Step one – opt for a simple online ordering system
Your customers should be able to place an order without having to make a phone call. In this day and age, convenience is an important factor influencing the customers’ choice of an eatery. In general, online sales in a restaurant can be placed via:
Websites – creating a webshop no longer requires us to have programming skills. The market is full of ready-made templates addressed to restaurants wanting to start taking online orders. Papu.io also offers its solution – a commission-free, fully-configured webshop, complete with your prices and menus, enabling you to start selling right away.
Mobile apps – encourage your customers to make frequent orders from your restaurant via your own mobile phone app. In this task, you will be aided by a convenient application for smartphones equipped with Android or iOs, which not only gives restaurants the possibility of making online sales but also provides them with many marketing opportunities, such as running a loyalty programme or easily informing customers about promotions and special offers.
Step two – social media communication channels
Nowadays, almost every establishment serving food has its preferred communication channels. This could be Instagram, Facebook or even Twitter, which is continuously growing in popularity in Europe. Restaurateurs tend to focus their marketing efforts on social media outlets, and this is where they currently make the biggest investments. Unfortunately, they often forget about the most crucial factor – no social media platforms will attract customers if the information provided is incomplete or missing. A restaurant profile that fails to list the opening hours – will it be effective? The chances are slim. The internet is the first place where customers should be able to find all the necessary information about the restaurant. Ensure that your profile includes opening hours, the restaurant’s address (preferably marked on a map so the customer knows how to find you), the type of cuisine served and a link to your website. The more information your customers have, the more convinced they will be to use your services.
Step three – save your customers’ time by providing them with easy access to your menu
Many restaurants lose potential customers because their menu is confusing, difficult to read and does not provide the necessary information such as allergens, weight or whether the dish contains gluten or lactose. A person interested in ordering food is unlikely to call your establishment with questions they might have. Instead, they will simply look for another restaurant to order from. This is why a menu with the right call to action is so important. The list of dishes served should be posted in every possible place where potential customers may look – on your website and on popular online food ordering platforms. It is worth bearing in mind that the menu should be optimised accordingly. It must not contain outdated information or dishes which are no longer sold or are problematic for your chef to prepare.
Step four – maintain your standards
Do you know why your customers order from you again and again? Probably because they really enjoyed the food and the level of service met their expectations. If you want your customers to return, you must maintain your standards every time you make a delivery. If a pizzeria used to add complimentary sauces to every pizza, it mustn’t all of a sudden stop giving out freebies – unless the person taking the order informs customers of this change. Kitchen staff, drivers, as well as dispatchers must be assigned tasks that are clearly defined by the owner or manager. Cooks should also be given guidelines for the weight of the food served and the recipes – random seasoning of dishes is a definite no-no. Standardisation is extremely important because it determines whether a customer who has decided to order the same dish a second time will return to us once again.
Step five – take your customer service to the next level
Wondering why a customer who has placed an order once failed to return? Perhaps the quality of your services, which includes delivery, leaves a lot to be desired. Regardless of whether you have your own drivers or use the services provided by external companies, you should always take care of the smallest detail. Customers pay attention to all sorts of aspects. Problem-free delivery is sure to have a positive impact on the number of returning customers.
Special requests or modifications – customers often tailor dishes to their dietary preferences. They are known to add comments to their orders, asking to omit an ingredient or add something extra. Your task is to make sure that the prepared dishes comply with the consumer’s request just in case the kitchen staff missed something.
Safe packaging – restaurants specialise in cuisines from around the world. Customers can choose from soups, main courses, desserts and starters, often topping their order up with beverages. Each of these products needs to be suitably packaged and transported. The key to success is well-fitting packaging that does not leak or break and is able to maintain the right temperature.
Communication with the customer – everything that happens after an order is placed is important. This means quoting the exact delivery time and updating it regularly so that the customer can be informed about the progress in real time. The customer needs to know what stage their order is at – whether it has already been picked up by the driver or if the kitchen has finished preparing it. As not all addresses are on the high street, it’s equally important to choose the right app for your restaurant’s drivers to enable making quick contact with customers. The Papu.io driver application makes easy work of finding the address of the orderer. And that’s not all. With a single click, the driver can call the customer if locating the delivery address proves problematic.
Remember that a restaurant’s sustained success in online sales depends on more than just the chef’s ability to prepare tasty dishes. Today’s consumers expect a unique experience that goes significantly beyond the restaurant itself. The appropriate organisation of the work of your delivery drivers, your cooks and your employees who take orders from customers is critical to whether your customers will get what they want and whether you will meet their expectations. If you have any questions and would like to boost the quality of your restaurant’s online ordering potential, the experts at Papu.io are always happy to help take your business to the next level.