There are four things you should consider when choosing an online ordering platform: profit, branding, data ownership, and flexibility.
You're going to be spending money on any online ordering platform that you choose, regardless of whether you build it yourself or go with a third party. It all comes down to your ROI (return on investment). How much money are you spending and how much are you getting in return?
With a good online ordering partner you should help you spend a lot less on every transaction that comes through your platform. A good online ordering platform will help you generate higher ticket sizes than the competition. When choosing a platform partner, make sure that you ask how much those transactions cost and what your business returns will be.
There are a lot of differences between the different parties, to maximize your upselling capabilities and your menu display and all of that matters in the consumer journey to help drive revenue for the brand.
Surveys show that 70% of consumers would rather interact directly with a brand than with a third party, so you have to be able to give your customers a platform they want to use.
One thing to keep in mind is when customers are looking at your corporate website and they switch to your ordering platform and it doesn’t share your branding, it may be a jarring shift. This can result in your customers feeling uncomfortable or suspicious of the platform. You always want to make sure you’re creating a seamless, end-to-end experience between your corporate website and your ordering channel, fully branded to showcase your menu items.
Nice, big imagery can help you stand out from the competition. Consumers respond well to a fresh, modern interface and, when they feel like they're interacting with you and your brand, they’re more likely to feel comfortable and want to come back over and over.
3. Data Ownership
If you're a restaurant brand that solely relies on third party marketplaces and you receive all of your orders through these marketplaces, those customers aren't technically your customers: they belong to the third party.
This puts you at a disadvantage because now you can't target those customers with branded marketing efforts to entice them to come back. That’s why you always want to make sure you're choosing a partner that gives you ownership over your customer data, segregates your data, and that you trust to house your customer data.
When you pick an online ordering platform partner, here are some questions you should ask yourself: Are you going to have to fit in their box? Are you going to have to conform to their templates and design? Are you going to have to change your menus and your POS (point-of-sale) to make an app integration work? Do they even have integration capabilities to your POS?
All of these questions are important. And when picking a partner, keep in mind they need to be equipped to track and grow with you. As your restaurant operation changes, so do your requirements. That’s why it’s critical that you pick a partner that can grow with you and adapt to your specific business needs.