Jeremy Julian

2 BIG Questions Answered When Implementing Web Ordering

June 19, 2014

With so many different web ordering companies out there, how do you choose the correct one for your business?  Which provider is the right provider for your customers?  Should you integrate your web ordering into your point of sale? The list of questions goes on. Below are two of the biggest questions we see come across our desks.

2 Questions Answered When Implementing Web Ordering:

1. How do I choose the correct web ordering provider?

Just as you did when choosing a POS (point of sale) provider, you need to look for some references.  Talk to other restaurateurs. Existing customers are going to give you the stripped-down version of what they like, don’t like, and if they would make the purchase again.

Get your hands dirty. Because of the nature of the product, every web ordering company’s work is out there for consumers to use, making it easy for you to do better research. Try ordering food from one of their customer’s websites. This will give you some of the best idea of what your own customers will see. Try using the services you’d want for your own restaurant. Spending time doing your due diligence will save you surprises and subsequent headaches down the road.

2. How do I integrate web ordering into my POS?

The next big decision you need to make is whether or not you’ll integrate your online ordering with your POS system. There are plenty of benefits to integrating your web ordering to your POS. These benefits handily outweigh the costs if you really want to be serious about making smart business decisions and driving additional revenue through the web.

When you decide you want to take your web ordering seriously and integrate into your POS, unless you are running a POS that has a native web ordering interface in it like NorthStar Order Entry, you’ll need to pick a third-party web implementation partner. Below are 5 companies with whom we have worked closely for many years. Any one of these would be a good choice:

  1. Takeout Technology – Takeout Tech started as a subsidiary of Restaurants on the Run, a restaurant delivery outsourced company. It was started to fill the online ordering needs of their restaurant clients. Starting with a website to help facilitate the ordering process, the company has evolved to offer catering orders, advanced orders and a multitude of ordering types. It has recently moved into the mobile space, offering consumers a mobile ordering option. Takeout Technology also offers a central call center for its clients. If you would like to outsource your call center to help streamline your business operations, Takeout Tech can help you.
  2. Real Time Ordering – Formerly Gimmegrub. Real Time Ordering began with a website to help a friend do online ordering for their small sandwich shop. The business has evolved into what it is today. The company excels in the fast casual and pizza spaces. The team is incredibly easy to work with and has continued to update its product over the years. Real Time Ordering also offers a mobile solution.
  3. Snapfinger – Snapfinger, formerly Kudzu, is a large player in the restaurant online ordering space. Snapfinger’s client list includes several very large national chains. With this, the capabilities of the Snapfinger product are many. However, because of the depth of the product, it may be difficult for smaller restaurant chains to get the customization that some others may offer. Most of the smaller clients receive a product that is scalable to a national level, including mobile web ordering.
  4. Onosys – Onosys is one of the pioneers of the restaurant online ordering space. You likely have seen their booth at any number of trade shows. You likely remember them by being the ones dressed in orange – head to toe. Onosys also boasts a large client list and recently were purchased by LivingSocial. An aspect of Onosys that makes them rather unique in the space is its ability to capture customer data to be utilized in marketing efforts. This capability was enhanced with the acquisition by LivingSocial. The ability to see customer data makes Onosys something special.
  5. Big Holler – As CBS’s first integration partner, Big Holler will always have a place near and dear to our hearts. A partner in New York first introduced our team to Big Holler. The company has a sizable list of smaller takeout restaurants in the NY metro area. The product feature list is heavy into mobile and delivery services. Pricing is generally less expensive than most. The company has the history and the size to deliver an outstanding product, but retains nimble enough to add a degree of customer customization to the product.

Do a Google search. There are many, many players in the game. If you haven’t already, web ordering is something that your restaurant will need to adopt to stay relevant in the space.  It has already become something that many consumers expect.

With all of the choices out there, references are the best way to go about picking a provider. Talk to your POS provider. Talk to the burger joint down the street. Gain as much knowledge as you can to help align your web ordering partner with your business goals. And then let the orders roll in!

Have you chosen a web ordering client? If so, how did you go about picking the right one? Tell us in the Comments section below.

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