What Is the Best Online Ordering System for Restaurants?
Restaurateurs know that online ordering has become an indispensable industry component. With the rise of third-party delivery apps and marketplaces, it's crucial to have an ideal online ordering system in place for your business to thrive.
The best online ordering system for independent restaurants is a dedicated first-party online ordering system that improves customer data management and security. With a dedicated first-party system, the restaurant can keep 100% of the profits from the order rather than having to share them with a third-party marketplace app. This ensures that the restaurant can maximize its earnings and invest in better food and service for its loyal customers. Plus, first-party solutions offer better control over the entire ordering process, from menu customization to delivery, ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience for customers and staff.
So let's dive in and discover how implementing an effective online ordering solution can take your restaurant business to new heights!
Table of Contents:
- Online Ordering is Competitively Indispensable
- Superior Security and Efficiency: The Advantages of Cloud-Based Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants
- Benefits of First-Party Online Ordering Solutions
- The Best Online Ordering System for your restaurant: DIY or Buy?
- FAQs about the Best Online Ordering System for Restaurants
The benefits of online ordering systems for restaurants are transformative. One remarkable example is Grubhub's finding that restaurants using online ordering systems have experienced an average 30% increase in takeout sales, with one in five establishments even doubling their takeout volume (https://www.businessinsider.com/sc/online-ordering-helps-restaurant-business-2015-10). While these numbers are impressive, it's essential to consider the cost of utilizing third-party marketplace apps, which often charge hefty commissions of up to 30% per order, significantly cutting into a restaurant's profits.
Superior Security and Efficiency: The Advantages of Cloud-Based Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants
The benefits of online ordering systems for restaurants are immense. The benefits particularly shine when it comes to cloud-based solutions. Unlike traditional online ordering systems hosted locally on the Point-of-Sale (POS) system hardware, cloud-based systems offer enhanced security measures, ensuring that sensitive customer and business data is well-protected from potential breaches. One key reason is that POS developers often focus primarily on in-house transactions, with online ordering being a secondary concern. As a result, online ordering features may not receive the same level of attention and security as other aspects of the system. By opting for a dedicated cloud-based online ordering system, restaurants can provide their customers with a seamless, secure experience while also meeting customer expectations.
In addition to the enhanced security measures provided by cloud-based online ordering systems, these solutions also boast superior efficiency when compared to traditional POS-based systems. The cloud enables restaurants to access their online ordering platform from any device with an internet connection, making it easy for staff to monitor and manage orders in real-time, even when not on-site. This increased accessibility and flexibility allow restaurant owners and managers to stay up-to-date with orders and make quick item availability adjustments, ensuring smooth operations and timely order fulfillment.
Another advantage of cloud-based online ordering systems is their scalability. As a restaurant grows and attracts more customers, the need to handle an increasing number of orders simultaneously becomes crucial. With a cloud-based solution, restaurants can quickly scale their online ordering capabilities to meet growing demands without having to invest in expensive hardware upgrades. This allows businesses to focus on what matters most: providing exceptional food and service to their customers.
Furthermore, cloud-based systems typically offer improved integration with other restaurant management tools, such as inventory and employee management software. By consolidating these various tools into an interconnected platform, restaurant owners and managers can streamline their operations, reducing the time and effort required to manage multiple systems. This seamless integration simplifies day-to-day operations and enables more accurate tracking of sales, inventory, and customer data, leading to better decision-making and overall business performance.
Lastly, cloud-based online ordering systems often come with regular software updates and maintenance provided by the service provider, ensuring that restaurants can access the latest features and security improvements without any additional effort. This means restaurant owners can focus on running their businesses without the added stress of maintaining and updating their online ordering system. By entrusting this responsibility to a dedicated online ordering service provider, restaurants can enjoy the benefits of an up-to-date, secure, and efficient online ordering platform while dedicating their time and resources to providing an exceptional dining experience.
By opting for a dedicated first-party online ordering system, restaurants can enjoy the undeniable advantages of digital ordering while retaining 100% of the revenue generated, ultimately maximizing profitability and fostering sustainable growth. With full control over branding and customization options, restaurant owners can create an experience that reflects their unique brand and appeals to customers. Additionally, improved customer data collection allows for more effective marketing efforts and increased efficiency in managing orders and inventory.
Restaurants also benefit from reduced reliance on third-party delivery services during changing health regulations or unforeseen circumstances. By utilizing a first-party online ordering solution, businesses can maintain direct control of the entire process, from order placement to delivery, without having to rely on outside vendors or platforms that may not be able to meet the demands of certain times. This provides peace of mind as well as flexibility when it comes to managing orders while ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the entire process.
Another advantage is that these solutions offer dynamic menus, which allow restaurants to easily update prices, add new items, or modify existing ones without having to change each menu item across multiple channels manually. More often than not, orders come in pre-paid, so all that's left to do is pick them up, deliver them, or enjoy them in-house.
The benefits of first-party online ordering solutions are invaluable to restaurants, as they can increase their reach and customer base with minimal effort. Moving on from this, affordable options for first-party online ordering solutions provide a great opportunity for restaurant owners to take advantage of the digital age without breaking the bank.
Deciding whether to develop an online ordering system in-house (DIY) or to use a pre-built solution (Buy) can be a challenging task for restaurant owners. With a myriad of factors to consider, including cost, customization, and ongoing maintenance, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons of each approach before making a decision. This section will delve deeper into the DIY vs. Buy debate, providing a comprehensive overview to help restaurant owners make an informed choice.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Approach
Customization: Building an online ordering system from scratch allows for greater customization, enabling restaurant owners to create a platform that perfectly aligns with their unique brand, menu, and operational requirements. By tailoring the system to their specific needs, businesses can ensure an optimal user experience for their customers and seamless integration with existing workflows.
Ownership and Control: Developing an in-house solution gives restaurant owners complete control over every aspect of their online ordering system, from the user interface and customer data to the underlying technology and security protocols.
Potential Cost Savings: If a restaurant already has a skilled development team, creating a custom online ordering system can save money in the long run by avoiding ongoing 3rd-party commission fees associated with 3rd-party marketplace apps.
High Initial Investment: The upfront cost of building an online ordering system from scratch can be significant, particularly for small businesses or those without development resources. This investment includes the cost of hiring developers and designers and the time required to plan, design, and build the system.
Ongoing Maintenance & Security: Developing an in-house solution means that the restaurant is responsible for maintaining and updating the system over time. This can include fixing bugs, addressing security vulnerabilities, and ensuring compatibility with evolving technology and industry standards. These ongoing maintenance tasks can be time-consuming and costly, detracting from the core business of running a successful restaurant.
Slower Time to Market: Building a custom online ordering system can take considerable time, delaying the restaurant's ability to capitalize on the growing demand for online ordering. The restaurant may miss out on potential revenue and customer acquisition opportunities during this development period.
Buy Approach (Pre-built Solutions)
Speed and Ease of Implementation: Pre-built online ordering solutions can be implemented quickly, allowing restaurants to start accepting online orders almost immediately. These solutions typically come with user-friendly interfaces and step-by-step setup guides, making it easy for restaurant owners and staff to get up and running with minimal technical expertise.
Lower Initial Investment: Purchasing a pre-built solution generally requires a lower upfront investment than building a custom system from scratch.
Regular Updates and Support: With pre-built solutions, ongoing maintenance, updates, and customer support are typically included in the subscription fee. This means that restaurant owners can focus on running their businesses without worrying about the technical aspects of maintaining and updating their online ordering system.
Limited Customization: While many pre-built solutions offer a degree of customization, they may not provide the same level of flexibility as a custom-built solution. This can be a drawback for restaurants with unique requirements or those seeking a highly personalized online ordering experience for their customers.
Ongoing Subscription Fees and Commissions: Although pre-built solutions often have lower initial costs, the ongoing subscription fees, and steep commissions can add up over time. This may be a factor to consider when evaluating each option's total cost of ownership.
With online ordering systems, customers can effortlessly place orders at their own pace using any device with internet access and a modern web browser. These platforms offer a seamless experience for browsing menus, personalizing orders, and securely processing payments through integrated gateways. Restaurants, in turn, gain valuable insights from customer data and analytics, empowering them to enhance their operations and marketing strategies. By embracing this digital approach, businesses can effectively reduce costs related to phone orders while catering to the preferences of customers who enjoy the convenience of online ordering.
The best model for an online food ordering system depends on various factors, such as the size of the restaurant, the target market, and the resources available. However, a strategy that can be effective for many independent restaurants is to use third-party marketplace apps to acquire new customers and convert them into a recurring customer base that orders from their dedicated first-party online ordering service.
By using these third-party apps to acquire new customers and then directing them to your dedicated first-party online ordering service, restaurants can avoid paying steep commission fees and keep 100% of every order. This approach allows restaurants to build direct customer relationships and also maximize profits.
An online ordering system offers numerous advantages to restaurant owners. This system streamlines the ordering process for customers, enabling them to swiftly and conveniently order food from any internet-enabled device. By allowing patrons to browse and place orders at their own pace, online ordering systems free up staff to concentrate on other crucial tasks. Additionally, these systems improve order accuracy, as the visual print format reduces misunderstandings compared to verbal communication.
The best online ordering system for restaurants is a dedicated first-party solution, such as OrderDive. This first-party platform provides the most control over your customer relationship and branding while allowing you to keep 100% of every order. This pre-built commission-free solution adds no development and security overhead to your business. By utilizing features like advanced white-labeling, real-time analytics, and customized menu items, restaurant owners can maximize their performance with an online ordering system tailored specifically to their needs and brand.
Take control of your restaurant's online ordering system with OrderDive. Our comprehensive solution helps you manage orders, payments, and customer satisfaction quickly and easily.