The advantages of your own ordering system

At Cheap Takeaway Websites we design and build food ordering systems for the takeaway and restaurant industry. We believe we are providing a necessary service and an invaluable tool to help your takeaway business thrive. Just as our sister site Cheap Takeaway Menus can give you high quality menus at a low cost, we offer state of the art, customisable, and user-friendly online ordering systems to set your takeaway apart from the rest. But why have an online system at all? After all, takeaways got along pretty well before the internet, didn’t they?

Well, believe it or not, customers ordering a takeaway by phone or in person could be losing you money. It might still be the most popular way of ordering takeaway but online ordering is catching up, and it’s netting more profit for those businesses who are embracing it. No more engaged or crackling phone lines, long queues, or walks in the rain to pick up food might sound like a small thing, but it actually makes a big difference. Customers can spend as much time as they need, change their order as many times as they want before placing it, be clear about what they want, and – let’s be honest – they can do all that without speaking to a single person. For the screen-fixated world we now live in, it’s a win-win. So it can be a win for you too. Here are a few reasons why having an online food ordering system is the way to go.

First of all, people want it. It’s a new world, and if you don’t keep up you get left behind and you will be seen as old fashioned. In this case, the traditional approach is most definitely not a good thing. There is a clear demand for online ordering and if a customer can’t get it from you, be assured they will go elsewhere. Pretty soon online ordering will outstrip the ‘traditional’ ordering approach. Clearly you don’t want to be stuck in a diminishing market.

A customer’s comfort and the ease with which they can place an order online can work magic. The lack of pressure to complete an order quickly may mean a customer will run through your menu in great detail more than once. This means a potential for extra purchases, offers won’t be missed, and if there is a minimum order for delivery then they will top up their request to qualify (I did this myself only a few days ago). The average difference between a traditional order and an online order is £2.50. That’s more profit with every online order. There is no downside to that.

Online ordering frees up your staff to concentrate on good food and good service. Phone lines may end up quieter, but the orders printing off from your POS will be getting faster and more frequent. The human contact dynamic might have changed a little, but everything changes, and providing your still providing great food, good service and timely delivery, it is never long before new becomes normal. Your productivity and very probably your quality will improve across the board.

With online ordering the onus is on the customer to get their order right. There is no chance of miscommunication between two or more people. They can check what they are ordering before they press submit, and their choices are printed in black and white, having never been touched by human hands (i.e. no scribbling on notepads having misheard an order).

You may already be signed up with a third party system like Just Eat or Hungry Hungry House, but the benefits of having your own system by far outweigh the convenience of this. Firstly, and most importantly, in terms of profit: imagine if you were able to keep every bit of profit from an order. It’s a sure thing that you have worked out your profit margins very carefully, so imagine someone coming in and holding out their hand for their share of your livelihood. Yes they may offer a service in exchange, but believe me they did the work to put that service in place long ago, and they are still bilking hardworking businesses like you for it over and over again. Taking charge of your own system shuts that down completely. You decide on your branding, you decide if and when you adjust your menu, you keep the whole profit. Just by dropping a third party service you are changing your profit margins for the better. With Cheap Takeaway Websites, once you’ve bought it, it’s yours.

Did you know that some takeaways adjust their prices and details so they will move up the list on third party sites and be at the top of a search? It’s true. Bidding wars have always been a part of business, but you can cut through that by having your own site. Through clever use of social media and your menu distribution strategy you can ensure that a customer will come straight to your site and you won’t have to compromise to come out on top in the bear pit of third party ordering site searches.

If you’re looking to migrate from a third party site slowly because you operate in a competitive area, then lure your third party customers away with enticements they can only get if they order from your own site. Slip a flyer in with their order, drop them an email, or design your receipts to display the offer. Gradually you will wean your customers off the third party site and on to your own, far superior system. Plus, if you think about it, you’re using them for a bit of free advertising!

Something else your own online system can do for you that a third party site can’t is collect information. The amount of detail you can collect about the ordering habits of your customers can be an enormous help to your business and your profits. You can adjust your menu based on what is popular; you can offer targeted marketing to customers in multiple scenarios (e.g. regulars, lost customers, time-specific customers), or you can use the data to plan your menu distribution strategy or your entire business plan for the coming months). That information is priceless, and could conceivably be the single most attractive reason to get your own online ordering system.

In the 21st century having an online ordering system not only makes sense, it is the natural thing to do. Imagine being a takeaway in the 80s and not having a telephone…

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