Café owner holding his tablet standing behind a counter with two cardboard boxes on top.

How restaurants maximize online orders, operations, & more. 

In today’s world of online ordering and delivery, consumers crave convenience and speed. They order from your restaurant for the delicious food and excellent service, but can easily be swayed in a competitive market. So, how do you make your business stand out in the crowd? We spoke to a group of our valued Partners about ways they’ve improved their online orders, drive-thru, take-out, and POS, and the challenges they’ve faced. Here are our key takeaways for best practices, along with insightful tips to help you maximize your operations.

IN-STORE 

Dedicate a door/window for couriers.

After chatting with our Partners, they mentioned a big game changer: dedicate an entry or space for couriers that doesn’t disrupt customer foot traffic. By providing convenient delivery and pickup options, you give access to a larger market of potential customers. This also allows for quick food and beverage service and reduces errors from happening with a delivery.

More pickup best practices:

  • Perform a quality control check to ensure every item is included, then staple or seal it with a quality check sticker.
  • Take a quick pic of the order prior to it going out for delivery​.
  • Make sure the hand-off with the driver goes smoothly and they have everything they need, including condiments or any additional requests.
  • Partner Quote:

We have a large garage door that we open throughout nine months of the year and designate as the pickup point, as opposed to having the drivers come right into the space.

Independent Restaurant Owner, Toronto

Why batch cooking is better. 

Batch prep/cooking is an excellent way to increase production line efficiencies and minimize food waste, making it ideal for the dishes you cook often. One Partner said, “If the order comes in first, it just gets made first. One cheque for three meatball subs, one for two classics, and one that comes in later with two more meatball subs – we will batch the meatball subs together because it’s easier to produce the same subs all in the same sequence.” By preparing these frequently ordered items, you can increase profits, maximize your time, and minimize the amount of food you waste weekly. 

More cooking best practices:

  • As cheques come in, either on-premise or online, make sure they’re prepared in the order they came in. This helps with guests returning for the same timely service and overall customer satisfaction.
  • Have the Skip tablet facing your kitchen, so your staff can see when the courier is picking up an order.

ONLINE

Hit the pause button less.

We know how hectic it can be during peak periods — sometimes it’s easier to just press pause. But you can easily accommodate more orders with a streamlined process and pause only when you truly need to take orders off your plate.

More online ordering best practices:

  • Treat incoming online orders the same as in-person orders. Having a sense of urgency to meet both online and in-store orders simultaneously will increase customer satisfaction.  
  • If you’re in the middle of a rush and it keeps getting busier, push back or pause incoming online orders. 
  • Control the flow of traffic by presetting offline and prep times in the Skip​ app, so you can set yourself up for success.

Simplify your menu.

Some restaurants are trying to be all things to all people. Simple menus are easy to understand, which makes it easier for your customers to order your food. Paring down the number of items on the menu or concentrating on one or two dayparts will increase the speed of orders and ensure order accuracy and product consistency.

More menu best practices:

  • Simplicity is key. Regulars typically get the same menu items or what’s most popular. 
  • Take less risk by not overcomplicating your menu and, instead, cater your menu to simple yet memorable dishes. 
  • Make a popular item front and centre on your menu. Focus your attention on the most profitable part of the day and what products you sell best on a weekly basis​.
  • Build a culture and train employees around a consistent customer experience. 
  • Partner Quote:

People aren’t willing to take a chance on a restaurant they don’t know versus going to a restaurant that may cost a little more, but know from experience that it’s going to be good. The consistency is there, there are no surprises.

Independent Restaurant Owner, Toronto

Tackle your takeout management software.

Ensuring you have the latest in new and emerging technologies will help you hang onto your competitive edge. A simplified quick-serve platform with a built-in aggregator will work seamlessly with POS and online delivery services, helping you save time and labour costs​ in the future.

More software best practices:

  • Skip’s interface is easy to use and integrates well with most third-party technologies. 
  • Leverage a takeout management software/platform that can help streamline your online delivery orders across all the delivery providers.
  • Trying to find the right POS system for your business? Check out this article to learn more.  

EN ROUTE

Be mindful of the faceless online delivery experience.

How do we make customers feel valued without having a conversation with them? Simple: make a lasting connection through the comfort of your food. Knowing some consumers have been prioritizing contactless interactions with delivery services and enjoying the convenience of the “leave at door” feature, it’s best to create a consistent, enjoyable online dining experience that will fuel customer loyalty. 

More delivery best practices:

  • Digital orders provide a ton of data on customers. Use this data to tailor your online menu and promotional offers to keep them coming back for more.
  • Build a personal connection through your food by making it an unforgettable experience for your customers. Ensure that the order is packed up nicely before it’s out for delivery.   
  • Through Skip, you can edit and cater your menu to your customers, which can help with increasing sales, total order value, and conversion rates​. 
  • Partner Quote:

Most of the guest interaction is done in-person in our shop. The takeout is really a way to drive sales. Not a lot of brand loyalty is happening online.

Independent Restaurant Owner, St. John’s

Keep the temperature just right. 

Keeping the product at the same temperature it left your restaurant is important for your customer’s overall satisfaction. By having high-quality delivery containers, you can send each order out with confidence knowing your food will maintain the same temperature once it arrives.

More delivery container best practices:

  • Use hard cases to preserve the temperature​ of your food. Customers will remember their experience of getting an order at the temperature they expected. 
  • Partner Quote:

Once the product leaves my door, it’s out of my control. ​Skip has gotten better and better at guaranteeing that my product is going to get there in the same quality that it left.”

Independent Restaurant Owner, Calgary

And that’s it! These best practices and handy tips through our Skip Partner research will help you connect with more customers online, improve the speed of service, and increase overall customer satisfaction. They may seem small, but the impact will grow if you can implement them all.

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