What Are Your Options When It Comes To Online Ordering For Restaurants?

As a restaurant or small business owner, you already know that you have a huge amount of options to choose from when it comes to taking your business online. Online ordering systems, mobile apps, third-party marketplaces solutions all offer something unique, but come with different tradeoffs. During this new age of contactless experiences, restaurant and small business owners need to make informed decisions when partnering with third party providers. In the article below, we will walk you through some of the pros and cons of each potential solution.  

Developing a Solution In-House

The solution that may come to mind first is to build your own online ordering system for your restaurant in-house. This affords you the ability to control and customize all of the features for your online ordering system. It also allows you to ensure your online ordering experience is perfectly aligned to your customers’ needs. That being said, there are a significant number of downsides that are associated with this option. 

In order to build your own custom online ordering solution, you must be able to hire a series of contractors, engineers, and experts. This is a long, tedious, and very expensive process that will require significant investment in terms of time and monetary resources. Outside of the upfront investment, you will also need to continuously operate and maintain the application and all the bugs that may arise when the online ordering system is launched. Upgrades, errors, and security issues are a constant concern when running your own system.

This solution is generally adopted by large chains like Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Starbucks. They have millions of dollars to throw at the problem. Even then, the products they produce do not always resonate with their customer base. 

Partnering with a Third Party Delivery Marketplaces

The second option is to partner with third party delivery companies like DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, JustEat, Deliveroo, Skip the Dishes and more. The value proposition for each of these players is that they can bring incremental orders to your business through their online platforms. However, these benefits can be short lived as they charge an arm and a leg in the form of commission. 

There are several testimonials and reviews from restaurant owners complaining about how expensive these orders can be. On every order generated through these platforms, third party delivery partners like UberEats will charge 30% to 35% in commission. This means that when you have a sale of $20, approximately $7 will be given to the delivery company. This will have a significant impact on your margins. Additionally, when dealing with third party delivery partners, customer experience is not something that  you can control. After making the food, a random, usually not effectively trained driver will come to your restaurant to pick up your food. At that point, your business’s fate is in the driver’s hands. If the driver messes up, arrives late, or doesn’t deliver at all, it will reflect poorly on your brand. Customers will begin to distrust your quality of service. 

If you do not care much about your brand, this might be an option for you. You must have extremely large margins in order to support partnering with third party delivery partners, otherwise, your business might be in jeopardy. 

An alternative to these delivery players are other third party marketplaces such as Ritual’s marketplace product. The value proposition of this product is the same, increasing order volume for your business, but it costs significantly less on a per order basis. Ritual’s marketplace offers customers the ability to order food directly from your menu through a mobile app or online. Once customers place their order and pay online, they can simply pick up their food in store. The entire process is contactless. Ritual offers a headstart program to merchants that is completely free of commission for several months depending on the time of the promotion. After this period, they charge a small 10% to 15% commission fee. Therefore, on a $20 order, you can pay as low as $2. This will ensure your margins are far better than if you were to partner with a delivery third-party, while still getting incremental orders from new customers. Additionally, the customer experience is 100% in your control. Customers will walk into your store front to pick up their order. You will have the ability to control the quality of the entire customer journey. 

Use a White Label Online Ordering System

A third potential solution is to partner with a company that provides a white label online ordering solution such as the Ritual ONE product.  Ritual ONE offers more than online ordering for restaurants. There are several benefits when using Ritual ONE. 

  1. Your customers can choose between takeout and delivery options right on your menu on your website. This offers them more ways to order and allows you to continue to grow your business, even during the pandemic. 

  2. You can create a unique digital experience with menu photos and custom branding. You can completely customize the platform to your brand. 

  3. You can turn customers into regulars with an automated loyalty program.

  4. You can ensure a contactless journey from ordering all the way to payment by enabling on-site ordering. This will also help reduce lines in store keeping employees and customers safe. 

  5. The online solution integrates flawlessly into your website and operations. 

  6. You can make real-time changes to your menu online through the platform allowing you to easily experiment with new dishes. 

  7. We provide you all of the relevant data to ensure you’re able to understand what your customers are ordering so you can take the appropriate action.

  8. The platform is extremely affordable at only $49/month. There are no term  or contractual commitments. You can get an even cheaper rate if you sign up for the 1 year or 2 year options, $39/month or $29/month. There is no initial setup cost unlike some third party delivery players. 

White labelled online ordering systems like Ritual ONE can be personalized and integrated directly on your existing website. There is no additional work for you. With this solution you can control the experience, the brand, and the quality of service at an extremely affordable rate. 

To learn more about this solution - click here. There may be a promotion live for a free trial so we’d recommend booking a meeting with one of our representatives. 

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Ready to set up online ordering for your business? Have more questions? Request more info and we’d be happy to share how everything works and get you started.

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