When states started to issue stay-at-home orders last year and prohibited table service dining, many restaurants made quick adjustments to stay open and continue serving customers safely with online ordering for pick up and curbside. While many of these solutions worked in the short term, it’s taking much longer than expected to get back to normal.
One restaurant industry report predicted that digital sales will make up 54% of restaurant transactions within the next five years. Many of the changes brought by the pandemic—online ordering, curbside pick-up, contactless payments—are likely to become permanent trends. As a result, the short-term solutions you turned to in a rapidly-changing pandemic environment may need to be fortified to serve you well in the future.
The start of the year is the perfect time to think more strategically about your restaurant’s online presence. Take the time to assess: is your restaurant really putting its best and most visible foot forward online? Is it easy for customers to find your restaurant, place an order, pay, and leave a great review? Are you pushing customers towards your preferred order channels? Here are some questions to ask as you audit your online sales presence and get the most out of your digital point-of-sale investment.
There are myriad ways to offer online ordering and receive orders. You could list your restaurant with partners like UberEats and Grubhub, or allow customers to order directly from your website. Some restaurants choose to host their menu on Facebook; others use sites like Yelp or Google Business. For the customer, it can be extremely confusing to figure out where to go to find an up-to-date menu and place an order.
Clover Online Ordering can help streamline your web presence to make it easier for customers to find and place an order with your restaurant. When you sign up, you’ll automatically have an ordering web page created for you and populated with your existing Clover menu. You can further increase your visibility to potential customers through our partnership with The Ordering.app, now part of Google. This app posts a link to your online menu in both Google Search results and Google Maps, giving you an instant boost in reach and visibility to potential customers.
Additionally, Clover Online Ordering automatically lists your business in Clover’s mobile app. This app gives customers a way to discover Clover merchants, order online, collect reward points with merchants who are enrolled in Clover Rewards, take advantage of promos offered by Clover merchants, and provide feedback if merchants use Clover Feedback. The app is free and available in the iOS and Android app stores.
Unfortunately, not all ways to order are created equal: some ordering platforms charge higher fees than others. Others are limited in how a customer can pay. Clover Online Ordering is flexible and cost-effective. There are no fees associated with Clover’s ordering services and The Ordering.app’s fee of only 1.5% per order is waived through December 31, 2021.
Clover Online Ordering can also provide a safe way to accept payments in person while maintaining social distancing. Scan to Order is an extended feature of Clover Online Ordering that promotes a more safe, secure, and sanitary dining experience through contactless online ordering and payment processing. Dine-in or takeaway guests can scan a QR code from their mobile device to access the online ordering menu. Once they decide what they want, guests can place an order, pay, and add gratuity through the same interface.
Some third-party online ordering partners charge steep fees for each order placed through their platforms. Audit your online presence to see how much money you’re losing in these transactions, and consider pushing customers to order through your Clover Online Ordering instead to get the highest return on investment (ROI).
Finally, are your customers able to get their food safely and quickly? Is your pizza being delivered piping hot, or your ice cream staying frozen until delivery? It’s important that your online ordering for delivery and curbside pickup is integrated with your in-house ordering system to keep your kitchen running smoothly and orders firing efficiently.
One way to make sure your operations are running well is direct traffic through your Clover POS. Bring together a number of online ordering channels into one centralized place and have online orders fired directly to the kitchen. If a customer is ordering for curbside pickup, the system will send an alert when the order is ready to be delivered to the car. From acceptance to fulfillment to pickup, manage the entire order lifecycle right on your Clover device.
Think of the entire customer journey when evaluating your online presence. How will a customer discover your establishment? Will they be able to read your most current menu? Can they complete an order with ease using a platform that maximizes your profit margin? Is it easy for your team to receive and handle each order in a timely fashion, minimizing risk throughout the entire process?
Clover Online Ordering is built to answer these questions and will continue to release new enhancements this year to make your online presence even more powerful. Learn more by visiting Clover’s POS Online Ordering System guide.