In the past, we’ve talked about the importance of having an online food ordering system in a post-COVID-19 world but we have not talked about launching the system properly. You see, it is not just enough to set up an online ordering system, you need to have the right plan to launch it. If not, you are not going to see a satisfactory ROI.
One restaurant owner learned this the hard way. He had poured a substantial amount of money into an online ordering system, but when he did not get the returns he wanted, he grew frustrated with it and shut the whole thing down. I helped him set up and launch his system properly so that he could get the results he wanted. But he still had to deal with substantial losses, which he could have prevented had he devised a proper plan to launch online ordering.
So the focus of this article will be on the essential elements needed to launch an online ordering system successfully and to get customers to order from you instead.
While every establishment has its own goals, it is important to cover these essential steps to successfully launch the online food ordering system. Here are just some of the crucial building blocks you need.
KPIs and deadlines
In the wake of the shutdown and social distancing regulation, a lot of restaurant owners didn’t have much time to plan a launch, which is perfectly understandable. They had to act fast or close down for an unspecified period of time. However, this lack of planning hurt their ROI.
When launching an online food ordering system, the first thing you need to plan is how the system will be used. When you set the right expectations, it makes for a much smoother launch down the line and helps you generate immediate ROI on your investment.
Setting the right KPIs also helps owners determine just how the system is going to work in the bigger picture of their operations beyond just serving customers at home.
Planning also helps you find answers to relevant questions. How are you going to build your mobile app? Are there any opportunities for upselling or cross-selling certain items? Do you need to train your staff to use the system? Creating a plan helps you answer these questions, which will guarantee a smooth launch in the long run.
Spreading the word
Arguably one of the most important things to do when building a plan for an online food ordering system is promotion. If people do not know it exists, they are not going to use it. Having a plan to inform both new and existing customers that your online ordering system exists is the best way to gain sufficient ROI on your system.
Of course, the method for how this works differs with each restaurant. Some business owners already have a database of email addresses, and so they can plan out an email marketing or text messaging campaign to announce their new feature.
For new customers, you may want to consider incentives as they make a purchase for the first time, like setting up membership discounts and customer coupons. Providing customers value and an incentive will help them overcome any initial apprehension they might have about trying out the new system.
Augmenting your brand and engaging your customers
As an owner, it is not enough to just plug in the system, you need to consider how it contributes to your overall marketing strategy as well. An online ordering food system can be an asset for marketing and branding if used properly. This is because using online ordering can be an experience for customers similar to visiting a restaurant in-person.
You need to make sure that the online food ordering system is as complementary to your brand as possible. You could use your system to stand out from your competitors and regularly engage your customers, either through brief, uplifting messages or incentives. How that works is up to you, but it is vital to plan out the right marketing tactics in advance before launching the system.
By setting out a plan, you can easily select an online food ordering system that works for you and generate sufficient ROI within an acceptable timeframe. In my experience, the ideal online food ordering system that works for most restaurants are ones that are quick to set up and come with a host of useful features built into the system. However, no matter the system chosen, planning out the launch is crucial to success.