A good web ordering platform should have strong integration capabilities in multiple areas.
The one integration that’s absolutely necessary is the platform’s ability to integrate with your POS (point-of-sale) technology. POS is the central processing unit of a restaurant. Everything flows through it, both in-store and above-store. So if your online ordering platform isn't integrated into your point-of-sale, you might be missing out on a lot of efficiencies in running your operation.
It’s important to note that nearly every platform can check a box saying they can integrate with a POS, but what’s critical is the level of integration they can offer. How flexible is that integration? Do you have to change your point-of-sale technology to accommodate your new ordering provider? Or can your ordering provider work around your individual operational case?
You may find yourself needing to add curbside pick-up or delivery after choosing an ordering provider. Can they handle that additional integration, or are you going to have to pay to get more functions developed there? Or maybe that feature isn’t supported by the ordering provider you selected and now you’re stuck having to transition to a new platform.
Another thing to consider is loyalty programs. If you roll out a loyalty program and you want to use a third party loyalty provider, you have to make sure that your ordering platform can integrate with that program. Can your consumers redeem their points online as well as in-store?
And what's the user experience like?
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when considering the integration capabilities of a web ordering platform is your provider’s ability to create a seamless, end-to-end, customer-facing user experience that isn’t clunky or jarring for your customers. Reduced friction in the customer experience improves order completion rates. What matters most is the customer journey and having an ordering platform that can provide what you need and be flexible around your organization today and for tomorrow.