It is never too late to be among the many food establishments who have joined the digital ordering community of [now, very] successful restaurant owners since the launch of their online ordering platform. The advantages of selling food online are vastly incredible and will surely deliver a boost to your restaurant’s bottom-line.
After the initial onboarding process and restaurants have fully established their digital ordering presence, there are unlimited sales-generating potential, as well as significant customer growth opportunities among restaurant guests who appreciate a dash of digital convenience.
How do I get started, you might be asking? It starts with choosing the right digital ordering partner. Below are some helpful tips to get your restaurant started:
Identify your needs and objectives
You can easily determine if a digital ordering partner can meet your needs when you have clearly identified your restaurant’s objectives. How would you like your restaurant to benefit and what would you like your restaurant to gain by adopting a digital food ordering system? Some points to consider include a seamless online food ordering system, responsive design, frictionless user experience, support for mobility, fast processing, integrations with existing in-store restaurant technologies (i.e., Point-of-Sales, Delivery tablets, Accounting systems, Backoffice computers, etc.), security, scalability, reliability, technical and customer support, does the digital ordering partner pay it forward and rewards your restaurant back with an incentive, etc.
Market research of potential digital ordering partners
Consider search engines as your best friend and subject matter expert in this area. It is always encouraged and advantageous to research and compile a list of potential digital ordering partners who may be able to deliver upon your restaurant’s digital ordering needs and objectives. For starters, visit the potential partner’s website, as well as pay prudent attention to any reviews or feedback provided by other existing customers who are using their digital ordering system. Another handy resource is referrals from close friends or credible colleagues who have experienced first-hand how it is really like to work with the digital ordering company.
Ask for a demo
Here is where the rubber meets the road. After you have compiled your list of potential partner candidates, request a free demo, or proof-of-concept. This will help expedite the partner selection and weeding-out process by allowing restaurants to quickly validate if the potential digital ordering partner can deliver upon its promises to food establishments.
This also allows restaurants to test-drive the relationship-trust-factor prior to engaging in any formal contractual talks. It is an unfortunate truth that there are some digital ordering providers who are not willing and in good faith, to provide a demo of their platform, nor produce a proof-of-concept (POC). If your restaurant finds this to be the case, consider removing the particular partner from the list of potential candidates. Move on, there are plenty of fish in the blue ocean.
The value proposition
So, you have clearly defined your restaurant’s digital ordering objectives, compiled your list of potential partner candidates, seen a demo…what’s next? You should evaluate the pros and cons of each digital ordering partner. One approach you can use to evaluate whether the potential partner is a right fit for your restaurant operations is examining these six (6) measures:
- People. Is the partner approachable, easy to work with, do they help create solutions or more problems for your restaurant and teams, etc.
- Technology. Does the system perform as the partner promised with respect to functionality, performance, security, etc.
- Openness. How open is the partner to receiving 200% honest and transparent constructive feedback and are they truly for you and stand with you in the face of criticism, or disapproval.
- Nimbleness. How quickly does the partner respond to restaurant inquiries or customer support requests, do they even provide customer support services, are they quick to resolve technical issues, etc.
- Cost. Does the partner charge the restaurant for every single phone call, email, enhancements to the system, etc.
- Incentives. Does the partner embody the spirit of creating win-win relationships, incentivizing restaurants by rewarding them a dollar or percentage amount from income earned for every order, do they give, or just take, etc.
System compatibility and responsively designed
Validate and ensure that the partner’s technology is designed, developed, compatible, and equipped to support various types of consumer electronic devices. The digital ordering platform must support users’ experiences whether it be from a desktop computer, laptop device, tablet, or mobile phone.
It is also best to select a digital food ordering system that is compatible with international standards. You never know when your restaurant business will expand internationally.
Cost and pricing
Ask for an itemized price quote from all potential digital ordering partners. Cost and pricing should be one consideration point; however, it should NEVER be the final decision-making factor.
As the age-old adage states, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR, thus, remember this, cheaper does not always equate to better. Be sure to factor in all the research, as well as pro and cons compiled before rendering the final decision.