Pickup and delivery have taken off in the last year and a half. What’s more, they are bound to continue on an upward trajectory. Selling food online can significantly increase your revenue and keep your restaurant alive during rough times.
Are you just getting started with an online ordering system? Or are you looking for new ways to promote this service to potential customers? Regardless, the ideas below will help you get the word out and boost your online sales.
10 Tips on How to Promote Your Online Ordering System
1. Turn your website into a virtual billboard
Your website is the best place to promote your online ordering system and allow people to place orders. You control the entire process from start to finish and forge a relationship with your customers that you wouldn’t be able to replicate if you used a third-party delivery app.
Make sure the instant customers land on your website, they see that you deliver. Design an order button that is easy to spot and stands out amongst all other elements on the page. Also, don’t hide it somewhere at the bottom of the page; instead, place it in the header.
2. Hang posters and stickers in your restaurant
This is a no-brainer: people who visit your restaurant should also know that you deliver in case they get late-night cravings or want to relax with some takeout at home. Print posters and tabletop fliers and decorate your restaurant.
Stick them on the front door so passersby can see them, place them on every table, even turn them into stickers that you stick next to your POS or in the bathrooms. Additionally, every takeaway bag should also contain a flyer advertising your service.
Ensure all materials you print contain relevant information like your takeaway opening hours, the website where people can order, contact information, and even a promotion to entice people to give it a shot.
3. Brainstorm unique promos
Discounts and special offers can sweeten the deal and give your online ordering system a real boost. Come up with promotions exclusive to your delivery service and advertise them on your website, flyers, and social media.
Don’t forget to add these promotions directly to your online menu, so they’re the first thing people see when deciding what they want to eat. That might tip the balance in your favor, as they might decide to order more to take advantage of a special offer.
There’s no question about it: social media is a great place to advertise your business. And the best part? It’s entirely free. Flood each of your channels with information about your online ordering business and constantly post about special offers and promotions.
You can even allow your followers to place orders directly from your Facebook page using Facebook’s ‘Start Order’ call-to-action button. Just customize the button with the URL where they can order, and that’s it!
5. Customize your receipts
Another thing you can do to shout about your online ordering business from the rooftops is to customize your receipts. Add a slot that lets people know they can now order from your restaurant.
This simple tactic can be very effective at winning over new customers who may dine with you on-premise but not know they can also order at home. A simple “We deliver!” plus the website URL is enough. If you have the option, replace the URL with a QR code that people can scan to open your online menu instantly.
6. Start a restaurant blog
Did you know that businesses with blogs get an average of 67% more leads a month than businesses without? If you don’t have one yet, you should know that a restaurant blog comes with many benefits. That includes boosting your website higher up in search engine results if you use relevant keywords in your posts.
A restaurant blog is also a great place to promote your online ordering service. Describe the process and present the benefits of ordering online versus on the phone or ordering from your website versus third-party apps.
7. Customize your packaging
Nowadays, it’s easy to customize restaurant-to-go containers without spending a fortune. All you really need is to print some stickers featuring your online ordering information and stick them to your nondescript packaging.
This could also work if you usually give doggie bags to people who want to take their leftovers home. This way, other family members might spot the container and remember your delivery business is just a click away.
Suppose you have a restaurant newsletter and a decent number of subscribers. In that case, it’s practically mandatory to announce to them that you have a delivery service. When sending that first email, include an exclusive discount code for subscribers only to show them you appreciate their loyalty.
But don’t just settle for one email regarding your online ordering system. You can also send periodic updates about new menu items, limited-time promotions, and so on.
9. Update all third-party restaurant review platforms
Nowadays, people can find information about your restaurant not just on your website but also on third-party platforms like Google My Business or TripAdvisor. To give them a flawless experience, you’re going to want to make sure the information on these platforms is consistent and up-to-date.
If you don’t have a presence on these platforms yet, create an account ASAP. If your restaurant is already listed there, but you didn’t add it, claim your profile so you can update the information. Then, add a link to your online ordering system, which can redirect potential customers from these platforms to your website.
10. Organize contest and giveaways
Finally, to get the information out to more people, organize contests on social media. They can involve people sharing the post where you announce your delivery service or tagging a few friends. As a reward, offer a coupon code or a gift card they can redeem when ordering food from you online.
Knowing how and where to promote your online ordering system can make the difference between a failed experiment and a successful endeavor.
As a last piece of advice, when you build a restaurant website to sell your food online, keep this thing in mind: people crave seamless, streamlined experiences that involve as few steps and clicks as possible. The simpler it is to order from your restaurant online, the more customers you’ll have.