5 Tips for Increasing Online Orders at Your Restaurant

The online food delivery sector is growing at a staggering rate. According to  Statista, the online delivery market will expand by more than 10% over the next half-decade. By 2028, Statista projects that the global online ordering businesses will top $1.79 trillion in value. 

There is a huge potential to cash in on online sales. But is your restaurant doing everything it can to capitalize on this industry trend? Are there ways you could be increasing online orders to your restaurant? 


And the good news is that most of these steps are readily attainable with just a few changes to your website, social media strategy, and service offerings.


5 Tips for Boosting Online Orders

If you’re looking for helpful and actionable tips for boosting online orders at your restaurant, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 ways you can work on increasing online orders:


1. Optimize your menu for online ordering

Your online menu should be tailored to your online customers. But what does that mean? For starters, your menu should be easy to use, read, and navigate for online and mobile users. An inconvenient or confusing ordering experience can easily drive away a prospective customer. Creating an intuitive digital menu is a critical first step towards increasing online orders. 

You’ll also want to optimize the actual selections included in your online menu. For instance, some dishes simply don’t travel well. Pare your online menu down to the items that can be delivered in to-go containers while still meeting your restaurant’s quality control standards. You may also succeed at increasing online orders by adding a few exclusive items to your takeout menu–special dishes that may not be available to guests dining in-house.


2. Streamline the online ordering process

In addition to providing an intuitive and navigable menu, you need to provide a simple and user-friendly interface for completing online orders. Once again, a clunky or confusing ordering experience can cost you customers. Make sure this part of the process is as seamless and hassle-free as possible.

You might benefit by partnering with a third-party provider. There are numerous services available to restaurants for receiving, processing, and completing online orders. The right application can create a smooth online ordering experience for your customers with minimal setup costs or disruptions for your restaurant.


3. Boost your social media presence 

An integral component to increasing online orders? Making sure your customers know that online ordering is an option at your restaurant. Use the full power of social media to get the word out. From your website and your Twitter feed to your Instagram account and your Tik Tok page, let your customers know that you offer fast, easy, and convenient online ordering. Funnel new and repeat customers to your ordering system through every possible channel at your disposal. 

And try to get your customers involved. Your loyal regulars can play a major role in increasing online orders. Encourage diners to share photos of their online orders on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with your hashtag. Or better yet, offer monthly prizes like drink tickets and gift certificates to the customers who post the best photos. Get your online followers involved and give them incentives to share their positive online ordering experiences with others.


4. Establish an online customer loyalty program 

Speaking of getting your own customers involved, a loyalty program can be a powerful way of increasing online orders from repeat customers. In essence, drive-thru coffee shops have been doing it for years—giving their customers punch cards and pouring every 10th cup of coffee for free. 

Why not add a similar program to your online ordering system? Give your customers a perk that will incentivize them to continue ordering online like a gift certificate free appetizer with every fifth online order. And while you’re at it, offer additional incentives for referring friends to order online as well. 


5. Train staff to handle online orders 

Once you’ve refined the mechanisms for receiving, processing, and promoting online orders, make sure your team is prepared. Train your staff to handle online orders effectively and efficiently. Establish a clear and differentiated set of procedures for preparing, packaging, and delivering online orders. Be sure your staff members understand their role in readying online orders both for pick up and delivery.

While your online system can streamline the ordering process, it falls on your team members to make sure online orders are prepared correctly, that they can be readily located by delivery drivers or take-out hosts, and that the delivery or pick-up experience is just as seamless as the ordering itself. Engage your staff in comprehensive training to ensure optimal management of online orders.


Make Tech Upgrades to Increase Online Orders

One of the best tips for boosting online orders is to integrate this revenue stream with your in-house POS system. This can make it possible to streamline online ordering and ultimately improve operational efficiency once orders are processed, prepared, and delivered. 

Need help figuring out the best ways to increase online orders for your restaurant? Schedule a consultation with a Back of House expert today to find a vendor that can help merge your POS platform with online ordering.