A restaurant online food ordering system is everything your restaurant needs to make online sales effectively. Many restaurant owners already use this solution.
How does this system work? Why should you launch it? What solution should you choose? We will answer the above questions and others in this article.
Orders directly from the Internet
An online food ordering system will make it possible for your restaurant to sell food online without the involvement of any external portals or the need to pay commission. UpMenu provides the possibility of integrating an active menu on your website (and you don’t need any technical skills or help from IT specialists), which will enable your customers to place orders online.
The UpMenu system will make it possible to order food through your restaurant website. You also have the possibility of launching a native restaurant mobile application for iOS and Android devices. This is an additional sales channel that will increase the number of food delivery orders carried out at your restaurant. You will become the first choice when your customers think about ordering food. Your restaurant app will be available on their smartphones at all times!
When you use the UpMenu system, you can also launch an online booking system for your restaurant. You combine it with the online food ordering system, you can forget about cancelled reservations once and for all. While your customer’s booking a table, they will be able to order food for a certain time and pay for it online, right away. More customers equals bigger profits for you. Additionally, you can plan the work schedule at the restaurant more effectively – you will finally have a more accurate idea about how many customers you serve and how many orders you process.
Which kinds of restaurants can sell food online?
You may be surprised to know that the UpMenu system is also a great idea in other situations, not only for food delivery. The well-developed online food ordering system offers multiple tools that will help you organise the work at your restaurant and plan marketing activities.
1. I plan to open a new restaurant offering food delivery
You’ve come to the right place! You certainly have lots to do. No worries. Allow us to develop your website and help launch it in the online food ordering system so, while you take care of what’s most important for you, we will handle everything you need so that you can start earning as much as possible with online orders.
2. I offer food delivery but I don’t sell online
Did you know that according to forecasts, the market for online orders will increase 79% by 2022 and will be worth 76 billion Dollars? (source) So, if you haven’t been offering online sales, now is the time to start! We will take care of the management.
3. I sell food through online food ordering portals
With the help of the UpMenu system, you can effectively reduce the commission costs you have to pay to a portal. With an online food ordering portals alternative you will be in a far better position to negotiate the terms of cooperation with a food portal. Additionally, we will show you how to redirect customers who place orders through the portal to your own online orders.
4 biggest benefits of online orders
An online food ordering system is a completely new sales channel and a tool that will help you generate more profit and better organise work at the restaurant, while you also make savings. Thanks to this, you can bypass your competition and get closer to your customers!
1. More orders equal bigger profits
The more orders you complete, the more money you will earn. It’s very simple. Thanks to the functionality of the UpMenu system you will be launching a new highly effective sales , so you can increase the number of food delivery orders carried out at your restaurant.
Additionally, the UpMenu online food ordering system is very easy and convenient for your customers to use. Currently, almost half of all orders for delivery are placed through a restaurant website] or mobile app. (source) Customers want to order quickly and without mistakes so why not make it possible for them!
2. Online food ordering portal alternative
When you cooperate with a food ordering portal, it is important to also offer an alternative. Otherwise, the portal will set the conditions of the cooperation and you will have to agree to them. You will not be offering another place for online sales where you can redirect your customers.
An Online ordering system is the ideal food ordering portal alternative. With such a system, you can limit the costs of commission. A food portal can be used to gain new customers. Later, you can redirect them to your own online ordering system. Read more about this in our e-book entitled: How to negociate cooperation with portals for food ordering.
3. If you are not present on the Internet you don’t exist.
Your customers look for food online. If they can’t find you in the Google search results, they will order food from your competition, who are certainly there already. Build your own restaurant website that is SEO-friendly and let people find you.
In many companies there is currently a trend that one person collects orders from their colleagues and places a collective order. Thanks to the UpMenu online food ordering system, they can place orders on your restaurant website or through the mobile app for a specific time using the pre-order option. You will soon start getting more orders that will earn you more.
4. More time for customers who eat at your restaurant
During rush hours, are your customers trying to make phone calls with their orders? Are your customers getting a busy signal? Do your employees make mistakes when noting down order details? These things will never happen again!
The UpMenu online food ordering system will help you organise the work at your restaurant properly. You will never make your customers wait due to that busy signal! No more mistakes with orders placed by telephone! Every online order can be collected with one click and you will see all its details immediately.
Your waiters will be able to look after your restaurant customers much better and, thanks to the possibility of making an online reservation and a pre-order, they will also know how many customers they can expect on a given day. You can plan your work more efficiently. Nothing but benefits!
Examples of the UpMenu online food ordering system
The UpMenu system helps restaurants to sell food online daily. Both large chains and local restaurants in smaller towns. See their online ordering systems.
Online orders, restaurant marketing, and reports in one place.
An online food ordering system is not just the possibility of placing orders online. It’s a comprehensive package of tools that will help you in your daily operation. Here are the top 10 features of the UpMenu system
1. Building the database automatically
When your customers place orders, the UpMenu system will start building a newsletter database automatically. You will be the owner of it and you can decide how to use it.
2. A module for sending SMS, email, and push campaigns
A newsletter database without the possibility of mailing campaigns wouldn’t be worth too much. The UpMenu system helps you impact the number of orders placed by customers thanks to the possibility of easily creating and mailing SMS and email campaigns, as well as PUSH notifications in the case of the restaurant mobile application.
This way, you can notify people about new products or changes in the menu and send text messages with a discount voucher within minutes. Thanks to this, your customers will be happier to place orders at your restaurant, and you will earn more.
3. Promotion engine
When you sell online, it is important for you to be able to provide the same discounts to your customers ordering online as you do to your customers in the restaurant. Customers are often irritated when they cannot benefit from a promotion just because they place orders through the restaurant website.
The UpMenu system will help you create various promotions just like the ones you offer to your eat- in customers. Use them to increase sales in a short period of time. See what promotion types are organised the most often:
Discount for certain products
An online food ordering system will help you increase sales of selected products or entire product groups. The choice is up to you! Your customers will now be able to order only selected products or entire product groups for less.
Discount for the second product
If you want to increase the number of products in the cart, offer a discount for the second product in an order. This will be sure to make your customers want to order more.
Discount for orders exceeding a specific amount
The promotion mechanism in an online ordering system operates in the same way as a discount for the second product. You can set the amount for which a discount will apply. This way, you affect the value of the cart and earn more.
Keep in mind that offering discounts may turn your customers into promotion hunters. In such cases, they might not order meals at regular prices from your restaurant but rather they will wait for another promotion.
4. Upselling and cross-selling
Your waiters recommend various dishes and suitable extras in your restaurant. The UpMenu system can also become such a “waiter” for online orders. You can configure it easily to add extras to particular meals which will appear as a choice when the customer is placing an order.
You can also set special pop-up windows that will appear on your restaurant website or in the Menu section, and use them to promote particular items on the menu. This way, you will increase sales of products you want to sell the most.
5. Loyalty programme
A loyalty programme is one of the best methods for building loyalty among customers. Use one and your customers will order more and more often. Offer this possibility both in the restaurant and online.
The UpMenu online food ordering system enables you to create loyalty programmes in two ways; the first method is to offer points to be awarded to the customer for ordering items from the menu. The points can later be exchanged for specific items on the menu in subsequent orders. The second method is to award stamps for each order with the customer receiving a prize after collecting a certain number of stamps.
6. Automated collection of reviews
When your customers place an order, they can leave automated feedback which can only be accessed by you. This is a great idea for preventing any crises – you can react to certain feedback before it reaches social media. This way, you are ensuring a good reputation for your restaurant.
7. Automated generation of statistics
The online food ordering system generates statistics for your any time you want regarding online sales, covering any given period. Based on such statistics, you can make more conscious business decisions. You will see what sells best and when most orders are placed. Use the data when planning shopping for your products, changes in the menu, and required numbers of staff members.
Pre-ordering enables your customers to order food for a certain time. They can make the pre-order any time they want. Don’t lose orders when the restaurant is closed, enable your customers to order lunch in the morning when they arrive at work.
This way, you can increase the number of orders submitted to your restaurant via the Internet. You can also combine this feature with the online booking system. You will no longer face cancelled reservations as customers booking tables will be able to order food immediately and pay for it online.
9. Discount vouchers
When you use discount vouchers, you can increase your sales in a short period of time. The UpMenu online food ordering system makes it possible to generate any manner of discount vouchers to be used on your restaurant website and mobile application.
Discount vouchers will also help you measure the effectiveness of particular marketing channels. How can this be done? Generate various discount codes with the same promotion conditions and provided them to customers in a variety of areas such as on your restaurant Facebook page, on Instagram, on flyers or in the restaurant. You will see the discount code that was the most popular in the UpMenu system.
10. Marketing automation
Together with the online food ordering system, you can launch marketing automation. This feature will enable the system to mail various messages to customers depending on the situation, e.g. when they make an order for the first time or when they sign up to a newsletter.
This is also a great idea for activating customers who have not made any orders from you for a long while. The system will, for example, send a discount voucher to a customer who hasn’t placed an order for 30 days, etc. This way, you will increase the number of orders and you won’t even have to remember about such activities! Set the automation and the UpMenu system will mail the campaigns automatically.
The Online food ordering system can be integrated with other solutions
The UpMenu system can be integrated with other tools you use in your daily work. This way, you can organise your work better while your team can spend more time on servicing your customers.
Online food ordering system in your mobile application for restaurants
25% of smartphone users have at least one restaurant mobile application installed. (source) The UpMenu online food ordering system enables integration of online orders with a mobile app.
You can easily match it with the brand image and appearance of your website. Additionally, each change in the menu will be immediately visible in the restaurant mobile application.
This is a new sales channel that will make it possible for you to carry out more food delivery orders. More orders equals bigger profits so you can earn even more!
Order directly from the restaurant Facebook page
Facebook has over one billion users. You customers are certainly among them. The UpMenu food ordering system allows for integration with your restaurant Facebook page. This way, your customers don’t have to leave social media, to place an order.
Convenient online payments thanks to integration
Currently, 56% of customers prefer to pay their bills online. (source) Don’t lose customers who don’t carry cash. Customers prefer to pay for online orders with a convenient online transfer.
Online food ordering portal vs. online ordering system
Cooperation with an online food ordering portal can ensure many new orders and customers for a restaurant. However, food portals expect a high price to be paid for such orders. What risks are faced by restaurants cooperating with online food ordering portals?
The costs increase endlessly
When cooperating with an online food ordering portal, you pay a commission from the value of meals sold. This means that the more you sell, the more you pay. The costs can increase endlessly.
When you launch an online food ordering system, you will only pay a small monthly subscription, regardless of the number of orders. This way you save and earn more.
You don’t have your own newsletter database
When your customers place orders through the restaurant website and mobile application, they will leave their contact details with consents for sending newsletter campaigns. This way, you can develop a database that will belong to you.
A newsletter database is also generated automatically on an online food ordering portal. The only difference is that it doesn’t belong to you, but instead to the portal, and you have no access to it. Instead, the portal can send campaigns promoting other restaurants, to your customers!
You don’t control the number of orders
An algorithm in a food ordering portal, which queues restaurants, decides how many orders you will have. The portal will not aim for you to have as many orders as possible. On the contrary. The portal wants all restaurants to have more or less the same number of orders as only then will it retain cooperation with all of them.
When you sell through your own online food ordering system, you can affect the number of orders thanks to SMS, email and PUSH campaigns, promotions, discount vouchers and marketing automation. You decide what to promote and when.
You become dependent on a food portal
Selling online without any online food ordering portal alternative leads to your business becoming dangerously dependent on the portal. When you don’t have any other options for ordering online that you can redirect your customers to, you will cooperate according to the rules of the food portal. If you don’t agree to them, you will lose profit from online sales.
An online food ordering portal is not your own shop where you sell food. It is a huge supermarket, where products of other competitive brands are located on the shelf next to yours. When you redirect customers wishing to order online via a food portal, you will not be certain whether they end up ordering at your restaurant or somewhere else.
This is why it is so important for you to offer your own online orders through the restaurant website and mobile app and redirect your customers to them. This is the only way for you to develop a strong position on the internet so you can sell online effectively.
Dedicated online shop vs. an online food ordering system
Many restaurant owners are of the opinion that buying an online shop developed specifically for them is more beneficial than using an online food ordering system available on the market. Is such an assumption justified? What are the advantages of the UpMenu system over your own shop?
Do you have over ten thousand Dollars to start?
Developing your own ordering system for a particular restaurant can be really expensive. From several thousand Dollars to tens of thousands of Dollars for a start, depending on the level of a given solution.
Additionally, the time for developing such a solution has to be taken into account. Several months is the quickest option possible. When it comes to the UpMenu system available on the market, you can implement it within a few days. You can easily match it to the appearance of the website and character of the restaurant, while the fee for implementation is minimal.
Recurring maintenance fees
No system will work well without updates. Just think about it! Even phone applications require them, not to mention an online food ordering system. When you don’t have your own tools, you will have to pay a lot for each update.
When you cooperate with UpMenu, you only pay a small monthly subscription fee. All updates are included in the price! You should just cook!
Dedicated does not equal customised
Many companies creating online shops have no idea about the specific of restaurant operation! A restaurant ordering system is a completely different solution to a simple shop. Thanks to the huge number of configuration possibilities, you can recommend extras, offer different meal sizes or enable orders in advance, and more.
A solution developed by an external interactive agency will simply not do. Such a system will not be functional to customers so, orders will not be submitted, and you won’t make a profit.
When you buy your own system, that’s all you’ll get. No additional features. You will have to pay and wait for them to develop additional tools.
The UpMenu system has been developed for over 10 years. Thanks to the huge availability of additional features, you can promote your restaurant as never before. Use an automated newsletter database, a module for sending SMS, email, and PUSH campaigns, a loyalty programme, marketing automation, the possibility of collecting customer reviews, a promotion engine, discount vouchers, and detailed sales reports.
A few steps to increasing the number of orders after launching the online food ordering system
When you launch an online food ordering system you should complete a few more steps so that your customers can find out about the new method of ordering. This way, you will ensure a good start for your business and start earning right away.
1. Place information on your restaurant website
Information on the homepage of your restaurant website is key. Without it, customers who visit your website will not place an order. You can notify your customers about the new method of ordering food through your restaurant website in several ways:
- Changing the name of the “MENU” section to “ORDER ONLINE”
- Adding a special button “ORDER ONLINE” on the homepage
- Creating a pop-up notifying customers about the new online food ordering system.
2. Add a post on your restaurant Facebook page
Facebook is currently one of the best places for promoting a restaurant. Use this to your advantage and add information about online orders being possible through the restaurant website on your restaurant Facebook page.
Prepare a special post. You can also use Facebook Ads and reach even more recipients this way!
3. Include information about the online food ordering system on all printed materials
When you order new packaging for food to be delivered, or new promotional flyers, don’t forget to add information about the new delivery method. This way, your customers will come across such information easily and they will certainly order through the restaurant website next time.
4. Make sure your staff notify customers in the restaurant about online orders
When members of your staff take telephone orders, they should notify customers about the possibility of placing online orders easily through the restaurant website.
When customers ordering through the telephone start ordering online, you can promote the restaurant in a better way thanks to the comprehensive marketing tools available in the online food ordering system.
5. Offer a discount for the first order
Your customers will be happier to try out online orders if you give them a discount for the first order. When they see how easy it is to order through your restaurant website, they will certainly return to order more.
6. Build a newsletter database
By using the UpMenu system you will build a database of your customers automatically, along with consent for marketing contact. Such a database can be used for promoting your products and offering special discounts.
Due to the above, you can remind customers about your restaurant and they can order more online. You will soon be earning more.
An online food ordering system is a comprehensive solution that will resolve your problems with organising online orders. Thanks to this system, your customers will order more conveniently with the possibility of paying online, so you can earn more!
The wide range of features in the UpMenu system will help you promote your restaurant, its meals, and offer promotions which will convert into higher numbers of food delivery orders completed. More orders equals bigger profits.
You will receive everything you need for effective online sales with the online food ordering system. Find out more about the advantages of online orders from the article entitled: 9 advantages of online food ordering for restaurants.