The strategies being adopted by many establishments today to keep up with changing consumer demands center on the features of modern cloud-based POS systems that utilize an integrated restaurant online order system.
Restaurants are struggling to keep up with consumers’ growing preference for online ordering. Restaurant Business reports that while 42% of consumers are expected to place a restaurant order online via a mobile device, only 18% of eateries currently offer the ability for customers to order and pay ahead online. Not only are these restaurants missing out on potential sales, but they’re not enjoying the many benefits of online ordering for restaurants, including faster and more accurate order processing.
In addition, by integrating your restaurant’s online order system with your POS solution, your business can operate more efficiently by creating an omnichannel marketing operation that seamlessly integrates accounting, inventory management, and employee management. The best way to jumpstart your restaurant’s revenue stream is by implementing a cloud-based POS system that features an integrated restaurant online order system.
Step one: Optimize the online ordering component of the restaurant’s website
Not so long ago, a restaurant’s website served as little more than an online billboard that may have featured images of the eatery’s interior and exterior along with pictures of its menu. That type of fundamental site cannot compete with today’s restaurant industry. The only way to maximize the revenue-generating potential of your restaurant’s website is by designing and operating it as an adjunct to your POS system.
Cloud-based POS systems provide a single point from which you can manage orders received in person, by phone, via your branded mobile app, and from your custom site:
- Track and manage orders and other data from various sources through a single, intuitive interface to ensure that orders are processed quickly and accurately.
- Coordinate click-and-collect orders for in-person or curbside pickup, as well as delivery.
- Design and implement a custom, branded website with just a few clicks that include all the components necessary to make it simple for customers to place and pay for their orders, whether they’re dining in-house, picking up their order, or having it delivered.
- Promote the restaurant and its offerings by collecting information about customers and staying in contact with them via email or text messages.
Step two: Use advanced data analytics to enhance online order processing
The sales analytics capabilities that were previously only available to large businesses can now be accessed by any restaurant, food service, or other retailers. For example, large chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King have long relied on state-of-the-art analytics techniques to control their food and labor costs, which are the two biggest expenses of nearly all restaurants.
The online ordering component of modern POS systems contributes to a restaurant’s bottom line by tracking orders so closely that the cost of each ingredient included in the menu offerings can be used to calculate the amount the restaurant spends for every item on the menu. This ensures that the establishment maintains a healthy profit margin on every order.
- The systems make portion control more accurate and consistent by providing kitchen staff with clear standards and guidelines for weighing and proportioning each dish.
- The integrated online and in-house sales reports generated by POS systems identify the restaurant’s most popular and least popular items, which allows slow-moving offerings to be paired with customer favorites.
- As restaurants struggle to fill open positions, online ordering helps them boost the efficiency and productivity of each employee.
Step three: Design the menu to give online customers all the info they need
A restaurant online order system presents eateries with an opportunity to increase the average value of each ticket by encouraging combinations and upselling. It should also promote the restaurant’s specials and make it easy for diners to navigate through the various meal, side dish, and beverage categories.
In addition to being clear and complete, a restaurant’s online menu should communicate the establishment’s brand and mirror the in-person dining experience as much as possible. It should feature inviting photographs of dishes and text descriptions that highlight what’s special about each item.
Divide the menu into familiar categories to prevent customers from having to search for the items they’re looking for. Put each division on a separate page, and organize sections logically to discourage diners from using the search function, which can bring up unexpected and irrelevant results.
Anticipate the most popular variations to dishes and make them available through dropdown menus. This enhances the accuracy of orders and reduces confusion among the kitchen staff. It’s often a better option than using comment boxes that diners can use to customize their orders.
Menu images are especially helpful for customers who are using the restaurant’s mobile app to place their orders. Visual cues such as color-coded food and beverage categories help people navigate a menu on a small screen. Minimize the text descriptions on the mobile app, and consider simplifying the menu to make it easier for diners to place orders on a small screen.
Take advantage of opportunities to solicit feedback from online customers by including a commenting system. Many restaurants offer incentives for clients who comment about their dining experience such as specials and discounts for completing a survey.
Moving forward with your restaurant online order system
Although diners are excited to get back to their favorite spots, their preference for placing restaurant orders online shows no sign of waning. An online presence is the key to ensuring that establishments can capitalize quickly on the coming restaurant renaissance and increase their profits.
When you partner with talech to implement your restaurant online order system, we guarantee you will have the support and experience of a devoted team. We know how important it is to keep your business growing and adapt to consumer trends and preferences. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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