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The Menu – the latest insights on restaurant technology trends, customer successes, and best practices.

Improve your restaurant’s online ordering profitability

Keshav Kiran
Senior Director, Global Strategic Partnerships, Oracle Food and Beverage

What does it take to make online ordering, curbside pickup, and contactless delivery more profitable? In this post we break down the essential components of an optimized online POS ordering system for restaurants -- from online menu management to payment processing, kitchen coordination, and fulfillment for restaurants of all shapes and sizes.

Spinning up online ordering overnight was a necessity as you faced forced closures and stay-at-home orders. But with a few months of business performance data and insights under your belts, it may be clear that you are leaving some money on the table but are not certain on where to prioritize or focus investments. Over the last several months our solution engineering team has advised dozens of clients on how to expand their online and mobile ordering options and preserve margins. Breaking down the user journey is the first step in defining the right online ordering system for restaurants. A simple journey looks something like: 

  1. Customer places an order via the website or mobile app
  2. Your restaurant POS system receives the order
  3. The order is sent to your kitchen display system
  4. Your customer receives updates via mobile app, text, or email

Sounds simple, but you need to make sure the above steps are seamless for the end customer and easy to fulfil by your staff. Your online ordering system does not need to be complicated, but it needs to connect a complicated customer journey. Let's breakdown the critical components of any online ordering point-of-sale system:

Centralize all your transactions and interactions. Online or cloud-based POS systems are the hub from which all transactions and customer interaction points should flow. Your restaurant POS system should seamlessly integrate to popular marketplaces like Deliveroo, Grubhub, and UberEats, and enable you to manage your menu, orders, payment, pickup and delivery from any channel whether that be your website, mobile app or a marketplace.

Make online menu management consistent and simple. According to research, nearly 25% of consumers in the US and UK stopped ordering takeout from a restaurant completely due to a poor experience. The top reason? Menu inconsistencies. Your online ordering system should allow for real-time menu management across all your customer interaction points. This includes your website, mobile app, marketplace, the digital menu boards in your drive thru and into the restaurant itself for self-service kiosks. Built-in menu management software helps you manage menu items, ingredients, price and promotions across all your digital channels with ease.

Automate order flow to your kitchen display system. Once an order is placed, your online POS system should receive it and send orders directly to the kitchen for preparation.  You can easily processes that order and connect front of house interactions with back of house operations. This includes taking advantage of business logic and decision rules to ensure freshness and prompt delivery times, optimize kitchen workflows, and speed of service. Another common deal-breaker for takeout is poor quality upon receipt. With an online ordering system for your restaurant that feeds directly to your kitchen display system you can use predefined cook timings to break down each order, prioritize preparation tasks, and automatically alert staff about ticket times that have exceeded your restaurant's standards. This information can be used to not only pre-empt a satisfaction issue but also measure kitchen performance.

Low-touch order collection and curbside pickup. With a GPS-enabled web app or location-aware technology automating contactless pickup, your customers will experience a seamless, low-touch flow from order to fulfillment. Keeping customers and staff informed on order status helps you ensure customer satisfaction.

Your restaurant point of sale system is the most crucial piece of the puzzle; with that foundation in place, you can expand your sales channels at scale. Additional technology you might consider, depending on your circumstances and customer preferences, include: 

Mobile POS to line bust a drive thru when needed and inform the kitchen of successful contactless pickup, triggering loyalty rewards.

Self Service Kiosk- makes contactless pickup simple for customers and streamlined for your staff

Restaurant Loyalty Programs engage customers through targeted data-driven marketing campaigns and gift cards

Inventory Management never run out of a critical menu item, track menu profit, down to the ingredient and digital channel.

Omnichannel experiences bring new opportunities for restaurants but also introduce additional cost. For a look at how to manage direct, and indirect omnichannel costs, check out my Virtual Connect Power Session: Managing Costs Related to Omnichannel Payments.

Our team works with restaurateurs worldwide to make online and mobile ordering simple and straight forward. If you’re interested in speaking to one of our experts, our team is standing by to answer any questions you may have about the right online ordering system for your restaurant. Reach us by phone: US: +1 866-287-4736; UK: +44 207 5626 827; AU: 1300 366 386; LAD: 52 559 178 3146 | chat | or request a call back.

 

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