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Online ordering is critical to the success of any restaurant today. Online ordering improves:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Brand loyalty and repeat orders
  • Overall profits

However, the switch to online ordering for a restaurant can be time consuming, expensive, and confusing for owners and operators. 

But, online ordering does not need to be complicated or complex. Instead, there are several easy actions restaurant owners and operators can take to boost their online ordering capacities.

Here are the top 5 ways to improve your restaurant’s online ordering experience:

# 1 Make your website the place to order

63% of consumers prefer to order delivery directly from the restaurant, versus 18% who prefer third parties apps, according to data from consumer research firm Sense360.

“Given all of the conversation that’s been happening around the fees that third-party delivery companies are charging restaurants and the dramatic economic impact of COVID-19 on restaurants in particular, consumers are very sensitive to sharing more of the revenue with the restaurant itself,” said Eli Portnoy, CEO of Sense360.

Rather than pay for higher fees, sometimes as much 30% per order, customers want to support independent businesses by ordering directly from the restaurant website.

Now is the time to revamp your website.  To increase online orders on your website, you can:

  • Print small cards with your restaurant’s contact info and website to add to every order
  • Include a call to action to order directly from your website, not a third-party app
  • Offer a discount code for your website’s online ordering

# 2 Streamline third party service interfaces

Today, there are dozens of third party services customers can use to deliver meals to their home. But, for the restaurant owner, juggling multiple third party service orders can be difficult. 

Multiple third party service interfaces can lead to more order errors, thanks to:

  • multiple accounts
  • multiple interfaces
  • and even multiple tablets!

A better solution to managing third party services? Use a single, convenient program like Dash to integrate all third party services into a single interface.

# 3 Create a digital loyalty program

Customers love loyalty programs! Loyalty programs help to gain and retain customers and can provide up to 10% of a restaurant’s revenue

However, not all loyalty programs are created equal. Customers no longer want to deal with physical punch cards or the hassle of carrying a loyalty card in their wallet. 

Today, digital loyalty programs are the key to successful loyalty programs.

Digital loyalty programs allow restaurants to:

  • Send out regular promotional mailings
  • Share updates and news 
  • Offer promos that increase orders  
  • Build brand loyalty

Want to start a digital loyalty program? Dash allows restaurants to easily add and enroll customers into a loyalty program.

# 4 Capture data

Online ordering offers another huge benefit to restaurant owners and operators: data. 

Online ordering data can help restaurant owners:

  • Boost customer engagement –  target ads and offers based on customer’s favorite dishes, patronage frequency, or budget 
  • Improve guest experience – manage service more efficiently
  • Adjust your menu create a better menu, based on item popularity and profit
  • Optimize your inventory – understand your food inventory, suppliers, and unit price data to create more profitable menu items
  • Empower your staff – improve tips by helping your staff create personalized, amazing guest experiences

# 5 Add photos

Want to increase your online orders? Add more photos to your menu. 

Great food photography helps customers see their future meal. Plus, great photos whet the customer’s appetite for appetizers, main courses, desserts, and drinks.

Accurate and beautifully photographed menus helps:

  • restaurant owners increase online sales 
  • improves the customer experience
  • Elevates a restaurant’s brand

Plus, beautiful food photography doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out our best food photography tips for restaurant owners here