How to set up an Effective Online Ordering System for Restaurants?

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Online ordering systems, casually saying – contactless table ordering – are bringing up a new trend in the restaurant industry. The disastrous events industry went through during the Covid-19 outbreak (2020-2021) have brought a stellar rise in tech adoption now.

Mainly restaurants that were close victim to the global pandemic havoc are gearing up to gain a fresh foothold with online ordering systems. A survey by Economix Consulting Group (ECG) reveals that over dine-in.

If you also run a restaurant, bring back that same level of enthusiasm and outperform again using technology. But, how to set up online ordering for a restaurant? We have prepared this helpful guide to answer.


Online Ordering System for Restaurants: A Short Introduction

In simple words, Online Ordering Systems help restaurant operators in creating a digital portfolio wherein they can receive and manage orders online.

It is basically an automated system accessible in a website or a mobile application format, comprising a digital menu and an option for customers to place orders.

Similarly, an admin interface provided in the system facilitates ease of order tracking for a restaurant operator.

Now that you are convinced to land on an , it’s time to break down a series of steps to learn how to create online ordering for a restaurant.

How to set up an Effective Online Ordering System for Restaurants?

An online ordering system for restaurants is often categorized into three different sections as illustrated below –

Option 1. An In-house Online Ordering Platform on a Website

An in-house or personal website is one of the most commonly used terms for online ordering systems. But more than an OOS you can better call it a restaurant website. These websites are built on CMS (Content Management System) e.g., WordPress or Wix and entirely managed either by an in-house team or an outsourced network.

To learn how to set up online ordering for my restaurant on your own website, here’s break down of the steps required –

  • First, purchase a domain and hosting plan from a reputed platform
  • Connect domain, hosting, and a CMS platform
  • Purchase a good-looking theme and own 100% right to use it for brand reputation
  • Put in Content! Content! and More Content!
  • Launch your website on the internet
  • Invest in on-page and off-page SEO
  • Tackle technical and ranking challenges if doing it on your own

Alternatively, outsource a digital marketing firm. But make sure the budget allows you. In the United States, a Restaurant website price can vary from $3,000 to $15,000 respectively. It depends on the configurations and extra demand you have set from the web developers and designers.

Website marketing isn’t covered in the list of expenses. It is an added cost attached to a personalized website or an online ordering system. Keeping eye on the website’s repairs and technical aspects is also required.

Option 2. A Third Party Based Online Ordering Platform

Third-Party based online ordering platforms can be a budgetary alternative to a personalized website. These platforms are increasingly being used by restaurants around the world.

They are a budgetary option as restaurant operators need not put extensive capital in, which is a bit annoying thing with a private website. Still, if you are excited to know how to set up online ordering for the restaurant on these third-party platforms, here’s an easy guide on that.

  • First, scout for the best third-party online food-ordering platform
  • Contact and create your profile on their platform
  • Enter your restaurant details and update the menu
  • Orders must begin to come in!

Compared to establishing your own brand website, creating a profile on these third-party-based food ordering application or websites make sense. It is for this reason that by doing this you will gain exposure to a vast audience. But there’s a catch.

Since these third-party platforms will be promoting and serving your restaurant’s menu to their own audience, you may be charged a specific commission per order. It can either cut back on the profits your restaurants make per order.

Alternatively, it can end up making the menu too expensive looking to customers if you want that charge to be incurred by the customer themselves. Also, there’s the absence of any benefit from personal branding and data analytics.

Option 3. POS Integrated Third-Party Online Ordering System

The last and probably one of the smartest is the served by some innovative online ordering systems for the restaurant. Companies providing these services are a restaurant first.

They basically help restaurants at creating a digital presence like third-party food ordering apps but serve the benefit of personal branding like a private business website. Since they are also linked with a restaurant’s Point of Sale System, effective management of online orders is guaranteed.

Here’s a step-by-step process on how to create online ordering for restaurants using this innovative solution –

  • First, go to an online ordering system e.g., App2Food
  • Create your account and give your restaurant details including the menu
  • Access personalized websites and applications for free
  • Link your POS with your newly built portfolio (website or app)
  • Customize your menu and market to customers in the city
  • Run your delivery services and keep accepting more orders
  • Use an in-built tracking tool to spot what’s working and not working

These online ordering systems are basically a combination of websites and third-party-based food ordering applications. Still, they tend to serve even more benefits to a restaurant at relatively lower charges. Don’t worry, unlike other platforms it only takes a small monthly fee to benefit from the services.

These platforms even and food delivery services for restaurants under special schemes and additional benefits can also be reaped. Such as, these platforms operate on a as well wherein you get a chance to build an image among the pre-established restaurants online.


10 Ways to Ensure Effective Online Ordering System Setup That Draws More Customers

To guarantee a successful run of an online ordering system, given below are some of the helpful things you can consider when setting up your restaurant online.

  • Clear Communication
    Clear communication is a primary factor worthwhile to consider before and after setting up an online ordering system. You aren’t just a restaurant when transiting to online platforms, but a food brand that must know how to persuade a customer. Simply put, how to convey a message to a customer clearly should be given the topmost priority. Such as, you can put only needed text into the food description when updating a menu in the ordering system. Keep interaction free of flaws and try streamlining interaction to ensure you and the customer don’t take too long to respond to a query of one another.


  • Focus on Excellent Service
    When setting up an online ordering system, try bringing in excellent quality. Don’t just randomly drop your list of the menu on your digital portfolio. Instead, try adopting a professional work ethic. Such as, it’s necessary to mention what food will be hot, and cold, and the necessary things to be cautious about when eating food. The package and additional elements provided along with the food and how they must be used should also be considered. Keep it well-defined in the description box to ensure excellent services could be accessed. Make sure no necessary information is left to be highlighted.


  • Outsource Delivery Drivers
    Outsourcing a delivery driver makes sense when planning an online restaurant and observing that you are short of in-house delivery guys. Instead of hiring an in-house team and investing in delivery instruments e.g., bicycles, cars, or drones, you can contact companies providing delivery services and they will deliver food on your behalf. But make sure that they only improve your existing services, tracking, order management, and processing must be done by the restaurant itself. Also, when setting up an online ordering system, consider mentioning delivery costs are whether included or excluded from the product cost.


  • Create an Attractive Online Menu
    If you expect the customer to order each time they watch your menu, consider putting in attractiveness as much as you can. Rather than mixing up too much on the dashboard, use a specific theme and match it with your menu. All images must be well-aligned and graphics should not be forcefully included. When you finally get the answer for how to set up online ordering for your restaurant, the next big thing to do is find more creative ways to build an attractive menu.


  • Use High-Quality Visuals to Lure Eaters
    One of the best tactics you can deploy to transform your dull menu into an attractive thing is to use high-quality visuals. Not just it will turn it attractive, but it will also improve more clicks and orders in your restaurants. It has been seen that most people are influenced by visuals. So make sure none of the images is just used for reference only as it must be serving the purpose precisely. Buy a camera, or hire someone to take the best quality pictures of your delicious cuisines to ensure they look enticing on the virtual menu.


  • Keep Mobile Users in Mind
    It’s worth noting that 70% of all US digital media users are mobile customers. They are more likely to use their smartphones over any tool when ordering food from their favorite restaurants. That’s why creating a digital portfolio, it’s ideal to keep it optimized for the mobile user. Even though you are using a third-party-based POS-linked system, you still have the power to keep your menu optimized for the mobile search results and user experience.


  • Use Reliable Technology
    Technology can either speed up your business operations or it can pause the overall productivity of your business. Such as, don’t keep blaming the online ordering system setup if you aren’t receiving customers or if you are struggling with order executions. Maybe the issue is residing in the POS system, or the technology you are currently using at your restaurant. Poor internet connectivity or weakening internet signals can also be blamed if you can’t timely handle things.


  • Keep Your Portfolio Up to Date
    Once you are well-versed in how to create online ordering for a restaurant, acknowledge everything provided on the dashboard for support, and be strategic. Stay up to date with the latest updates to benefit from new launches. But most importantly, keep updating your menu and digital profile frequently or as new occasions or festival seasons come in. This must be done to trigger a sense of excitement among customers. So that they reach out to your restaurant sooner and grab the best offer. Also, never miss out on updating your menus to avoid confusions which may contribute to unnecessary queries from customers.


  • Take Data-Powered Decision
    Don’t just take business decisions from manual activities or randomly from the mind. Online ordering systems serve the benefit of data tracking. You can detect from the data that’s working or not working. That’s why it’s advised to keep your portfolio experimental rather than assuming it is a general requirement for your business.


  • Stay Active!
    Once you have learned how to set up online ordering for a restaurant and how to keep it effectively running, stay active. Nearly 86% of Americans order food online at least once a month. It is a flourishing trend that will build an even stronger position in the future market. So keep pace with the newest activities in the online food delivery work culture, and evolve with the newest things thriving in the online food ordering systems.

How Setting up an Online Ordering System helps scale a Restaurant?

It really doesn’t take too long to find the effectiveness of an online ordering system. Future belongs to digitalized restaurants having their sales and marketing activities running on automation. Still, here’s a detailed breakdown of reasons convincing each restaurant to go online that is still running on an outdated concept.

Ease of Menu Customization
Manual operations may not but, an online portfolio provides the flexibility of menu customization. Whenever it is required, one can customize their menus and other information of the layout as per their occasional or private needs.

The task can be done with a push of a button or using some drop-down features in no time. Not only this, you can even customize your logos, your brand colors and other essential branding features too. In case an item from the menu isn’t looking good to the eyes and you want to delete it, simply eliminate it from the list.

Click on the save as soon as all settings are done. However, most information can be updated through automation, which means only less effort is required. But few activities take manual actions. Such as, you can decide the schedule of your business opening and closing hours.

So as the clock ticks time, information is automatically adjusted on the ordering systems online.

Relatively Affordable

Compared to a private website or creating a portfolio on a third-party application, transition to an online delivery system is fairly affordable. Thanks to the companies running these systems that charge a monthly fee from restaurants against their services.

Most other services are free-like such as marketing and data tracking are the free features accessible on most online ordering systems. A typical website may cost you anything between $600 to $15000 and more.

Similarly, you can lose a big chunk of profits by including third-party food delivery applications into your business model as they may charge higher commissions on a single order. But no such things exist in these systems which makes them an absolutely perfect pick for a restaurant seeking an alternative that doesn’t shake up the budget.

Most notably, charges on maintenance and repairs are born by the company itself. In a nutshell, restaurant operations are managed with complete relief.

Data-Driven Business Plan
Most people search for how to create online ordering for restaurants because it is helpful, but hardly a few become skilled in them. If you have done an online ordering system setup, there are certain things that you must learn beforehand.

The most notable is data analytics. These systems harness the power of data analytics. They know when, where, and why a customer is placing an order. Things that are on-demand can be described through these in-built data tools.

These significant benefits facilitate ease of business progression. Such as, restaurant operator can actively upgrade their menus and adapt to the unique requirements of customers on the go. Alternatively, they can build a plan to outperform the restaurant market digitally via online ordering placing.

Also, not every business hour will be fruitful. At most events, your business will be struggling to meet the business requirement. This is where data will come to your rescue. Make sure the data is also insightful through customer testimonials and reviews.

Filters to Enhance User Experience
Filters are a considerable element of online ordering systems. Using these filters, customers can easily scout for their favorite menu that reduces turnaround or bounce rate. It even leads to instant decision making and customers can wait just for a few minutes for their order placement.

The option is helpful for all those restaurants that have multiple cuisines and food varieties on their menu card. Whether a customer is looking for day sweets, dinner night desserts, or a tasty breakfast brunch, they can filter through the dashboard and discover their best food.

The feature keeps bringing more customers to these systems as it yields improved user experience which almost every business yearns for.

Since most of these systems facilitate restaurant servicing in a cloud kitchen environment – where multiple restaurants are brought together digitally in a chain – filters make it easier for customers to locate their favorite shop and serve a local-like experience.

Enjoy Branding Benefit
Branding benefits are also served to restaurant operators on these online ordering platforms. They can upload the logo, and create the restaurant theme as per their requirement. Most notably, a restaurant can even gain 100% ownership right for their digital portfolio creation.

Marketing benefits are also served for restaurants which lead to enhanced audience exposure through personalized branding. The benefit is halted on most third-party online ordering applications because those companies market themselves.

But with an online ordering system, all benefits are served on a personal level. There’s more credibility in this fact because these systems facilitate customizable features and options which have their own unique benefit in the whole process.

Maximum Progression & Profits
Robust analytics strengthen the business progression and the advantage can be observed right from day one. Not all cuisines are necessary to be among the favorites or they may be less popular. Such problems can strike when you serve international cuisines, they take time.

But online ordering systems ensure you gain more from winning cuisines and deploy a strategic plan for those that are losing. Simply put, you can use a special offer for cuisines that are less popular and market them on the in-built showcase areas on these digital portals.

Data-driven insights help you further in the process. Jointly, this contributes to speedy business progression and maximum profits. Reducing errors and smooth process facilitates stronger restaurant services, and customers are attracted automatically.

Final Words

Ask no longer how to set up online ordering for my restaurant effectively because this article has it all illustrated. Since the Covid-19 outbreak (2020-2021), digital portfolios are witnessing increased acceptance. The reasons are quite obvious. Global pandemic-led work from home shifts have brought a stellar rise in online food ordering systems. The culture is still unchanged post-pandemic. Over 60% of customers still prefer ordering food online as it is flexible, convenient, and provides them a personalized benefit too. But rather than building a private website or working alongside third-party food ordering apps, restaurants are opting for these online systems. Because they are more effective, affordable and serve phenomenal experiences to both restaurants and customers.