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Food is a necessity for people, and everyone enjoys savouring tasty meals be it home cooking or dining at an eatery. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in online food orders as regulations have prevented customers from dining in during the lockdown. And with more people working from home, food takeout and delivery is here to stay.

Hence, integrating an online ordering system can be a great asset for any food business planning to digitalise. With an online ordering system, food businesses can operate beyond their physical shop and start accepting food orders online and continue serving their customers through delivery options. In fact, research has shown that online delivery in the Philippines is expected to reach US$2.35bn in 2023. So if you want to maintain or increase revenue for your food business, implementing an online ordering system will be a good next step.

There are two methods to set up an online ordering system for your food business:

  • Integrate it on your online food store and use a store builder like Shopboxo to process your orders.
  • Use third-party online ordering apps.

In this article, we’ll help you evaluate each option to determine the best online ordering system for your food business and provide the best experience and convenience to customers who are looking to make online food orders.

Integrate with your online food store

By integrating with your website, you can provide digital menus and accept orders directly from your customers.

How does it work

You need to first create an online food store so that you can manage food orders coming through to your website. Most online store creators have an ordering system integrated within the platform.

What are the requirements

Two main things that you need. Anything digital related will require internet access, and that will be the first step. Find an online store builder platform to create your online food store.

Set up process

Once you have successfully created your online food store, you need to set up delivery and payment methods before launching your website. This will enable you to accept payments from customers after processing their food orders and link up with a delivery partner.

Takeaway

The advantage of integrating with your online food store lets you accept online food orders directly on your own website, keeping the entire ordering process internal. This gives you full control in order fulfilment, managing payments and scheduling deliveries.

Experience building your own eCommerce website today.

Using third party online ordering apps

A third party ordering app is a platform where customers can place an online food order directly through the app. Unlike food orders on your website, these third party apps handle the payment processing, delivery logistics and customer service for all orders placed on their platform.

Some of the best third party online ordering apps in the Philippines are FoodPanda, Grab, Lalafood, and Manga.ph. These platforms charge a service fee, and vary according to the specific platform and the terms of your agreement with them. Despite that, some restaurants choose to use third party ordering apps because of their ability to reach a wider customer base while it can also help to streamline the ordering and delivery process, ideal for food businesses who do not have the required bandwidth to operate everything in-house.

How does it work

Your online store front will be hosted on the third party online ordering app for customers to view your digital menu. When they place a food order through the app, it will forward the order to your restaurant. The app’s delivery service will then pick up the food from the restaurant and send it to the customer’s delivery address that they key into the system.

What are the requirements

To be featured on these third party online ordering apps, you need to provide basic information about your restaurant, the location of your shop, the type of cuisine or food that you are selling. Some apps will require you to submit information on your estimated number of weekly orders too. This is to potentially work out a terms of service agreement.

Set up process

The setup process on third party online ordering apps is pretty straightforward. Sign up for an account with your chosen platform. Fill up your restaurant information to set up your restaurant’s profile, upload your menu, pricing, and any special deals or promotions. Take note that your restaurant’s contact and location information is up to date and accurate.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a way to manage food orders and deliveries without having to handle everything on your own, a third-party online ordering app will be a good option for your food business. The advantage of these third party online ordering apps is their ability to help your restaurant reach new customers apart from your regulars, but it comes with a price from their service fees.

So if you are set to explore selling food online, we’ve got you covered with tips to prepare your food business for online deliveries.

How to prepare for online food orders

Choose how you want to set up your food ordering system

Now that you understand the differences between integrating a food ordering system into your website and using a third-party ordering app, it’s time to decide which method best suits your business. If you do not have an existing website and have no plans to create one currently, hosting your restaurant on a third-party ordering app will be the solution for you. But if you want to have full control over the entire ordering process and avoid paying additional service fees,  incorporating the food ordering system into your website is the right choice.

Inform your customers

Let your customers know that you have an online food business so that they know where to find you and how to order food online. If you have an existing restaurant, distribute flyers or put up signage on your storefront to inform customers of your new online business model.

Using social media is also a great way to spread the word about your food online business. Not only are they low on cost, but they also have a wide reach of audiences and it doesn’t require complex technical skills to publish a post on Facebook or Instagram.

Plan your menu

When planning your food menu, always consider the type of food that is suitable for delivery. Raw food like sashimi might not be a great idea to sell online as it might not travel well, especially for a tropical country like the Philippines. The last thing you want is to encounter customers failing ill from eating your food.

And if the type of food your restaurant sells requires heavy cooking, consider coming out up with smaller items that are easier to prepare. With the convenience of food takeout and delivery, tons of orders are expected to fly in. So food that is easier and faster to prepare will be a better option for online food orders.

Train your staff

Always good to up-skill your staff, especially if you are transiting from a restaurant to an online food business. Efficiency is the key for online food orders as both customers and food delivery people do not appreciate delays, especially the latter as every delivery is tied to a commission for them. So it is important to assign clear roles and responsibilities to your staff to ensure maximum efficiency, processing all orders smoothly without any hiccup. The first step is always to train them on operating the food ordering system and get them familiarised with it. You do not want to be faced with a scenario where wrong orders are being sent out as they will not only incur losses but also impact your business reputation.

Summary

 

Either you are moving your food business online or planning to start one, it’s always important to think and create your plan to prevent any issues that can cause delay or incur losses. There is no fixed answer to which method is the best choice. Integrating a food ordering system to your online food store or using a third-party online ordering app has its own pros and cons. Ultimately, it’s about which method best suits your current priorities for your food business.

Common questions about food ordering system

 

What are the options for setting up a food online ordering system for my business?

There are two options to set up an online food ordering system for your business. You can either integrate with your online food store or use a third-party online ordering app to showcase your restaurant storefront. To stand a chance of generating more online food orders, you can consider using a combination of both.

What are the advantages of integrating with my online food store?

Integrating with your online food store allows you to accept online food orders directly on your own website, giving you full control over the ordering process, payment processing, and delivery scheduling.

What are the advantages of using a third-party online ordering app?

Using a third-party online ordering app allows you to reach a wider customer base, streamline the ordering and delivery process, and offload payment processing and customer service to the app. It may be a good option for food businesses with limited resources to manage everything in-house. Bear in mind that by using these apps, there will be a service fee charged on every food order.

Integrated food ordering system with Shopboxo. Build your online food store today.

– Accept orders on any device
– Drag and drop functionality
– Create your custom menu
– Pre-built themes
– No coding required

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