Ordering food for delivery has become incredibility popular thanks to integrated online ordering systems. Mostly large pizza chains such as Dominos paved the way for the convenience of ordering food online. Their “Track Your Pizza” functionality is still very famous. Since ordering food for delivery online is very convenient, websites like GrubHub took advantage of this by aggregating thousands of restaurants and adding their menus to their system.
Although it might seem like most of the big online ordering companies have dominated the market, there is still potential for smaller, targeted and local food websites. The key to building / improving an online food delivery website is multiple fold. You need to combine usability with a specific niche (only Mexican Food), target a specific location and possibly multiple languages. Here are some advanced functionality to compete with websites such as GrubHub and OrderUp.
It’s imperative that you have a very usable Advanced Search Functionality for the users. This search function should be able to search for restaurants, locations, food items as well as sort open/closed restaurants based on the time of search. This is key to guiding the user to the right restaurant for online ordering.
Certain restaurants that you might sign up will have multiple locations. Your system must have the ability to display these locations and filter based on the advanced searches. Furthermore, your system might offer restaurants to order from in multiple geographical locations. For this feature, you will have to API into Google Maps so that you may display all these locations to your users, provide directions and also deal with the different time zones.
Automated Email/Fax/Notification System
This notification has two different elements; notifications for the users and notifications for restaurants.
Notifications for users are essential in keeping them happy. Once a user signs up and orders, you will need to automatically provide an invoice as well as satisfaction surveys once they receive their orders. You might also let them know about new restaurants in their areas. These kinds of notifications will keep your user active.
Notifications for restaurants enable you to track/control the orders from each restaurant. A 3rd party faxing system should be used to fax the orders to the restaurants so that they may fulfill the orders. We could also do this notification via email. The benefit of email notification is that the restaurant could reply to the email and confirm if/when the order has been delivered. This enables you as the owner to know when the order is delivered in case of a customer satisfaction issue.
You could also integrate the online ordering system with your Point of Sale (POS) System. This involves a lot more work but it streamlines the ordering process in a manner where you have to do minimal control/review.
Yelp Review Integration
Your users will surely want to see reviews of restaurants and even food items that they would like to order. For this, it’s beneficial to integrate your listed restaurants with Yelp so that the reviews could automatically be pulled from Yelp.com.
Menu Import/Export via Excel
Your Online Food Delivery System should have at least 15-20 restaurants. Each one of these restaurants might have around 50-100 food items. It will get tedious to try and enter all these items one by one. Therefore, the system should have advanced import/export functionality. This will allow you to add/remove items in bulk efficiently.
Individual Item Customization
Consumers nowadays are very particular. A user might order a sandwich and ask for no onions or tomatoes in that sandwich. Your system must be able to allow food item customizations. Unfortunately, each category of item might have different types of customizations. For example, a diet coke order could include “Easy on the ice” instruction. This is an essential functionality for customer satisfaction.
List by Open Restaurants and Proximity
This is one of the functionality we mentioned above. It’s essential and a must have. The website should identify the time based on location and be able to filter restaurants based on availability as well as proximity.
Customer Text Order Notification System
This is an advanced functionality but can make your life easier when dealing with hundreds of orders per day. It might sound complicated to send users updates by SMS (text messages) when they place orders on your eCommerce Food Delivery System, however it’s not really that difficult to understand.
Here’s how it would work:
- Your system and email is integrated with a 3rd party SMS solution.
- When the user places an order, he may opt-in for SMS notification.
- When the order is received, user receives a confirmation SMS.
- When the restaurant receives and begins processing an order, the user is sent a “Processing” SMS.
- When the restaurant sends the order for delivery, the user receives an SMS saying “Your order is on the way.”
The restaurant simply can prompt these SMS messages by responding to emails that they receive from your system. The system will parse the emails and trigger the SMS notifications.
Automated Fulfillment Call Once an Order Has Been Delivered
This is another advanced functionality where the customer will receive an automated call asking if they received the order and their satisfaction level. This automated call will ask them questions and also ask the user to enter a key as a response. Those responses are then transferred to the system as feedback.
Not all users will want to create accounts with passwords. So, your system must allow users to add items to cart and checkout without having to register.
Providing a general service for a niche location or group of people is key in eCommerce. Multi-language functionality will allow you to target that type of niche with another language.
Marketing is essential to acquiring new customers for your new/improved Online ordering system. A well executed content strategy will allow you to advertise the restaurants you have signed up and also your new website. This must be a built in blog and preferably built with WordPress.
Integrated Order Fulfillment Admin
An admin panel where the owner or the manager can edit/update/refund orders is needed to manage the online orders. You should have a customer service number and someone trained to address issues and questions.
The integrated admin will allow you to see if an order is delivered, or confirm with the restaurant. This will make the customer service easier and more efficient.
This is a must have functionality since it enables users to order from their mobile devices and tablets.
At Optimum7, we have built Online Ordering / eCommerce Systems with the elements above. When you are competing with huge companies such as GrubHub and OrderUp as well as their clones, you must have a system that works and functions to your users’ benefit. Call us today and let us show you what we can do.