Online ordering systems for restaurants have become increasingly vital during COVID-19 when in-person dining may not be an option. Some restaurants are hesitant to incorporate this technology because they think it will be too expensive, but there are free and affordable options that are easy to set up and can play an important role in recovering losses caused by the pandemic. Learn more about these systems and what to look for when choosing the right online ordering system for restaurants.
Basically, an online food ordering system provides a web page or app where consumers can place an order for food for either pickup of delivery. These systems operate much like other online retailers and allow users to create an account for faster and more convenient ordering. With some systems, you can even filter your options according to different types of cuisine. Payments can be made online with cards or in-person during pick up with cash or card. Most third-party systems earn a percentage of each sale.
Advantages of Using Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants
When it comes to understanding the advantages of using online ordering systems, the statistics are clear:
According to Upserve,
- 60% of U.S. consumers place delivery or takeout orders once a week.
- 31% say they use these third-party delivery services at least twice a week.
- Digital ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014.
- 70% of consumers say they’d rather order directly from a restaurant, preferring that their money goes straight to the restaurant and not a third party.
And that’s just the beginning. There are countless data points to show the value of using an online ordering system for restaurants.
Consumers are relying on online food ordering and delivery for their meals during COVID-19. This presents a great opportunity for restaurants, especially since many states are now allowing alcohol to be sold with delivery orders. When you tack on alcohol sales, experts estimate that restaurants will be able to earn back 20-30% of the revenue they were bringing in before COVID-19.
While online ordering systems for restaurants are clearly becoming more important as people are relying more heavily on online and delivery services, these systems come with some additional benefits. First and foremost, online ordering is convenient and easy for customers. As a result, they tend to order more food for bills that are 15-20% larger. Restaurants can further encourage larger orders through upselling opportunities. Finally, online orders can be used to collect information about customers so that restaurants can improve their services and cultivate customer loyalty.
Setting up an Online Ordering System for Restaurants
When it comes to setting up your ordering system, you have three options to choose from:
- Use WordPress or another website building program to create your own website.
- Partner with a third-party app service. Keep in mind that this does come with fees.
- Combine a third-party app with your POS system.
Some restaurants have yet to incorporate an online system because they assume that it will be too expensive or they don’t want to have to pay third-party apps. Fortunately, technology has made it easier and more affordable than ever to set up online ordering capabilities. In many cases, everything can be completed in a single day. In fact, some companies are offering free use of their platform to help restaurants recover from COVID-19.
Looking towards the future, online ordering systems for restaurants will continue to play an important role in the restaurant industry, especially with the rise of ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants. For some businesses, these tools may be the key to staying open and weathering the pandemic.
What is an online food ordering system for restaurants?
These systems allow consumers to visit a website or use an app to place an order that can be delivered or picked up.
What are some of the reasons to use online food ordering systems?
The majority of people in the US order takeout once a week and they report enjoying the ease of online ordering and home delivery. Click here for statistics.
How are online ordering systems helping restaurants during COVID-19?
Online ordering systems are helping restaurants stay open and safe. In states where restaurants can include alcohol with orders, businesses are able to increase revenue significantly.
How do you set up an online ordering system?
You can build your own website, use a third-party app or combine an app with your existing POS.
What are the benefits of online ordering?
Customers appreciate the convenience and tend to order more food. The systems also make operations more efficient and allow you to gather consumer information while also opening opportunities for upselling.
Are there any free online ordering systems?
Yes, Sixdots is offering free use of their services to help restaurants survive COVID-19.