NetWaiter is often asked, “How can my restaurant’s online ordering sales skyrocket immediately?

First and foremost, every restaurant is different.  We know – that line is never fun to hear, but it’s true.  If people don’t like your restaurant’s food, they aren’t going to like it any better because of the way they ordered it.  Thankfully, restaurant owners using NetWaiter are smart, sell great food, and their customers love ordering online.

There are many traits that successful restaurants have in common.  After speaking with a lot of owners and managers, we’ve compiled a list of the most important factors needed to launch your online ordering sales into orbit and some tips to assist:

Embrace Online Ordering and “Take Ownership” of It. Get everyone at your restaurant to embrace one of the most powerful sales tools you have.  “Take ownership” of your online business.  Few parts in any business are autonomous and require little to no strategy or thought.  Give it some attention and thought and it will reward you significantly.

Get The Word Out.  Like anything, people need to know you offer something if you expect them to take advantage of it.
–    STEP 1: Make sure you have at least one ‘Order Online’ button on your homepage.  DO NOT make people search or scroll to find your online ordering menu.  You should also have links to place orders on other pages of your website for easy access.
–    STEP 2: DO NOT link your ‘Order Online’ buttons to another page, forcing customers to, yet again, click another button.  Send customers directly to your online ordering menu.  They love online ordering because it’s convenient.  Forcing them to click around your site or search for your online ordering menu will only irritate them.
–    STEP 3: Get employees to help spread the word to all of your customers.

Simple Advertising.  Some of the following tactics are very simple to implement and will help you advertise your online takeout and delivery business.
–    1) Attach ‘flyers’ to all phone-in orders that mention your website and online ordering.  (TIP: Order some inexpensive or free business cards from a place like vistaprint.com).  This is also a great tactic if you are trying to convert expensive portal customers to order directly from you.  A small promotional discount for ordering directly from you will go a long way.
–    2) Display signage inside your restaurant.  The next time a customer is in the mood for takeout, they’ll visit you online first.
–    3) Mention your online ordering system and website address to all phone-in customers.  The truth is – they don’t want to be calling you anyway.  They would rather place their order online and you do too – average order sizes are much larger online.
–    4) If someone calls your restaurant during a rush, there is a good chance you’ll put them on hold. Make sure your on-hold message mentions your website and the ability for them to order online.

Your goal is to have skyrocketing online sales, but don’t get discouraged by a slow start.  With additional NetWaiter features, like our Facebook integration, email marketing, and promotional system, you’ll be able to kick things into high gear.  It’s all about building momentum.  The nice thing about it – once you have it, it’s hard to slow down.

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