Businesses of all scales and purposes are compelled to move online, given the current global pandemic situation. Restaurants and service industries have to adapt to the digital world; otherwise, their future could remain uncertain.
But you have to remember, this rapid shift towards an online mode of business while sped up by lockdowns was anyway bound to happen eventually.
The convenience and comfort of online ordering for restaurants would continue to see a growth in online businesses even after the end of the pandemic. So, get your restaurant online as quickly as possible to you keep thriving no matter the situation. Let us guide you through how to move your restaurant online.
Preparation And Planning
Planning the scale of your online services is necessary to build your reputation online. Online services are reviewed much more critically than dine outs. Hence, proper planning and quality services are very crucial for continued success.
Here are some things to consider when you move your restaurant to online mode:
- The size of your delivery area
- UX of your website
- Choosing a suitable theme
- Delivery opportunities available
- Restaurant menu that is suitable for deliveries.
- Packaging and presentation of food deliveries. You have to keep packaging aligned with your brand image as well.
- Ensuring kitchen workflow can adapt to online orders
- Ways to offer no-contact delivery must be considered
Set Up A Restaurant Online Ordering System
The first step to moving your restaurant online with WordPress is to set up an online system that allows you to interface with customers. Functionalities like placing orders, secure payments, and delivery tracking are an added advantage.
There are three ways by which you can implement an online ordering WordPress restaurant service:
- By making use of food delivery marketplaces like Uber Eats, Grub Hub, and Post Mates.
- By making use of A Point of Sales systems like Upserve, Toast, and Shopify
- Building your online ordering system.
You can always try more than one method to keep your business running and prioritize the one that works well for you.
Building Your Online Restaurant Site
Choosing this method allows you to create your brand image, customized services, and maintain better customer relationships. This also helps you avoid commission fees that the other two ways pose. This is the reason that platforms like Pizza online have moved online to provide online food delivery.
Building your website might seem challenging at first. But don’t be intimidated. Platforms like WordPress make it a breeze to develop websites and deploy them in just a few minutes. You don’t even have to be proficient in programming to get your website up and running.
There are thousands of themes and plugins that you can use to launch an online restaurant business successfully. And when you are hard-pressed for time, WordPress offers the best way to get your business online quickly.
The necessary steps to starting a WordPress site are as follows:
- Register a domain name
- Get web hosting
- Install WordPress
- Select your website theme and design
- Publish content. As for restaurants, keep ready your menu, price, and delivery details, and some lip-smacking culinary pictures to go with the menu.
WordPress also makes it very easy to adapt your existing website to an online ordering system with the help of plugins. Here is a list of some of the best online restaurant systems from WordPress you can check out.
Restolabs offers a complete package of restaurant ordering system. You can customize it to include any kind of dining options like pickup or takeaways, delivery, and dine in reservations. This platform can be a helpful addition that will boost your business even after social distancing rules are relaxed.
The real advantage that Restolab provides is the user experience. It makes it easy for customers to choose their order type and place orders without any confusion. It has an interactive map for placing online delivery orders. The steps are easy, select the menu items, confirm the destination address, and enter payment details.
- Restolabs allows you to handle payments via credit cards or cash on delivery.
- It also has provisions for email notification support and automated phone calls to notify orders directly to your kitchen.
Subscription plans for Restolabs start from $45 per month per store.
Menu Drive supports online deliveries and pickups. Though not as comprehensive as Restolabs, Menu Drive offers a good load of features to help you run a smooth online business. It provides responsive web pages that adapt to any customer device, be it smartphones, laptops, or tablets.
Some features provided are:
- Customizable order notifications
- Credit card payment feature for handling order payments
- Social media and email marketing
- Group orders
- Customer loyalty systems can be set up.
Menu Drive has limitations on the number of users and locations. You can use it for a single store and location only.
Prices start from $39 per month.
For someone who is just getting into the online mode of business, Gloria Food is a great option. For starters, it is a free platform that allows for deliveries, take outs, and reservations. It also sends detailed reports on each order to your phone.
Some more cool features provided are:
- Efficient social media integration. You can run promotions and revive orders through Facebook.
- In-depth reports on orders
- Delivery, take-out, and reservations options.
- Pre-order food before arriving at the restaurant
The most significant disadvantage with the free plan is the lack of credit card payment support. You will have to pay $29 per month to get credit card payment support. Similar premium add-ons come with their on price. You can know more about the tool by checking Gloria Facebook page.
If you are looking to scale your business high, then maybe you need a mobile app. Mobile apps will help you build a solid brand image and make online ordering a smooth process.
Up Menu can help you set up a simple iOS and Android app. You can customize it to reflect your brand and use it to your advantage.
Some additional features are:
- Order processing via different channels like website, Facebook page, and mobile app.
- Branding options for mobile app
- Delivery and takeaway options
- PayPal and Stripe payment support
- Allows for a tipping feature. Customers can tip delivery drivers through the app.
The basic plan starts at $49 per month.
ChowNow is similar to the online ordering systems we listed above. But it offers additional support for setup and marketing that can be very helpful for beginners. It helps you set up an app or a website to move your business online readily.
The major features are.
- Website and app support for receiving food orders
- Help for setting up custom apps
- Marketing campaign support
- Credit card payment support
As extra support is provided to set up and market your restaurant, ChowNow charges are expensive. It costs around $149 per month for its basic plan. The setup fee for a single location can cost you a one-time fee of $399.
The Wrap Up
Online food delivery is not new. However, a lot of businesses didn’t consider it till now. Fortunately, the transition is rather simple. We hope this article would have helped you by taking your restaurant online.
Got any queries? Let us know in the comments below.