In this article, we've imparted some of our knowledge to provide restaurant owners and managers with a set of options to help you navigate a subject that isn't your speciality.
Many people will be looking to throw together a temporary ecommerce site to either bolt-on to their existing website, or to create a brand-new web presence.
Build your own website
If you have one or two restaurants, then building your own website might be a good option for you. Ask your employees if any of them have any relevant website/technical knowledge to help you.
There are plenty of website builders with online ordering capabilities. Most are intuitive to use and feature drag and drop template builders that don't require any technical expertise. These tend to come with a monthly fee, between £15-£50 per month depending on the package you choose.
Some examples of website builders include:
It's worth Googling 'top 10 website builders' to look for impartial reviews of the services to work out which one is best for you.
There are plenty of freelancers around the world who charge reasonable fees for their technical expertise. They could quickly create a simple WordPress site, or even create a site using a website builder of your choice.
If you run a chain of restaurants, then WordPress could be the option to quickly implement online ordering across all of your sites.
The beauty of WordPress is that via a plugin called Multisite, you can have multiple versions of your online shop, so each restaurant can take orders separately, but you can still manage the menu and pricing centrally.
A freelancer would be able to create a functioning ecommerce site within a week, provided they receive a full brief about your requirements.
Out-of-the-box restaurant online ordering system
Flipdish is an online ordering system provided to restaurants, cafes, fast food takeaways and pubs. They have three levels of service to give restaurants an out-of-the-box online ordering platform as well as numerous other services that look very reasonably priced.
From what we've been shown, it looks like a very robust and flexible solution that can help you through the current situation and keep helping you when normal service returns. Take a look at Capterra, a software review website, the solution gets 5 out of 5 stars from 90 reviews.
We have partnered with Flipdish to bring you an exclusive offer to help you get ordering online as quickly as possible. It includes a free website with online ordering that can be standalone, or integrated into your current website, plus you get a big discount on transaction fees.
Flipdish can get you online and trading within two working days based on you providing the necessary documentation and depending on your menu size. That is quick!
What to consider if you're creating a new online ordering service
We're not going to go into everything, for example ensuring the online shop is both mobile and desktop compatible. But try to consider and answer the following questions:
- How will you accept payment? PayPal is common for online payments, your existing merchant account might be right for you, just make sure you check out your options so you can integrate it with your site quickly.
- What will be your delivery and collection times? You don't want customers placing orders out of business hours, so make sure you factor in when to turn the shop on and off.
- How will you relay orders to the kitchen? If you're getting a temporary shop then you need to think how orders arrive to chefs to work. WordPress for example will, in most instances, send an email with order details to a designated email address. You can also set up a terminal in the kitchen with live orders coming through, but kitchen staff would need some basic training on how to use it. A platform like FlipDish comes with a printer to send orders to chefs, which is the simplest route to communicating with the kitchen.
- How will you manage customer communications? If you're new to delivery it could be that the timing of orders might get a bit of getting used to. How will you let customers know orders have been place? Orders are out for delivery? People will be understanding as new delivery services find their feet, but good communication can solve any negative feeling should orders be delayed.