How to Set up Online Ordering System for Your Restaurant’s Website

set up an online ordering system for your restaurant

The global market for food delivery from restaurants to customers had reached about $53,652 million at the end of 2019, serving 631,35 million clients. It is expected to reach $78,000 million, paid by 875 million customers by 2024. This growth is driven almost entirely by the explosion of the internet. Restaurant owners who want a share of the success need to find out how to set up an online ordering system on their website. Luckily, it is easier than you think.

Opening this new channel means an additional revenue stream for your food business and more chances to survive in a very competitive marketplace. Patrons want to get their meals fast, in a cost-efficient way and with the possibility to track their behavior and expenditure. These are all features you can offer them in a well-designed food ordering software. There are a few other things you should take into consideration when installing an online ordering extension on your website. We’ll guide you through each of them and help you sell more.

How should a restaurant menu ordering system be?

The best online ordering system is a natural extension of your restaurant’s website. It follows your branding, offers an intuitive interface, and minimizes the pain associated with paying.

Bespoke look and feeling

It would help if you had a tool that you can easily tailor to your needs. The online ordering system can be part of your website, much like a webshop, or it could be a standalone app. Whatever technical solution you choose, you should be able to make it follow your branding. Add your logo, change the colors and even the fonts, and use your pictures, so that your clients feel no transition from the website.

Seamless integration

Online food ordering is just a step in a much larger process. The solution you choose should be easy to use with your POS to allow clients to pay with their credit cards or online tools like PayPal. Once the client has placed an order, a good system will also make the necessary changes in the raw materials inventory, the client’s account, and, potentially, the staff’s records.

Some restaurant owners will look for integrations with other selling platforms like Facebook or Google My Business. If the product you choose doesn’t have these options, ask the developer for support. Most of the time, they already have a solution in the form of a code snippet that you copy and paste or a plugin you can install with a few clicks.

No hidden costs or fees

While third-party providers let you use their platforms for a commission, which is either a flat rate or a percentage of each order, having your own online ordering system should cost significantly less.

One option is getting a custom-built solution that will be more expensive upfront and have maintenance costs.

The other, budget-friendly solution is to sign-up for a free online ordering system for restaurants like GloriaFood. You only pay if you need additional services, and most of those are not more expensive than a pizza a month.

User-friendly

Online food ordering websites should always consider the journey of their potential visitor. At every step, from selecting the food categories to adding extras (bread, sauce, etc.) and paying, the interaction needs to be comfortable and user-centric.

sample of online ordering app from GloriaFood

Always use pictures to help your visitors decide what they want faster. After the client has chosen the main dish, display the extra options for upselling and the suggested drinks or desserts for cross-selling.

Offer the possibility to perform check-out as a guest, but give enough incentives like discount codes to make them create an account. Offer to remember their details and log-in credentials to make ordering easier next time. Keep all history and invoices in their account and even offer them the opportunity to reorder the same items they previously had.

How to add online ordering to your website

As we’ve mentioned before, there are two options to turn your restaurant’s website into a digital order-taking portal. The first and very expensive one is to hire a team of developers to create a tailored system that can set you back a few thousands of dollars and also requires constant maintenance. The solution we advise you to consider is an out-of-the-box, free online ordering system with an intuitive interface and excellent integration options, like GloriaFood. This way, you risk nothing and can grow your business starting today.

First, create a profile on the provider’s website where you describe your restaurant. Usually, you have to give details about your operating hours, the type of cuisine you offer and maybe include a suggestive image together with your logo.

online ordering for restaurants
free food ordering software for restaurants

The platform then asks you details about the areas you deliver to and the fees associated with different distances from your central catering location and if you take reservations.

best online ordering system

Next, fill in the menu list with your dishes, ingredients, and prices. Don’t forget to add an appetizing image to each of them to help your patrons decide faster and maybe order an additional dish just because it looks delicious.

restaurant menu ordering system

Once you have introduced all your data, generate a code. Copy and paste it on your website to create a button for online ordering.

You are almost set. The only thing you still need to do is to download the free restaurant ordering app on your restaurant’s smartphone or tablet and start serving clients.

Add screenshots to every step listed here by creating an account on our website. Fill in the forms using fake info of a random restaurant to give them a concrete example.

Tips and tricks for having the best online ordering system on the market

There are a few ways to take advantage of this tool beyond its initial purpose. You don’t have to implement these suggestions right away, but they can improve your profit margin.

1. Turn your restaurant’s menu ordering system in a smart extension of your marketing efforts.

Since people who use these apps are already in a buying state of mind, tempt them to spend more. Create special offers or tell them to add something of low value such as a sauce for their pizza or a soda for free if they order a second dish or a dessert. Additionally, offer free delivery over a certain threshold.

2. Send them discounts and newsletters

At check-out, customers provide their email address to let you process the order and send them the invoice. Ask them if you can save the address for further communication, including a newsletter and discount coupons. Offer them a small discount on the spot if they tick that box.

sample check-out page for an online ordering system

3. Promote the online ordering system using a chatbot

The rise of artificial intelligence is making its presence felt more and more in customer care. If you want, you could integrate the ordering system as an answer to a chatbot on your page. Greet your clients as soon as they open your website and let a chatbot act as a waiter, presenting them with the daily menu and redirecting them to the online ordering app.

Final thoughts

We live in an era where restaurant visits are declining, and online orders are surpassing phone orders. A Fortune article said that in 2016, online orders rose to 6.6% of the total, surpassing verbal orders (5%). This small difference paved the way for a much bigger trend, which will continuously redesign the food industry. Sooner rather than later, restaurant owners will be asking how to set up an online ordering system to avoid losing their clients. It’s no longer a price war; it’s about convenience and user experience.

Silvia Palașcă

Silvia Palașcă is a passionate writer covering mostly the wine, food and travel industries, and a talented web developer with extensive knowledge of website optimization and SEO.

Create your own restaurant website

Get Started