Drive More Online Restaurant Orders with These 8 Tips

By Raubi Perilli

      Dec 31, 2020     Solutions    

For hungry customers, few things are worse than wanting to order food from a restaurant only to find the process tedious, complicated, confusing, or worst of all, broken.  

When customers want to place an online restaurant order, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find your restaurant, review your menu, and place an order. If this process isn’t easy, you could lose the customer -- no matter how hungry they are for your world-famous burgers, wings, or Pad Thai.  

Make sure your online restaurant ordering is as easy as possible for customers to use by following these eight tips.

How to Make Online Restaurant Orders Easy for Customers

To drive more online restaurant orders, use these tips to make it as easy as possible for customers to place their order on-the-go on a mobile device or at home on a desktop computer.

#1) Clearly state your online ordering options.

Don’t leave customers wondering about how they can order from your restaurant. Make it extremely clear with messaging that answers the following questions.  

  • Do you want customers to order directly from your restaurant or another third-party?
  • If you want customers to order directly from you, do you offer delivery, pickup, or both?
  • If you don’t offer delivery, do you have a delivery service provider that you prefer?

Make these messages clear on your website and also add buttons that prompt customers to the right page or app to place their order.

#2) Add online ordering buttons to your business profiles.

In addition to making it easy for customers on your website to understand and find your online ordering options, also make it simple for your customers on other platforms to find the information.  

In your social media profiles, add a link that leads directly to your online ordering pages. On other profiles, such as on Yelp, Google My Business, or Local Area Sites, add a button that lets customers know that you offer online ordering and quickly takes them to the correct page to place their order.

You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to order, and always be thinking about the mobile experience. Take a look at these mobile food ordering stats. Mobile ordering represents 60% of digital restaurant orders, and that number will likely grow.

#3) Show photos of food on your menu.

One part of the ordering experience that is often lost online is looking at the full menu -- photos and all. Print menus in a restaurant often feature photos of top menu items and highlight popular items. To make your online menu more engaging, add photo elements to your menu items.  

Adding photos can make customers find what they want and possibly even order more as they see foods that look extra appetizing.

#4) Allow customers to create an account.

Prompting customers to create an account when they place an online restaurant order makes the process easier for customers. It can:  

  • Save their past orders so they can easily re-order.
  • Highlight their favorite items so they are easy to find on the menu.
  • Save their information so they don’t have to re-enter it each time they order.

Accounts make it easier for customers, and it gives your restaurant the added benefit of collecting customer data. When you collect information from customers, such as their contact information and details of their purchase history, you can set up marketing automation processes and customer loyalty programs that encourage repeat orders and visits.  

Recommended Reading: Set Up Restaurant Marketing Automation in 4 Easy Steps

#5) Set up a branded app.

If you want to make it really easy for customers to place their online restaurant order, set up a branded app. A branded app allows customers to place orders without moving between platforms. They can also create and save an account so all of their information is saved, making for easy online ordering.  

Creating a branded app to support your online ordering is easy when you work with a partner like ChowNow. As you research potential online ordering systems, look for a partner who can provide both an on-site and in-app option.

Related: Free Online Marketing Tools Every Restaurant Should Use

#6) Share notifications with order updates.

You can help customers feel at ease during the entire ordering process by keeping them in the loop with updates. Let them know that their order is received, finished, ready for pickup, or on the way. You can use text messaging, email, or push notifications if you are using an app for online ordering.  

Customers will feel comfortable knowing their order is in the works, and your business will receive fewer calls without customers wondering about the status of their order.

#7) Send promotions to encourage customers to order again.

If you set up your online ordering system to collect customer contact information, you get the benefit of being able to reach out to customers after their order. This connection is a great way to reward customers and motivate them to order again.  

Use what you know about past customer purchasing history to design custom promotions. For example, if a customer recently purchased a Family Combo Dinner, offer them a discount on the same order in two to three weeks. This approach gives customers a reason to re-order, and it makes it cheaper and easier for them to do it.  

Related: 10 Restaurant Promotion Ideas That Attract Customers and Drive Sales

#8) Be your own customer.

Once you set up online ordering for your restaurant, you may want to set it and forget it. But, it's a good idea to go through the process as a customer every once in a while to make sure that the process is still as streamlined as when you set it up.  

Go through the process and place an order. Make sure all buttons are working and that there are no kinks in the process so your loyal, hungry customers can quickly and easily place an order each time they have a craving.

Drive More Online Restaurant Orders

Now that you have tips for making it easier for customers to order online from your restaurant, it’s time to drive more customers to your business.  

Make your online ordering system as streamlined as possible, and then set up smart local marketing campaigns that build brand awareness and attract customers.  

To launch powerful local campaigns, sign up for your free mySuite account with MyArea Network. The platform helps you meet new nearby customers and stay in touch with existing customers through highly targeted text, email, and geofencing marketing campaigns.  

Sign up for your free account and see how you can set up campaigns that consistently produce over 100% ROI for local restaurants.