Get in the known
Whether you’re seeking an ordering system to use or designing custom online ordering system software, there are some key features that should be included. Aside from the basics, such as restaurant information and the ability to pay for orders online, the best systems also include informative menus, the ability to track order progress, and a simple but thorough ordering process.
As a general rule, all online ordering systems should include basic restaurant information, such as location, operating hours, any additional processing fees, and any menu items that may not be available for online ordering. Additionally, the ability to pay online makes the transaction occur much more smoothly and helps to prevent wasted time on orders that are never fulfilled at the counter.
Most online ordering systems include some form of the menu because that is fairly crucial for knowing what to order. The key here is to include as much information about the menu items as possible. This way, the customer can know exactly what is included with a particular menu item and what isn’t, along with the relevant nutritional information. This is of particular interest when it comes to dishes with many ingredients or those that may contain known allergens, such as peanuts and dairy.
Too many online ordering systems don’t include a method for tracking the status of orders. The most detailed tracking features are present when deliveries are included as well, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Simply indicating when food is finished is a huge leap in service, although this can certainly be improved by also showing the various stages of food preparation so customers can better time their arrival. When this isn’t an option, such as for more complex dishes, opting to use an estimated time of completion could work just as well.
Simple but Precise Ordering
This is one of the more difficult features to implement for some establishments, but it can make or break the entire user experience. The goal is to find a balance between being user-friendly while also providing all of the tools necessary for ensuring the customer can order exactly what is desired.
Another aspect that can help here is to try to make ordering as painless and quick as possible, so avoid overly flashy animations, troublesome drop-down windows, and difficult navigation controls. Checkboxes often work particularly well here, allowing customers to find basic menu items and then checking the boxes of the ingredients that they desire to be added to it.
While it is a good idea to offer some method of online ordering for restaurants, it is much more important that the right system is used.
By combining basic online ordering system necessities with features such as detailed menus, real-time order tracking, and a simple but complete ordering program, the customer will have a much better experience with placing orders, which will make a significant positive difference for the restaurant and the consumer.