Don’t pick the wrong direct online ordering system for your restaurant – Insights to get it right

Jun 7, 2024 | Media Coverage

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Restaurants must sell to digital customers as food pickup and delivery services are booming. Online sales could grow 12% annually, and the market may be worth $1.45 trillion globally by 2027.

Selling your food and beverages to online customers, however, presents a unique set of challenges. McKinsey researchers found that digital diners pay a 40% premium on the cost of their order, while restaurants receive only 55% of what those customers spend. 

On top of that, some delivery apps don’t share much customer data with restaurants. This means you may find yourself struggling to keep profits up and know who your online customers are. Direct online ordering systems help you address these challenges.

What is a Direct Online Ordering System exactly?

In its most basic form, a direct online ordering system is a webshop that allows customers to place orders directly with your restaurant. In other words, it allows people to place online orders without using delivery apps. This helps restaurants reduce their costs by up to 80% and own their customer data.

Best-in-class direct online ordering systems help you automate delivery driver bookings and provide a wide range of tools to turn digital ordering into a sustainable profit center.

Selecting the perfect Ordering System for your restaurant

Let’s take a closer look at what you should keep in mind when selecting a direct online ordering system for your restaurant. Here are five important considerations:

  1. Avoid mandatory app downloads: Customers may be hesitant to download an app prior to viewing the menu and placing an order with a restaurant, so it’s important to choose a system that allows customers to place orders directly from your webshop without requiring an app download.
  2. Steer clear of painful registration processes: Similarly, customers may be put off by a complicated registration process that requires them to create an account before placing an order. Choose a system that allows for easy guest checkout, without requiring customers to create an account.
  3. Automate delivery driver bookings: The best direct online ordering systems automatically book drivers from Uber (Uber Direct), DoorDash (DoorDash Drive), Grab (Grab Express), Foodpanda (PandaGo), and others to instantly dispatch orders to your customers at a low flat fee. It’s important to choose an online ordering system that can automate the process of booking third-party delivery drivers. This helps and reduces the time and effort required to manage delivery orders. The system should provide tools to easily assign drivers to orders, track driver location and status, and communicate with drivers in real-time. By automating driver bookings, you can improve delivery speed and efficiency and provide a far better experience for your customers.
  4. Integrate into Google and social media: A good online ordering system should integrate with your existing web presence, allowing you to promote your shop on Google and to your social media follower base on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok through easy-to-use links. This article by tablevibe provides some tactical advice on how to effectively integrate your direct online ordering system into your Google and social media channels.
  5. Tools to effectively drive customer loyalty: Finally, a great online ordering system should provide tools to help you effectively drive customer loyalty. This can include features like customer rewards programs, targeted promotions and discounts, and the ability to easily communicate with customers via email or text message. By leveraging these tools, you can encourage repeat business and build an even more loyal customer base. Additionally, the system should provide easy ways for customers to provide feedback on their orders, allowing you to quickly respond to any issues and improve the customer experience over time.

Do people actually order directly from restaurants?

At Tablevibe, the question hospitality professionals most often ask us is “Do customers really order food directly from restaurants?” The answer is a resounding “yes”, as long as restaurants actively promote direct ordering and use best-in-class online sales tools. 

Mathieu Sneep, co-founder, Tablevibe

Take a look at these online sales numbers from Burger Villains, a restaurant group that adopted Tablevibe’s direct online ordering system. As you can see, Tablevibe’s online ordering system captures 2X more sales than DoorDash and drives more orders than Menulog.

Rather than just converting delivery app users to direct customers, the best direct online ordering systems help you grow sales by making your food and beverage offerings more affordable and accessible. 

Our team therefore always encourages our partners to maintain their presence on delivery apps like Uber, Grab, Foodpanda, DoorDash, and Deliveroo. These are important discovery channels for your brand.

Mathieu Sneep, co-founder, Tablevibe

Ultimately, selecting the right direct online ordering system depends on the unique needs and goals of your restaurant. One thing is for certain: If you don’t offer a simple way for your customers to order direct, you are leaving a significant opportunity to grow your sales, profits, and customer relationships on the table.