Three Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Ordering Platform

December 24, 2019

Online ordering has become a necessity for all restaurants, especially those in restaurant chains. While several companies offer online ordering services, it's crucial to consider what factors matter the most when selecting the appropriate online solution for your business.

1.  Design

Your customers walk into your restaurant and immediately understand what your food is all about. The attention to the detail when setting up chairs, the decor, the aesthetic. The more inviting your restaurant is, the more your customers will want to eat, stay, and come back. The online experience is just as critical, it is your opportunity to make customers feel what they would have felt if they were walking into a physical locations. Any online ordering site must prominently feature pictures, colors and wording when it comes to the ordering process. While an easily dismissed, simple gray, generic font  may be functional, it will definitely not give customers the best first impression of a brand.

2. Hassle free

Your menu is your product, and you've probably defined it in at least 3 places (your POS,  the physical menu, and on  Doordash / Uber Eats / Grubhub aggregator site). Maintaining menus on all of these channels is a huge hassle, making it hard to be dynamic, learn from your customers’ behavior and implement change quickly. It is vital that menus be managed in one place and changes automatically rolled out to customer-facing menus. Manually building or making changes to your online ordering menu is an archaic solution, causes order failures, incorrect printing,  pricing errors, and basically a big mess in the kitchen. The only viable online ordering solutions are the ones which auto-sync with the POS.

3. Customers

When you were small, back when you opened your first location and knew everyone who walked into your storefront, it was easy to make customers feel like they were regulars. They came often, and making them feel special made them come even more: loyalty 1.0.1. Customers returning to a busines is in and of itself very significant to business, customers have many options to choose from, and deciding to come back is a compliment. Now, with more than that one location, your only way of showing your regulars that you see them, is by building a loyalty program. It is important to understand that your loyalty program must work seamlessly and holistically throughout all of your platforms, so if you define that for every 10th visit your customers get a free smoothie, visits must be counted in-store and online, and the gift  must be redeemable for both. Building a loyalty program that is only available for customers who visit through a specific channel defies the point of the loyalty program, if you don’t prefer in-store customers over online customers, there is no reason why benefits should be given only in-store. Conclusion: online ordering must include and be part of a loyalty program, and work to enhance the loyalty program.

When it comes to loyalty, the industry leaders here are of course Domino’s Pizza, who have created a fully custom-made online experience for their customers. But, for those who don’t have millions of dollars or the time to invest in building and developing their own custom product, there are white-label solutions available for a monthly fee. Using Appfront, you can build a custom solution complete with all of the recommendations listed above and much more. Discover how to produce a customer experience comparable to the one of Domino’s for a monthly subscription rate today.

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