In our recent blog, New Diner Trends Impacting Your Restaurant Inventory Strategy in 2023, we discussed how - despite the fact that dine-in is back and as popular as ever - young diners prefer to order online.
Online ordering is now a must-have for any restaurant that wants to stay competitive. By implementing a successful online ordering strategy, you can attract new customers, increase revenue, and streamline your operations.
In this article, we'll go through the steps you need to take to create a successful online ordering strategy for your restaurant.
Before we dive into the steps for creating an online ordering system, it's important to understand why it's so important for your restaurant. Here are some of the top benefits of implementing an online ordering strategy:
- Increased revenue
- Streamlined operations
- Improved customer experience
- Broader customer base
- Data and analytics
With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help your restaurant implement a successful online ordering strategy that drives profitable growth.1. Choosing the Right Online Ordering Platform
The first step in creating an online ordering strategy is choosing the right platform. There are many online ordering platforms available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some popular options include:
Third-party platforms - such as Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes or DoorDash - allow you to list your restaurant on their app or website, and they handle the ordering and delivery logistics. These platforms can be a great way to reach new customers, but they typically charge a commission fee for each order.
In-house platforms allow you to build your own online ordering system that's integrated with your POS system. These platforms can be more customizable and cost-effective than third-party platforms, but require more setup and maintenance.
Some platforms offer a hybrid model where you can list your restaurant on their app or website, but they don't charge a commission fee for each order.
When choosing a platform, consider factors like cost, customization options, and customer reach.
2. The Importance of Inventory Management
Effective inventory management is crucial for any restaurant, and it's especially important when implementing an online ordering system. Here are some reasons why inventory management is important:
- Prevents stockouts: Effective inventory management can help prevent stockouts, ensuring that you have enough ingredients and supplies on hand to fulfill orders.
- Reduces waste: By tracking your inventory and usage patterns, you can reduce waste and minimize spoilage.
- Improves profitability: Effective inventory management can improve your profitability, by reducing waste and ensuring that you're not overstocked on slow-moving items.
- Streamlines operations: By automating inventory management, you can streamline your operations and reduce the risk of errors.
When choosing an online ordering platform, look for one that offers inventory management tools or integrates with your existing inventory management system.3. Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines
Once you've chosen an online ordering platform, it's important to optimize your website for search engines. This will help potential customers find your restaurant when they're searching for food online.