When Should Restaurants Update Their Online Ordering Platform?

Many of us have experienced a poorly functioning online food ordering platform, which can be particularly frustrating when you are “hangry” and trying to order food in a hurry. Most online consumers encountering such a site will quickly exit and move on to a modern, user-friendly site that is ready to do business with them. According to our orderTalk, Inc. online ordering usage survey, 28 percent of respondents who order food online said they would abandon an order because of a poorly functioning website.

In our fast-paced culture, it is important for brands to regularly review and refresh websites and online ordering platforms for maximum efficiency. The following are important triggers that may indicate that it’s time for an update.

Important Changes to Your Business

Clearly, if you change your restaurant’s phone number or location, you need to update your website promptly. Other essential business changes that should trigger modifications to a restaurant ordering site include:

  • Changes in your delivery service
  • Addition of new ingredients to accommodate people with food allergies, weight loss objectives, or other dietary needs
  • Changes in business hours
  • Significant pricing changes
  • A change in policy that impacts customers
  • Glitches in one of the ordering functions

Customer Feedback

A business’s online ordering platform must be customer-centric. The platform will naturally help your restaurant business grow, so it should meet the anticipated needs of the customer in a thoughtful way.

If repeated negative comments are received from customers about some aspect of their online ordering experience, it is time to examine your system and determine what can possibly be done to correct issues. Customers usually will not approach you to explain issues clearly. So, it’s unlikely that one of your patrons will directly recommend that you update your web ordering platform. It’s much more likely that you might begin hearing subtle clues that there is a deficiency in your online system, such as:

  • It timed out before I could decide what I wanted
  • I couldn’t find some menu items
  • The system was slow in loading
  • It wouldn’t accept my coupon
  • It wouldn’t let me customize my order
  • Some of the order functions were confusing or hard to find
  • Some buttons seemed nonresponsive, and I wasn’t sure that my commands executed

Menu Changes

Generally, your customers return to do repeat business on your online ordering platform because they like the product. It’s the way your regular customers show their appreciation for your work. So, naturally, they will want to be aware of any new menu items you add. Even if you make a minor change to your in-house menu, add it to your online menu immediately. Make sure to communicate new ingredients such as bread choices, toppings, sauces or salad dressings.

Informing customers about additional items can add revenue streams for your business. If you choose to entirely rewrite your menu, then consider a complete site redesign. A brand-new menu presents a special opportunity to freshen your business’s image to project a heightened energy and dedication to a quality dining experience.

New Branding

A major re-branding initiative also is an appropriate time to consider an upgrade to your current online ordering platform. Restaurants will want to maintain a uniform identity across all sales touchpoints.

For additional information about designing a restaurant online ordering system or updating your existing online ordering system contact orderTalk to speak to an expert.