Take Out for Restaurants

January 29, 2020 3
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You have one or multiple restaurants, and as much as your business relies on dine-in clients, the “to go” orders are a good part of your business. On this article we are not going to look at the dine-in but the person who is eating your food in their own surrounding.

This client base is really divided in two sections. You have the person who will stop by, and the person who will use a delivery application. Sometimes a client can be part of both categories. Let’s look at why someone who use delivery service.

Delivery Service Applications for Restaurants

Ok, first of all, it is convenient, no doubt about that. You are on your phone, and you place the order. Next step after that for you is to open the door and eat. The delivery fees are not out of this world as well. Ok, so here we go, we are running the pros. Now, let’s look at the cons. The delivery is usually lengthy, even if you live around the corner – the food that you are serving will most likely get cold and will not taste the same.

Multiple restaurant clients we collaborate with got negative reviews because the food was cold… Yes, if it takes a certain amount of time to travel, this is a risk. Now, also as a restaurant owner, your profits get EATEN. Delivery apps take over 30% commission, meaning that your profit goes in flames as soon as the bell rings on the tablet.

So, to close up this chapter, Delivery Service Applications are something restaurants have to have, but at the end of the day it’s not profitable for your restaurant. Now let’s look at the Take Out client.

Take Out Ordering for Restaurants

Alright, so the take out is somewhat easy, now your geolocalization needs to be convenient, that’s one thing. If you are in a high traffic area that is either residential or close to commercial locations, it’s definitely a plus. If you are somewhere out of the beaten path, not ideal. People are most likely not going to go out of their way to pick up food. As good as your food might be.  Now let’s look at the ordering options: They are going to call in advance, that will keep your front of house staff busy. They can also stop by and order in person, which will also keep your staff busy. Let’s put it this way, your staff has better things to do, like take care of dine-in clients.

Also, depending on the food you are serving, there is also the human error component. It is much more frequent over the phone. If we think about some international food, or something like that, good luck getting the prononciation right on some dishes. The client then gets something different than what he ordered, and is unhappy. So at the end of the day, if someone calls in an order, there’s a chance that a staff member will take some valuable time to get the order potentially wrong.

Now the good part is that you don’t have to pay commission to any third party when someone uses this channel.

What about Online Ordering?

Let’s look at this option, your restaurant has a website, has social media accounts… What about if you could convert this online presence into take out clients. Let’s look at the benefits. We are talking about a visual interface, there are photos next to EACH product, and the names are clearly spelled… So there is less confusion if you are serving dishes that could be misunderstood over the phone. With some systems it integrates automatically within your POS system (Square POS). So it’s easy for you to get it through your accounting. When an order is placed it prints directly in the kitchen printer, which means that the only interaction front of the house has, it’s to give the dishes to the clients. No payment needs to be collected, no time ordering, saves a lot of time. Takes less than 30 seconds.

Systems out there?

Yes there is some systems out there. Are they costly? yes. Do they require specific hardware? Sometimes. So at the end of the day are you end up spending a setup fee, a monthly fee, and have to get specific hardware for those systems to operate. We looked at over ten systems, and they all have a setup fee. Their monthly fee is roughly $100 or more, and some advertise not taking commissions… Which means that others systems do.

What do we offer?

So, as you might or might not know, we work a lot with WordPress. WordPress is the #1 CMS (Content Management System) in the world, with over 53% market share. WordPress has a great system for E-Commerce, it is called Woocommerce. Woocommerce is also the #1 E Commerce solution in the world. It’s above, Shopify, Magento, Prestashop… So what it means it is that it works.

We have built multiple instances of online ordering modules for restaurants. Our restaurant clients are using Square as their payment processing, some of them using the Square POS system – We found it to be quite a useful and simple system, and clients like it better than Clover, Aloha POS, Revel or Toast for example. It works with multiple locations, the monthly contracts and hardware prices are reasonable. Seriously, give it a shot. And on top of everything, our Woocommerce system integrates seamlessly in it.

So how do we put this in place in Restaurants?

The first step is to figure out how your restaurant and kitchen is equipped. We will need to know if you are using a router, what POS system you are using. For those in Southern California, we can do this inspection in person. For anywhere else, between FaceTime and a screen sharing app, we can get it done remotely very easily. When we know what we are facing, we will try to use your existing hardware as much as we can. Our ideal printer for the kitchen is actually the most popular one. That would be the STAR Micronics SP700 – Will need to add a little Interface card on it, and we will be good to go. And yes, you will ONLY need ONE screwdriver to proceed with this part. Now if you have another type of kitchen printer, we will look at compatibility and options.

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Develop a simple WooCommerce Website

Let’s first look on how your current website pleases you and does what you ask it to do. If it’s fine, we will just add to it. If you are using wordpress, we will even integrate everything matching the design specs of your website. Your website doesn’t please you, we can definitely help you and redevelop the website for your restaurant, and integrate the online ordering system. After we figure out what the project steps are, we will develop a Woocommerce site that will link up with your payment gateway, and your kitchen printer. Making sure that the funds are processed and the kitchen gets the order. We will then get all your dishes, sides, add ons, beverages onto your new ordering platform, with photos and descriptions. This simplifies the ordering process a lot. If people get it wrong it has to be their fault…

 

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How your staff reacts to it

When the kitchen gets the order, they will receive the full detail of the order including the person’s name and order number. Also when they start cooking the full amount of the order is ALREADY in your account, so you don’t have to worry about No Shows. Other feature is that you can link this system to your email service provider (mailchimp, constant contact…) so you can send incentives, promotions, either manually or automatically to your clients, getting them into a loyalty program.

What current users have to say

Here are some unedited testimonials from actual clients that have been using our system..

My name is Jacques Calame, the General Manager of Ambrogio15 in Pacific Beach. I am the one who handles most of the to-go orders. In my opinion the most sure-fire way to place your order without any confusion is through our online store. The online ordering system is extremely user friendly and allows users the to customize there orders. On the managerial side, the orders are easy to read and easy to track financially. They also facilitate our front of house staff as it minimizes their implication and optimizes their time. I highly recommend upgrading to The X Concept online ordering/website development to increase net sales.

My name is Luca Salvi, co-owner of Semola, I set up The X Concept’s online ordering platform through my website and it has resulted in a very useful tool that has helped my restaurant to grow its sales making pickup orders easier for both customers and restaurant employees. Also it is now possible to keep track of online ordering sales through the year. In conclusion I would suggest the use of this tool to my fellow restaurateurs since it makes life easier for everybody. 

Let the restaurants numbers speak

Let’s start with one of our clients. They are using Four delivery applications, they still receive take out orders over the phone, and in person, and use our online ordering system. Last year, our online ordering system generated over $25k in NET online ordering sales – If all those orders used a delivery app, they would have had to pay out $8K to the food delivery app service on those orders. Would you know what to do with these $8K, surely.

They received over 650 online orders, which might not seem like much, like it’s only two a day when you think of it, but when you look at the time it would have taken their front of the house staff to take the order, place it in the POS system, gather payment from the client and give out the food. Let’s say, 3 minutes total… that’s 1950 minutes – that’s over 32 hours in one year… Do you think they could have done more to dine-in clients in those thirty two hours of shift. I personally think so.

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Does It work for Catering?

Of course it does. We have developed multiple instances for catering, where you can have a delivery fee included, date of the delivery, minimum order quantities, and all the steps that you might need for catering operations. There again, it streamlines the ordering system where there are digital tracks and payment of catering options. Suggesting you to take a peak at Semola’s Catering website.

The Next Steps

You decided you would like to implement this system in your restaurant, or restaurants, you can fill in the form below, or directly schedule a call by using this link.

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