Online restaurant cost control: how to get the best return on your investment

restaurant cost control

In such a competitive industry, your success is directly proportional to your restaurant cost control. In this article, we are not covering the highly talked about costs such as food, equipment, maintenance, and employees.

Instead, we are choosing to focus on the usually forgotten, but equally as important, online restaurant cost control. How do you promote your restaurant online? How do you attract more customers? Are you investing your money wisely?

In this article, you will learn about free and cheap ways to market your restaurant online that will deliver satisfying results without breaking the bank.

Take advantage of free and cheap technology for efficient restaurant cost control

Before you start creating an online restaurant cost control plan, you must decide on your end goal. What results would you like to see from your online investments?

  • Increasing your online visibility
  • Attracting more customers
  • Getting more return clients
  • Growing your business by increasing your order numbers

If you are at the start, there are two main things you must acquire that will make a huge difference in your online presence:

  • An online ordering system
  • A sales-optimized restaurant website

Good news, there is no need to spend time and effort looking for developers or agencies, we can help you with both!

An online ordering system

Having a physical location is a good start, but if you want to increase your revenue, you must find the best way to sell your food online. GloriaFood’s online ordering system will streamline your ordering process, making it easy both for you to accept and manage orders and for clients to place them.

Do you want to know the best part? It is free! Here is what you must do to start accepting online orders in no time:

  • Sign up and fill in your restaurant’s information;
  • Create an attractive menu, complete with mouth-watering descriptions and amazing photos (if you don’t have any yet, you get access to an extensive gallery on our platform);
  • Publish the ordering button on your website (or opt for the website we provide that already has the button incorporated, find out more about it in the next section);
  • Download our order-taking app on iOS or Android;
  • Enjoy your new stream of business!

Check out this video to see how easy it is to set up online ordering for your restaurant:

A sales-optimized restaurant website

Think about your restaurant website as your online location. To get people to order your food, you must first make them aware of your existence. A sales-optimized website will let people know where your restaurant is, what type of food you serve, when they can visit and order from your place, and much more.

Our restaurant website builder is extremely easy to use, costs about the same as a pizza, and can help you go live by tonight. Here are the benefits you will enjoy if you sign up:

  • Clean one-page template, that guides the client to the important information. The menu button is highlighted so visitors can easily find your menu and start ordering;
  • Responsive design, that loads fast on every device, be it mobile or desktop;
  • SEO optimization for texts, images, and links, so your website can rank on the first page of Google;
  • Built-in ordering system with powerful marketing tools that help grow your restaurant business.

Click here to see a demo version of how your restaurant’s website could look like.

Attract more customers online without breaking the bank Get a sales optimized website in a matter of minutes Start now

Use Restaurant Analytics to monitor your growth

One of the fundamental principles of restaurant cost control is that you must constantly monitor your endeavors and investments. How else would you know if what you are doing is actually helping your restaurant grow or if it’s just a waste of time and money?

Our online ordering system is also equipped with tools that can help you track your progress and advice on how to better your business. Let’s discover them.

Ensure your restaurant’s growth by constantly monitoring your results Install a free online ordering system with a built-in reports module in minutes Start now

Go to admin -> Online Health -> Website checker to find out if your restaurant's website is optimized for visitor-to-order conversion, security, speed performance, and much more.

what is cost control in food and beverage

Just below, in the Google Business tab, you will find advice on how to properly fill in your information to make your restaurant visible to potential clients.

how much does a restaurant website cost

Now access the restaurant data analytics section by going to admin -> Reports -> Overview, where you can find general information, such as:

  • Number of accepted orders and reservations;
  • Value of orders and reservations;
  • Your restaurant’s website rank in Google;
  • The number of website visitors.
restaurant cost control

If you scroll down, there is a section that will help you with valuable advice for increasing website visits, getting more orders, and more repeat customers.

how much does a small restaurant cost

Explore the sections on the right for more detailed information:

  • Website funnel: see a graphic of the client's route through your website (website visit -> menu opening -> checkout -> sent order -> received confirmation) with real numbers attached to every step so you can see where you are losing clients;
  • Orders: learn the days and hours when you sell the most and the least to identify possible problems;
  • Clients: get to know your audience so you can come up with better ways to cater to their needs;
  • Delivery heatmaps: find out which areas your high orders are coming from and in which areas you should improve your marketing game.

Advertise your restaurant on free platforms

Marketing your restaurant online doesn’t always have to cost money. Sure, paid publicity will bring you faster results, but that isn’t always an option for a small restaurant owner.

No worries, with a bit of marketing work on the right platforms, you can still get people to notice your restaurant and entice them to try out your food. Here are the three main types of platforms you should concentrate on:

  • Social media: there are a variety of options, but you should choose the one where your audience spends most of their time on. For example, Facebook is for the older generation while Instagram and TikTok are used predominantly by young people;
  • Review platforms: choose the ones active in your area, such as Google, Yelp, or TripAdvisor;
  • Local directories: try to get your restaurant’s name in as many local places as possible.

Social media

Creating an account on social media is a great way to build a relationship with your clients and encourage visitors to try your delicious food. Keep in mind that consistency is the key to success. Therefore, if you want to get lots of followers that eventually become customers, you should strive to post relevant content every day.

Get organized by creating a restaurant content plan for two weeks, full of great photos of your food and captions that encourage people to visit or order from your restaurant. Here are a few restaurant social media post ideas to get you started:

  • Promote your menu items with a mouth-watering photo and a caption that describes what makes the dish special;
  • Have your chef recommend a dish to your followers;
  • Post behind-the-scenes photos of your kitchen, restaurant interior, or happy customers.

Review platforms

People like to research a new restaurant before they book a table. And they do so by reading online reviews to find out what others' experience was at your place.

Therefore, you should make it a point to have a complete profile on the review platforms in your area that includes the exact location (with directions if necessary), link to the website, contact info, menu, and lots of pictures.

Encourage clients to review your restaurant, both online (your website and social media) and offline (have servers ask them politely to share their opinion if they enjoyed their food).

Beware, it is impossible to only have good reviews, there will usually be some clients that complain. But the trick is to reply to every review, be it bad or good. Do so in a polite manner, offer a solution, and you may change their mind.

Local Directories

It’s no secret that to get your restaurant noticed, you need to do local SEO optimization. You can do so by having an optimized website and Google My Business page, but also by adding your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) in local directories.

Find directories for restaurants or businesses in your area, blogs, and newspapers, and send them a message to see if they would be interested in adding your information.

Automate your marketing to save money, time, and effort

Restaurant cost control implies saving money on some endeavors, so you can have more to spend on ones that really matter. For example, on SMS and email marketing. While it is a very efficient marketing tactic, it can take up a lot of your time and require special knowledge.

Our online ordering system has the Autopilot feature that can handle this type of marketing for you. All you have to do is set up the campaign once and sit back and enjoy the benefits as the emails and text messages will be sent, like the name suggest, on autopilot.

restaurant cost control

The module segments clients according to their purchasing history to deliver the most relevant campaigns and drive repeat business. Watch this video to see why you should invest in this tool:


Online restaurant cost control is a must if you want to have a successful business that delivers a profit at the end of each month. Take advantage of free and reasonably priced technology like our online ordering system so you can splurge on useful marketing tools such as the Autopilot email campaigns feature.

Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos is sometimes a content writer, other times a copywriter, but always produces high-quality content that helps clients up their marketing game. She devotes her attention to helping restaurant owners have a successful business with well-documented and SEO-optimized articles.

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