How to Set Up a Restaurant Online Ordering System that Stands Out

Whether you have a fine-dining restaurant or a takeout joint – today consumers require you to take every part of your restaurant business online. It’s how you meet them where they hang out – all the time.

The success of online food ordering is hard to ignore and the stats are mind-blowing (here are a few numbers for you to see):

We understand that building for the internet generation can get overwhelming sometimes but it’s clear that your online ordering website should be one of your first and most important steps.

Need more proof? See how leading brands (like Biryani by Kilo, Bombay Salad Co, The Bohri Kitchen etc.) use their online ordering website to reach more customers in this free case study.

What You Need for An Irresistible Restaurant Website

While you realise the importance of having a website for your restaurant, it’s essential to look at the various elements that can set it up for success.

Your Own Online Ordering Platform

online ordering system
The Bombaykery’s online ordering platform

Your online ordering platform is your space to explore and explain your brand. It’s the first interaction people have with you online. It not only opens new revenue streams for you but also offers various customer engagement opportunities.

The best part is these orders come directly to your website so you don’t have to worry about extensive commissions, you actually don’t have to pay any commissions at all for them.

Make sure your menu here is always up to date, delivery areas fixed and ordering timings set. You can even add an option for pre-orders to provide ease of use for customers and to estimate demand for yourself during busy days.

Want to understand how you can optimise your online order menu using data? We’ve covered all about it in this post.

Real Images and Videos

images on restaurant website
Great visuals set your website for great conversions

Your food should always be the highlight of your restaurant both offline and online. Showcase your online menu with a lot of real images. Let your customers see what they’re ordering. Customers are twice as likely to order something once they see it’s image.

Another great way to make your restaurant stand out is to use videos whether of the premises, food or behind the scene snippets. Videos tend to have much more impact on a prospect’s mind than images. Embracing the video trend not just on your website but other social media platforms should definitely be on your to-do list.

Easy Table Reservation System

The time of sitting by the phone all day to take reservations is long gone. People now prefer saving time by directly reserving tables online. This not only is easy for your customers but also beneficial for your own operational efficiency.

When a reservation is made online, it’s a great opportunity to interact with customers without taking much time. Show them that their booking is confirmed and add some personal touch by showing your daily specials or the best items from the menu beforehand.

Gateways for Painless Customer Checkout

An increasing number of people now prefer online payments over cash payments. This is why setting up different payment methods is essential on your restaurant online order system. There are different options like pay now online, pay by cash on delivery, split your bill that you can offer your customers for a smooth checkout experience.

Contact and Social Media Details

It’s very well known that social media is one of the best places to build your brand presence. But are you making the most out of it by sharing them on your website too?

Online ordering social integration
Bombay Salad Co shares snippets from their Instagram handle

#Tip: You can even embed your social profiles on your website so that your best posts are directly shown there.

Another small but very important detail is to always include your address & contact numbers on the website. It’s something potential customers often look for when searching for you.

Complete Mobile Optimisation

You should always make sure to have a mobile-friendly version of your restaurant website. This means your website should always account for multiple screen sizes and load times. It should always be prepared to be in the hands of the customers irrespective of the screens on which they’re viewing it.

#Tip: Touchscreen navigation can lead to accidental clicks if your buttons are too big or too small, make sure the mobile version takes that into account and uses an optimal size.

Best Practices for Your Restaurant Online Ordering System

Now that you know what to include in your online ordering platform, here are some tips that can be the secret sauce for conversions on it.

Have Great Offers? Highlight Them on the Website

 

offers on order online website
Biryani by Kilo promoting its recent offers on the website

Using offers is a great way to convert users on your website. Whether they’re your first-time customers or dormant customers brought to the website using Win-back campaign. Show them your best offers directly on your homepage. If you’re running a loyalty program or special event for your guests – have a dedicated section for it on your website. Since your interaction with your online customers only happens through the website first – let it act as your silent server and provide all necessary information.

Looking for offer ideas that actually work? Here’s a tried and tested list for you.

Collect Emails and Make the Most of Your Customer Data

restaurant email subscription
Always build a subscriber list

Email marketing has proven to derive up to 4x ROI. It’s a powerful tool to engage with customers and eventually retain them. You should always give an option to customers to submit their email id to subscribe to your newsletter and new offers.

This way they can be informed about your new offers, special dishes, events and more. As a motivation to subscribe to the list, offer them loyalty points or a percentage discount on the next order. You can even segment these customers on the basis of their number of orders/loyalty stage and send targeted email campaigns. Email marketing works wonders when used with restaurant loyalty programs.

Be Interactive: In Your Website Copy, Use of Chatbots and More

Your website copy is one of the most important ways to communicate your message. It’s important to keep it simple – without any jargon words at the same time, it should be interesting enough to engage customers.

From helping with an order to answering questions related to open and close times, reward points, events and more – chatbots can soon be on the forefront of the service and relationship management for the restaurants. They’re perfect to offer customers flexibility as well as personalisation.

People Believe Other People: Showcase Real Customer Reviews

Customer reviews on website
Share your best reviews on the website

Real customer reviews are your strongest case in point. Let your happy customers act as your brand ambassadors on your website. You can directly put the reviews people left at your restaurant or take them from Zomato/Yelp/Facebook and add them to the website. Learn how to tackle bad reviews in the right way is very important as 88% of the customers get influenced by online reviews.

This not just adds credibility to your restaurant but is also helpful in helping the prospective customers with particular dish suggestions or reviews.

What’s your favourite part of building an online ordering system?

Well, these were our favourite elements and tips for building an online ordering platform for restaurants. Hope these help you to start or revamp your own restaurant website.

Always remember the key lies in reflecting your brand and keeping it simple. Let us know how it goes for you?

How to Set Up a Restaurant Online Ordering System that Stands Out
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Niharika Maggo

Niharika Maggo

Niharika is a Content Marketer at LimeTray. When she’s not busy wearing down the keys on her keyboard, she's found listening to podcasts, reading or drinking tea.