3 things to consider when pivoting to online ordering

Published March 31, 2020

Online ordering is one way to help keep your restaurant running while giving guests a safer, more convenient and contactless option to order and pick up.  

Here are three ways to make the transition as smooth as possible.


1. Simplify your menu

As you pivot to online ordering, simplify your menu offerings to create a more streamlined order and prep process. Some points to consider: Which items are most popular and will motivate guests to order? Which items pack and travel better in this takeout-only environment? Which items have heavy modifiers, and could those items be simplified? Which items have the highest margin?


2. Optimize your takeout operations

With orders coming through your website, look for ways to make your takeout service both efficient and safe for your guests and staff. Look at how you can reoptimize your existing restaurant layout to accommodate takeout, and think through how to offer a contactless experience that reassures your guests. Whatever you determine is the best flow for your guests and staff, make sure to communicate clear order and pick-up instructions to your customers.


3. Promote your website

Look for ways to gain exposure for your website – and your restaurant. Be sure to use social to tell your fans they can order the food they love online for pick up later. You can also email your guests, such as members of a loyalty program, about ordering takeout and provide a link to your site. Add your voice to social media campaigns, such as the recent “Great American Takeout” or “Takeout Tuesdays” to gain even more exposure and traffic.


Keep in mind, speed is of the essence

If you aren’t currently offering online ordering to your guests, look for providers that can get you up and running as fast as possible. You may not need all the bells and whistles of a full ordering platform right now. Rather, it’s important to find providers who can quickly deliver a functional website that's viewable on both desktop and mobile. Your technology partner should also be able to help you quickly and accurately configure all aspects of the website, including menu, pricing and branding. 

Making the pivot to online as your sole channel for ordering can not only help you sustain your business in the current climate, but it can also help enable future growth when life returns to normal. As loyal guests rely on ordering from your restaurant via their phone or computer, they may very well prefer that option going forward—and it sets you up for successful off-premise, multi-channel operations in the future.


We’re here to help

We know transitioning to a new mode of operating feels daunting. But we’re here to help you quickly make the best use of the resources you already have when pivoting your operations.  

If you have questions on how to best use your current system in this new paradigm, give us a call at 1-800-CALL-NCR inside the U.S. or 1-937-445-1936 outside the U.S. We’re here to help.

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