update Google My Business (GMB), ensure your website and online ordering system is clickable from GMB. Now is the time to optimize your online presence!