The COVID -19 pandemic has been a harrowing, stressful period for restaurant and franchise owners. To survive, restaurants had to quickly offer take-out/delivery and online ordering or risk closing up shop. Because the entire industry was thrown into the fire at once, we can glean some important lessons about customer behaviors and preferences. We can also pinpoint some of the failings of cheap, temporary online ordering solutions.
Consider these observations from part 1 of our 3 part series as you assess your current online ordering platform and plan for 2022.
Dedicated online ordering systems are worth the investment.
Are you trying to handle increased online sales with multiple incompatible, third-party systems? The frustration of working with these inadequate tools can make a long day feel even longer. Patchwork ordering systems are:
Slow and clunky when trying to feed information from one system to another system such as a POS
Challenging when it comes to staff training
Usually unable to update with real-time stock, leading to confusion and customer dissatisfaction
Typically not able to offer a branded onscreen ordering presence when using a third-party ordering service
Worse, restaurant owners often find themselves juggling multiple third-party systems, each with its own set of quirks and procedures. Can you quickly find and address an order when a customer calls about an order originating from these outside partners? More often than not, you’ll have to go through the third-party to update an order for your own restaurant.
These band-aid solutions may have worked in the short-term, but for longer-term success, nothing beats an in-house, full-featured online order option.
Here are a few benefits of using a quality in-house ordering system:
Reduced phone volume as customers turn to online ordering
Streamlined staff training on a single system
POS, payment and loyalty program integrations
Real-time inventory reflected on the online ordering screen
More profitable versus outside ordering and delivery services
Direct online ordering is a better option, and this is not a place to skimp.
First-party solutions work better than third-party options.
Third-party vendors such as DoorDash, Grubhub and others may have been good enough during the pandemic, when quick solutions were attractive. Unfortunately, many restaurant owners discovered some of the major disadvantages of these partnerships. For example:
Each third-party partner has a unique interface, one that doesn’t necessarily integrate with POS systems. Staff may need to manually enter third-party orders into the POS system from one of myriad third-party devices.
Turning a profit becomes extremely difficult given the high fees charged by the third-party marketplaces
Pressure to deliver high-volume to overcome the fee structure leads to quality issues, as well as product availability and staffing problems
Complex or changing menus don’t play well with the limited options available through third-party interfaces
The list goes on. Remember, third-party ordering and delivery partners offer blanket solutions that can work across a wide range of restaurants and stores. They aren’t designed with specific needs in mind, and in fact, they discourage restaurants from offering customized user experiences.
Uniformity is key for these 3rd party online ordering vendors when it comes to profitability. It’s no surprise that of the three parties involved with these transactions (the customer, the restaurant, and the third-party partner), it’s usually the third-party partner who wins.
A good online ordering platform should allow you to eliminate your “tablet farm,” and allow the third-party marketplace orders to be placed directly into your POS.
It’s time to offer a better online ordering experience. Onosys can help.
Our team will get to know you and your menu, building a dynamic, user-friendly system your customers and staff will love. Not only do we welcome complex menus, we help our clients present them in the best ways.
Forget about third-party partners that aren’t interested in true partnerships. Onosys can build a solution that integrates with your existing POS and make it feel like an extension of your website. Best of all, when you need support, we’re a phone call away.