Zomato, Swiggy and other online ordering aggregators have come to dominate the online food ordering space since the last decade. It’s very natural that you get a large number of your online orders, through these channels (whilst paying obscene commissions, of course).
From small mom-pop eateries to high-end restaurants, integrating with these online food aggregators is a must. And if you have been searching the web for this you would have stumbled upon this mysterious little term – API.
Here are some simple definitions of APIs from the Sideways dictionary.
“It’s like a waiter at a restaurant. The waiter takes a guests’ food order, then delivers to the food order to the kitchen staff. The kitchen staff then makes the food, hands the food to the waiter, and then the waiter delivers the correct food order back to the guest.”
In this article, we will be covering the following:
- Why do you need an API integration – key questions you need to ask yourself
- Getting signed up with online food ordering companies
- How to link all your orders to your POS system (with or without an API)
- The need for an API with online food ordering aggregators
Why do you need an API integration done?
As a restaurant, managing orders from multiple platforms might be a daunting and frustrating task.
Here are a few questions you need to ask before getting started.
- Do you need a simple one-stop interface to track your online orders from multiple channels – Your website, app, Swiggy, Zomato?
- Do you have multiple outlets and are you looking to expand in the near future?
- Do you need data and intelligence on what is working and what is not across outlets, food items and so on?
You might DEFINITELY need an integration done if your answer is YES to the above questions.
You would be thrilled to know that 2 simple steps would get your API integration done.
Step 1 – Getting signed up with Swiggy and Zomato
This will not be too difficult. Provided you have your registration details, FSSAI license documents – you can easily open up the Swiggy/Zomato page – and follow these simple steps.
Click on the ‘Partner with us’ link. Fill up a short form. After the form-filling, you will get contacted by Swiggy Zomato for the legal documentation. Post the verification processes, you are pretty much good to go.
You can complete the Zomato registration in a similar way.
For the detailed registration process of Swiggy and Zomato, check out this article – Tying up with Swiggy and Zomato – all you need to know
Step 2 – Link your POS to all online order channels via APIs (including Zomato and Swiggy)
How do you get orders from Swiggy, Zomato, and your own online ordering systems synced with your POS?
To sync in every single order, from each channel, onto your POS, you need a well-defined system in place.
You could approach this in 3 ways.
Manually upload the orders into your POS (not using an API)
Ensure that one person from your team carries out this process. This could bring in the possibility of human error, not to mention the time lag between order placement and order recording on your POS. This will most definitely bring down your restaurant’s operational efficiency.
Outsource the API integrations to a vendor
You would have to find a vendor or agency that could do this for you. The downside is that the agency or vendor would need to hard-code, make use of excel sheets and develop an application to push orders to your POS. Also, they would charge you for maintenance every time you have a technical issue.
Choose a restaurant management system
You could look up the top restaurant software companies and decide on one of them. LimeTray’s Online Ordering Integration tool – Merge would help you link your restaurant POS to all the orders coming through online food ordering aggregators and your own ordering platform. All the orders in one single dashboard. You might want to have a look at all its features here.
How will an API linkage benefit your restaurant?
If you decide to outsource the API integrations to a 3rd party vendor, you will benefit in various ways.
API linkages allow your POS to get linked to multiple platforms (including third-party aggregator websites). Here we are listing down the 7 key benefits of having an API linkage done.
- No wasting time with manual data uploads – With automated data in real time, you’ll not need to employ resources additionally. Also, human errors can be reduced significantly.
- Control menu items across platforms with the click of a button – Has it happened that you wanted to make quick changes to your menu and felt extremely helpless on not being able to do so? An online order management tool allows you to make changes to your menu across your selection of online order platforms within a few minutes. You do not need to be present at your restaurant as well. You can make the changes through your phone any time.
- Be on top of the tracking process, see the whereabouts of all your orders 24*7 – Order management might become a big task. You may find it overwhelming to stay updated on the happenings across all your outlets. Online Order Aggregator tools are designed to do just that. They are state of the art, dynamic, real-time which provide you with live-order tracking features at the click of a button.
- One dashboard for all your orders – As a manager, you’d want a single dashboard for all your incoming orders. That will ease the management process and allow you to get a view on the orders via an easy to understand interface. This will be super convenient for the managers. They will be able to learn fast and training new staff would become less of a pain too.
- Get access to exhaustive reporting features – Channel effectiveness is an important metric for you to keep track of. Which platforms are performing better? Is Zomato giving you more business or Swiggy? Which items are selling more? When did the sales of your hottest item peak? Just imagine – if you had all these data points wouldn’t you be able to make decisions more effectively? Modern day online aggregator tools provide you with insights on data and allow you to manage your restaurant better.
- Get Notifications on your phone/email – As a restaurant manager, you would get notifications on all the orders that are getting generated across platforms. This includes new orders, order cancellations, or any other order status. So if you are on the go or busy, you will be stay updated on orders via SMS or email.
We hope this article helped you understand the steps that are involved in getting an API integration done. Also, we hope that we have driven home the importance of having API integration done with the leading online food aggregators.