Whenever you think about shopping for anything, you might look online before planning a trip to the store. This day in age, no one can blame you; all vendors are now expected to avail the convenience of being able to buy things from the comfort of your home or on the go. This goes not just for apparel or electronics; studies show that eight percent of fast-moving consumer goods will be bought online in the US by 2025.
Ordering food online is equally on the rise. Number crunchers say online ordering has been growing 300 percent faster than in-restaurant dining over the past six years. You don’t want to be left behind by this trend, not when competition in this industry is where it is. Even if you would like to offer your customers the option of ordering online, you may not know where to begin.
- Order Customization Options
Availing your standard menu online will equip your customers with the information they need to place their orders. However, some of your customers will want to add this or the other, deviating from the standard menu items.
Some customers eat vegetarian or vegan diets, while others experience food allergies or health issues resulting in dietary restrictions, and would like to have choices that promote their dietary lifestyle. You also need to offer gluten-free or organic alternatives for those who prefer them. Giving them such options allows your patrons to have their favorite meals just the way they want them, and this is likely to earn you the diners’ loyalty. Research has shown that an alarming 21 percent of potential customers abandon orders because they can’t get their meal the way they like it.
To give your diners this comfort, you need to make sure that they will be able to easily find those options on your app or website’s interface. It should be easy for you to add or remove those items from the menu, depending on their availability.
- Multiple Delivery Option
Many diners would like to choose if they want to have the meal delivered to their home or office or if they would instead pick it up themselves. Your customers who prefer to eat in should have the option of making their order in advance online so that they don’t have to wait when they get to the restaurant. However, they want to get their meal; your customers should have the freedom to choose. Online ordering POS systems should present these options to the user as they complete their order.
- Accurate Photography
Using images of food to woo diners is nothing new, but it’s better to try and keep your images as accurate as possible to what customers get. Put yourself in the shoes of your diners—you become enticed into placing an order by succulent images of pasta only to receive a soggy mess that looks nothing close to what was presented. Instead of focusing on post-processing your food pics, try to get your packaging right so that your customers are not disappointed.
- Ease of Use
Whether they’re placing their order through your website or via a mobile app, make sure your customers can do so seamlessly. The interface they use should be intuitive, and it should take as few clicks or taps as possible to complete the ordering journey. It would help if you also made it possible for potential customers to place their orders from as many platforms as possible to increase convenience. If they find you on Facebook, they should be able to go ahead and place their order there. On Twitter, they should have the option to tweet or DM their order. If your customers happen to log in to your website, a chatbot waiter could take their order.
- Tracking Order Status
After your customers place their order, by whatever means, they should be able to get feedback. If they’re using a food ordering app, it should have a tracker that shows your customer how far their meal is. Having real-time information on their order’s status will help ease your hungry customer’s anxiety as they wait.
Gobble up the Competition Online
Offering your customers and potential customers the ability to order from wherever they are at any time and get their meal just how they like it is sure to earn you their affection and loyalty. You can take your online POS a step further and use it to engage your customers after their order to entice them to return. Include features to collect feedback from diners and offer them incentives to make repeat orders and tell others about your restaurant.