Mastering Online Ordering: 5 Challenges and How to Overcome Them

By: Maja Gazivoda

Strategy

Remember the pre-digital era when managing seating charts and keeping wait times down was a constant struggle? Fortunately, those days are long gone, thanks to modern advancements such as online ordering for restaurants that have transformed the restaurant industry. Operators are now equipped with advanced tools to meet customer expectations. But this digital age doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.

Do you constantly worry about your current online ordering system? Questioning if it is integrated with your other tools? Is it user-friendly and reliable? You’re not alone. Many restaurants are confronted with these digital dilemmas. Here are 5 common challenges restaurants face today, along with strategies to overcome them:

1

Managing Multiple Channels

Challenge: Juggling multiple online ordering platforms (your own website, mobile app, kiosk, third-party apps) can be complex and time-consuming, requiring constant menu updates and managing orders across different interfaces.

Solution: Look for a unified digital ordering platform that offers multichannel first-party (mobile, web and kiosk) ordering while seamlessly integrating with popular third-party apps. This allows your customers to order through their preferred platforms while consolidating all orders into a single system for easy management.

2

Queues & Waiting Times

Challenge: A surge in traditional in-store ordering can quickly overwhelm staff, leading to long queues and frustrated customers, tarnishing the overall experience and discouraging repeat business.

Solution: By seamlessly integrating ordering systems with self-serving kiosks, brands can streamline their operations. As labor wages continue to rise in California and other states, businesses are seeking innovative solutions to manage their operational costs. Investing in kiosk technology becomes imperative for brands looking to optimize labor costs and maintain profitability in a changing economic landscape.

3

Incomplete Orders & Cart Abandonment

Challenge: Confusing menus, unclear instructions, and hidden fees during checkout can lead to incomplete orders and cart abandonment.

Solution: Prioritize a user-friendly digital ordering platform with intuitive interfaces, high-quality food images, and detailed descriptions. Offer multiple payment options and ensure transparent pricing throughout the ordering process. This creates a smooth experience, minimizing frustration and abandoned carts.

4

Overdependence & High Commissions on Third-Party Platforms

Challenge: Reliance on third-party ordering platforms can eat into your profits due to high commission fees. Additionally, you relinquish control over the customer experience as deliveries are handled by a third party.

Solution: Using a single backend for all your customer touchpoints eliminates dependency on third-party ordering platforms and gives you the ability to set your own prices and costs, which contributes to long-term cost savings. Only by running your in-house online ordering and delivery service can you make sure your restaurant retains complete control over the ordering and delivery experience.

5

Fragmented Data & Lack of Customer Insights

Challenge: Disparate restaurant technology systems can lead to scattered data, hindering a complete picture of your customer base. This limits your ability to personalize the customer experience and develop targeted marketing campaigns.

Solution: Loyalty initiatives should be seamlessly integrated into every step of the customer journey, especially during online ordering. When loyalty enrollment becomes a native part of the ordering process, customers are not only encouraged to join but also actively engage with the program. This results in a surge in the use of first-party digital ordering systems and the acquisition of invaluable customer data. By improving data collection methods, marketers can tap into a wider pool of customers and tailor their offers and communications effectively.

If you’re looking for a trusted strategic partner, PAR MENU is here to help you conquer these burning challenges and thrive in the digital landscape. MENU is a powerful, user-friendly digital ordering platform that seamlessly integrates with PAR’s suite of best-of-breed solutions, including Punchh, Brink and PAR Pay, among other leading POS and payment options. MENU’s marketplace order management solution ensures a consistent and hassle-free experience for your guests, whenever and wherever they choose to place their orders. At the same time, it simplifies the management of all ordering channels and menus for your restaurant. MENU’s intuitive design and real-time menu updates across all channels ensure a smooth transition without disrupting your daily operations. Major growing restaurant brands have strategically opted for PAR’s Punchh and MENU, positioning themselves for sustained success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Unlock your full business potential for a thriving digital presence and a healthier bottom line with MENU+Punchh!

Talk to an Expert

  • Maja Gazivoda

    Maja Gazivoda, fondly known as Agent Gazivoda by her colleagues, is not your average communicator—she’s a relentless seeker of knowledge, diving headfirst into the depths of research to uncover the most obscure and fascinating facts imaginable. With an unwavering belief in the power of the written word, Maja crafts narratives that captivate and inspire. When she’s not unraveling mysteries of the digital world, you’ll find her managing the chaos of living with two super active kids, balancing work and family life.


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