Delicious, high-quality food is necessary for success in the restaurant business, but customers may also make dining choices based on convenience. They might forego their favourite restaurant for an alternative that offers food ordering online, contactless pickup, or delivery. In today’s restaurant industry, these services are not merely nice extras for customers; they are necessary for any eatery that wants to remain competitive.
Here is a closer look at the trend of online ordering systems in Australia and the advantages they provide to restaurants.
What is an online order system, and how does it work?
A restaurant online ordering system allows customers to place orders on a website or a smartphone app. Typically, the site and app have a digital version of the restaurant’s menu that users access by typing in a URL, opening an app, searching via Google, or scanning a QR code.
The user then looks at the menu and selects their choices. Sites and apps often have dialogue boxes that open to allow users to add details or make choices related to their order.
Once they complete their online order for food, the customer can complete the process by placing their order. An online order system should include a payment processing service so that customers can pay for their order by credit, debit, or other electronic means.
Types of online order systems
Multi-restaurant online ordering systems offer ordering and delivery. Menulog, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats are examples of this type of online ordering system in Australia. These systems are convenient for restaurants because they handle all aspects of ordering, payment processing, and delivery. However, there is one very significant drawback to these services: they take a large percentage of the profits. Restaurants typically operate on tight margins, so having to part with 20% or 30% of the earnings is a dealbreaker for many.
Luckily, restaurants can also create a website or app with an online order system. Because such a site allows you to keep all of the earnings, it is an excellent investment.
At Duelling Pixels, as web development experts we can create an individualised restaurant website with an online order system and integrated payment processing. In other words, your restaurant can get the same features as multi-venue ordering systems in Australia without having to share your hard-earned revenue.
What are the advantages of an online order system?
A restaurant online ordering system brings advantages to both restaurants and their customers.
- It is easy to ensure order accuracy. When engaged in food ordering online, a customer needs to input the selections themselves. This leaves no room for server error or misinterpretation and limits instances when you need to compensate customers for mistakes by lowering their bill. Also, the customer pays through the site or app when ordering, so there are no misunderstandings about the bill.
- The payment gets settled upfront. Whether diners are ordering for pickup or delivery or eating in the restaurant, they are able to pay their bill online right after they enter their information. This process eliminates any issues with bill payment later, and it ensures pricing is clear to the customer from the start. Also, it limits instances where someone orders a meal and then neglects to pick it up and pay for it.
- There is potential for contactless transactions. If customers wish to order and obtain delivery or pick up their food at the restaurant, they can do so with an online order system on an app or website. Since you already have payment, you do not need to have any contact with the customer when they get their order.
- Online ordering offers more convenience for customers. Customers who do not want to come to a restaurant can still enjoy their favourite foods by ordering online. This option gives them another choice and a reason to stay loyal to your restaurant rather than going somewhere else because it is more convenient. Also, those who eat in the restaurant can order online to limit wait time and also limit interactions with the waitstaff. For restaurants, this can lead to faster table turnover, which can lead to higher profits on busy nights.
- You can get an edge over competitors who use third-party food delivery services like Uber Eats. They have to pay a high percentage of each order to get this service. Also, these sites do not allow you to personalise or customise your menu or offer promotions directly to your customers. Meanwhile, restaurants that do not have an online ordering system lose out on a large segment of the population who rely on online ordering.
Restaurants with their own online ordering systems can enjoy all these advantages, but there are several important factors to consider when you implement an online ordering system.
How to launch a website with an online ordering system in Australia
A restaurant online ordering system offers plenty of advantages, but you will need to create a solid website with specific traits if you want to enjoy all the positives. For example, if the online order system is challenging to use or the site is hard to navigate, you could end up actually losing customers instead of gaining them.
Here are some things to consider.
- Ensure the site and online ordering work on mobile. Many people order from their phones, and they will quickly move on to the next restaurant if your site does not size to their screen or if the features don’t work on a touchscreen.
- Adjust your menu for carry-out and delivery. Some dishes are difficult to package or won’t transport well. You can either leave these off your digital menu or adjust them as needed.
- Make sure staff have a clear user interface (UI). Staff members need to receive orders on time and organise them so that they can manage their workflow in the kitchen. You will need to understand the system yourself to train the staff as needed.
- Learn to change the online menu. Supply chain issues or other problems could keep you from offering certain dishes. You need to be able to adjust the menu on the fly when certain dishes become unavailable. An interface that makes such changes possible is essential for an online order system.
- Plan your delivery scope. If you offer direct delivery, you will need to ensure that the customer is within the area that you can serve. This will save you from having to cancel orders from people that are too far away for your delivery drivers.
- Finally, you need to be sure the new online order system does not slow down your site. If pages load slowly or orders take a long time to process, customers will move on to other sites or won’t return to yours.
These are a few things to consider when building a website. It can be helpful to work with a professional because you want to be sure that the job gets done right.
Why work with an expert when developing your online ordering system?
As web development experts, Duelling Pixels can ensure that all the components of an online ordering system are correctly integrated into your site and that the user interfaces work for your staff and customers.
Working with professional developers can also help you with SEO and other online marketing and customer acquisition efforts.
Contact Duelling Pixels today to learn more about integrated online ordering systems and other web features that can enhance your business.