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Food Service Industry Updates

A 3-Step Plan for Restaurants to Do Online Ordering and Delivery Effectively

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FreshBytes, which specializes in setting restaurants up with online ordering, says struggling operators need to take stock of their customers’ expectations while the pandemic is still ongoing.

“We have officially entered the new world, and the rules are a bit different than what we are accustomed to. If there’s anything that your customers are looking for besides a shattering-crisp Cannoli is this — safety and convenience,” the Pasadena, Calif.-based software company states.

Specifically, that means the convenience of online ordering and food delivery with an assurance of safety and hygiene, according to FreshBytes, pointing out that 34% of online food shoppers said they spend at least $50 per order when ordering online — even during COVID-19 crisis. “Just the perfect reason why you should take action on delivery and lock in future success, the company adds.

FreshBytes acknowledges that implementing online ordering may seem like an overwhelming feat to most restaurateurs. But it offers a three-step guide to help restaurants find success.

1. Train staff to manage online ordering technology.

Just launching a website to take online orders will not cut it, according to FreshBytes. Restaurants also need to train staff on how to use it properly. Everyone needs to be well aware of all the features and functionalities of the system.

For instance, an outline should be created that clearly explains the ordering process, policies and practices so that all employees can understand how it works.

“Give employees a walkthrough of the process of ordering food online,” FreshBytes suggest. “Encourage them to place test orders to understand more about customizations, promotions, and social media ordering so they are able to handle even complex orders.”

2. Rationalize the menu

Maybe the cake and ice-cream dessert is a top seller for your in-house menu, but the same sought-after treat can be a delivery disaster, FreshBytes warns restaurants. “Some menu items travel well and some don’t. Before you launch your online ordering platform, curate a delivery menu, focusing on items that are easy to prepare and travel well,” the company advises.

Here are a few questions FreshBytes says restaurants should ask themselves when shortlisting dishes for the delivery menu:

• Will the dish get sluggish or watered down during the delivery?

• Are margins high enough to offer these items for delivery?

• Will it look presentable when delivered?

• Is it the right packaging for right meal?

• What will be the preparation time for the dish?

• Can my staff handle an influx of off-premise orders?

FreshBytes advises restaurants to stick to the basics. “Hungry customers suffer from decision paralysis when given a long menu of options, which can lead to a drop in sales,” the company says. “Make sure that your menu is only 15 to 20 items long and broken down into categories. This will help customers scan their options quickly, resulting in quick and successful checkout.”

3. Develop a marketing strategy

Now is the time to boost awareness around your online ordering capabilities, and establish a meaningful and deep connection with your customers, FreshBytes advises. In simple terms, restaurants should over-communicate with customers.

Simple marketing activities, like optimizing online presence, collaborating with influencers, and creating relevant content, will help restaurants stay top of mind with their customers, the company adds.

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