It’s time to get back to basics. We love writing articles about the restaurant industry in general — which is why we will continue to write some (ideally) practical posts that help restaurant owners improve operations, save money, and perhaps even determine if owning a restaurant is the right move to make for them in the first place! To the latter point, recent posts have seen us address both the challenges and positives of being a restaurant owner. To briefly summarize, it takes a special kind of person to be able to run a restaurant. They work long hours, wear a variety of hats, love solving problems, enjoy being around people, are intrinsically motivated, have access to investment capital, and, lest we forget, have a passion for creating great food!

On the other side of the coin, being able to be your own boss, executing your own creative vision, building something from the ground up, and the prospect of making a good amount of money (eventually, in most cases) are some of the most significant reasons people start their own restaurants.

For now, we’ll leave that topic in the past, in favor of addressing something that we know inside and out at Online Orders Now. We aren’t restaurant owners ourselves, despite the fact that we work with a great number of restaurants whom we are proud to call clients. We would like to take today’s post as an opportunity to highlight what our online food ordering software does so remarkably well, especially when it gets compared to the solutions of our competitors. Rather than getting into the specifics of what they offer, we will be focusing on what is genuinely unique about Online Orders Now — from our seamless POS integration to the fact that we allow unlimited transactions for a flat monthly fee. If you are interested in learning more about our online ordering software for restaurants, we’d love to explain what sets our solution apart from others!

A Window Of Opportunity

Let’s start big picture here, if you’ll allow us. We’ve said in previous blogs, and we’ll continue to beat this drum; it’s a rhythm every restaurant owner should be familiar with. The restaurant industry faces a unique shift in consumer behavior. More and more people are ordering delivery or takeout. More and more people are also ordering over the internet with their smartphones or tablets. Here’s another fact for you: online orders are an average of 30 percent larger in purchase price than orders taken over the phone or at the counter.

With that information in mind, consider this: there is no third-party aggregate delivery provider that has virtually monopolized the small restaurant delivery industry, just yet. While your big fish like Olive Garden or Pizza Hut use their own applications and delivery networks, many small restaurants might initially think they have to use a third party to be able to make having a delivery and online ordering system function. The thing is, these third-party providers typically charge you an arm and a leg on each of your online orders since they are doing so much of the work on your behalf. It’s not uncommon to see aggregates take 30 or even 40 cents on every dollar you make through the delivery and ordering system they provide you with.

Online Orders Now represents a third option between being completely self-sufficient (not a realistic possibility for most small to medium-sized restaurants or restaurant chains) and giving up over a third of your gross income to a third-party. Online Orders Now will build you a custom website that looks great on smartphones and tablets, build you a custom app for regulars, and we’ll provide you with an online ordering system that fully integrates with pretty much every POS system restaurants use.

Unlimited Transactions – No Monthly Fees

But more than all of that, we offer you the option to have a fixed monthly fee with unlimited transactions each month. No matter your monthly order volume, you’ll pay the same monthly rate, with no limits or fees based on volume. This means there’s a lower cost for you, while you are still able to be found by folks searching for your kind of food from their smartphones, tablets, or computers.

Remember when we brought up the fact that there is no monopoly of third-party delivery providers? That’s key here, because this is the window of opportunity we are talking about. When it comes to consumer loyalty, there is no Facebook or Amazon of delivery applications that everyone has on their phone. This means the hundreds and thousands of people within your vicinity who are looking for delivery or pickup won’t necessarily use a third-party app to find what they are looking for. They quite possibly will use Google as a search engine. And when they do, you need to be ready to meet them there with a visually impressive website and an easy-to-use online ordering system.

A Custom-Designed Website For Your Restaurant

You might have a wonderful setup of delivery drivers, a world-class POS system, and the best deli that provides to-go orders this side of the Mississippi, but it doesn’t mean much if people don’t like your website. Consumers use their mobile devices for just about everything these days (not just millennials, either) and with that trend comes the expectation that your website will look good when viewed from a smartphone.

While no two websites we design will ever be alike, since they are all about capturing your brand’s unique essence, each website we create will always include these impressive features:

  • Image Slider: A few of your favorite images will rotate to visitors as soon as your site loads. Use photos of your great food, restaurant interior, employees, guests, etc. to tease out a taste of your unique dining experience. You are in control!
  • Social Networking Links: We will help your website visitors find your Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, and other social media accounts by embedding prominent, easy to spot links. This tells consumers you are legitimate and connected with your customer base, and is pretty much an essential thing to have at this point.
  • Contact Form: Customer feedback is vital for any business to succeed. Not only will your restaurant phone number be clearly visible, but a contact form is also provided that sends you an email when visitors share their questions or comments. Again, it’s about showing people you care about their experience and feedback.
  • Google Map: An integrated Google Map is much more useful than just giving out an address. Customers using mobile devices can even get directions with a few simple clicks. Long gone are the days of only having your address listed online alongside a PDF of your menu.
  • Embedded Videos: We will show off your great YouTube or Vimeo videos by embedding them right into your website. Videos help make your dining experience offered more lifelike, leading to more people converting (i.e., ordering your food).
  • Search Engine Optimization: Your website is only useful if customers can find it. People use Google more than ever. Our SEO experts will employ the latest search engine optimization strategies to push your site to the top!

A Custom Web App

If you have food that is good along with a high-quality online ordering experience, first-time customers are going to become 2nd-time customers. Eventually, you’ll get a base of regulars who want to order your food. These folks will be inclined to download a mobile web app that you offer — one that’s been built by yours truly at Online Orders Now. Your customers will be presented with a special mobile-ready version of your website that offers a user experience specifically designed for a compact screen.

As you might be able to guess, we have more to say on this matter, so we will be discussing it further in part two of this series! In the meantime, if you’d like to speak to us about what our online ordering software can do for your restaurant in particular, contact us today!