Technology is hand-in-glove with any business today, especially when it is more consumer-centric.
According to this 2018 study by Nielsen, consumers are now demanding convenience not only at the time of purchase but at every stage of shopping and brand engagement.
“As a local restaurant owner or a niche digital marketer, this would imply to reach out to diners wherever they’re located, rather than waiting for them to walk in through the doors.”
And as a matter of fact, you may have already suited-up your local online cafe business for lead generation inspired by:
However, some top local cafes are opting in for online ordering & delivery systems. This is a secure step towards closing in on potential leads. This comes from the realization that no other segment in the restaurant industry has witnessed such a faster revenue growth than online channels.
According to various industry reports, the online delivery channel now accounts anywhere between 15% to 30% of the total restaurant business or even higher taking in account of the new normal.
Top Online Cafe Ordering & Delivery Systems
An online food ordering system is essentially a software that connects restaurant businesses with the customers online. It consists of 2 main components:
- First, a website or mobile app for customers to view the restaurant’s menu and place an online order.
- Second, an admin management interface for the restaurants to receive, accept and manage the delivery of customer’s orders.
Here are some of the widely used online ordering & delivery management systems:
RestoLabs is a leader in online ordering systems. They have managed to capitalize on major small and medium establishments.
Restolabs provides a seamless integration of new online ordering software to the existing POS. It also enables social media ordering as well as offers digital marketing tools for lead generation.
The company offers a 30-day free trial beyond which monthly plans start with as low as $45.
Here is a review from a verified restaurant owner expressing his appreciations for the software:
ChowNow is a perfect online ordering platform to take orders via restaurant’s branded channels like websites, mobile apps, or even social media pages on Facebook, Instagram. They even offer Marketing services for better lead generation.
It’s ‘Flex Delivery’ feature in partnership with Uber and Postmates offers an end-to-end service right from online ordering to delivery.
Below given is one of the many verified user reviews on ChowNow:
3. FACEBOOK ORDERING TOOL
It’s completely seamless for your customers to order food online while being on social media. They would never have to switch between applications and this is what convenience at all the stages of shopping (as was our opening remark) is all about!
Needless to mention, Facebook ordering feature is best when your restaurant has its own delivery fleet.
Here is an in-depth analysis on how facebook ordering tools can be used to boost your online sales.
iMenu360 makes a bold statement when they claim to increase orders directly from your restaurant site by decreasing your dependence on third-party sites. It offers a complete solution with Bulk order capabilities clubbed with customizable design, loyalty programs, first-time discounts and seamless integration with existing portals.
“iMenu360 can be a turn-off for startups as their standard package starts at $39.99 per month along with 3% of net sales with the monthly cap not to exceed $150.”
Gloria Foods is an excellent freemium online ordering & delivery system.
It offers a lot in its “Free Service Place”, say free website widgets, Facebook ordering capability, marketing tools. However, important features like payment integrations, enhanced customer experience come under payable services.
Here are Amanda and Ivan, both restaurants owners from two different countries, expressing their decision to pick Gloria Foods:
FreshBytes offers fully integrated online ordering features – premium website designs, social media ordering, one-touch reordering, print kitchen tickets, consultative onboarding, 24/7 customer support, and smart messaging.
Restaurant owners have appreciated the new “Contactless Dine-in” app feature that uses QR-code based menus to order. This is of prime importance, especially when restaurants are opening up in the new normal.
“FreshBytes has even partnered with DoorDash to provide inclusive ordering and delivering experience. It is best for restaurants that don’t have their own delivery fleet.”
Read more about it here.
A verified user on social media commented on the usability of the software and found it easy to use. However, they were unhappy with its mobile version app for being a paid add-on service.
For additional information on effectively running your online cafe business, you may refer to a couple or more reads from this niche marketer.
Quick Takeaways based on Popular User Reviews
Value for money subscription
Physical Delivery management
Convenience of access for customers
Facebook Ordering Tool
FreshBytes for its “Contactless Dine-in” feature
Overall software integration
Are Online Ordering & Delivery Systems Enough for Online Conversions?
If not for these online ordering & delivery systems, you may be:
- Losing more customers than you think: Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO) strategy fits well in online restaurant business too! Studies have suggested that 67% of customers who have placed an order online will visit the physical location more frequently than those who have not. By not migrating to online delivery systems, you may be losing on both potential online and offline customers.
- Huge profit margins shared with food aggregators: While food aggregators like UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub, etc. offer an end-to-end solution right from marketing to delivery, they may end up commissioning a huge revenue over your sales. On the other hand, a digital agency like ColorWhistle can help you manage your online cafe business in a more cost effective manner.
- Ignoring an additional sales channel: Millennials in the United States are projected to have a collective spending potential of $1.4 trillion by 2020. And millennials as trends suggest, going online is a win-win situation for any customer-focussed industry.
Alternatively, you can look to not only list but optimize Google My Business (GMB) for better conversions. Adding photos, videos, authentic reviews, and listing prices upfront helps. Here is a good read to optimize your GMB restaurant listing.
In short, your course-of-action in better lead conversion should begin with a DECISION, say,
- adding photos of some of the famous items in your menu or even that of your kitchen to please the “hygiene freak” customers!
- reaching out to older customers with promotional offers, changes in menu etc.
And then ACT upon it, say,
- Getting Tech support for customers to order online quickly
- Getting food delivered to their doorstep
Thus, completing the “Sales Funnel” – Traffic, Lead, Decision, Act.
But here comes a common apprehensive in the minds of restaurant owners – when food aggregator sites are still very popular, why should they risk maintaining their own online ordering channel?
The answer lies in avoiding third-party sites to gain more control over finances, branding, and customers of your restaurant; yet staying in the present trend of offering “online convenience” to your customers.
We can help in setting up these systems for you. Not only that but ColorWhistle is a full-fledged digital agency that partners with individuals, fellow agencies in website building, SEO & local SEO analysis and digital marketing.
You can contact us via webform or call us at +1 (919) 234-5140
For any further queries or suggestions, feel free to comment down below. We are all ears!