marketing online ordering

So, you have online ordering up and running — that’s great! Now, how do you market it to achieve your business goals? And how do you make it the best it can be?

At the end of the day, if no one knows you offer online ordering free of a third-party platform, your efforts will be in vain. Here are some tips to help get the ball rolling.

Announce your online ordering

Start by adding on-site signage letting customers know it exists. You should also add messages to your receipts or include a flyer with the bill and takeout. 

Keep your menu up to date

With the uptick in online and contactless ordering, you need a tool that can seamlessly sync takeout, delivery and onsite ordering. It’s also essential to keep your digital menu up to date — and to know it can be modified easily, at any time.

With proper menu management, you can make all menu updates at once, in one place, and:

  • Generate interest in items with limited availability
  • Mark items as sold-out 
  • Showcase events and seasonal menus
  • Feature top-sellers and limited-time menu items
  • Set the hours dishes are offered
  • Modify and remove menu items in real-time
  • Tag dishes with labels and warning labels 
  • Instantly update pricing

This paves the way for marketing your online ordering on social media. (More on that below.)

Make your menu searchable

When people search for a place to eat, about half the time they don’t know which business they’ll order from. So, it’s important that your menu is searchable — and to know it will appear in results when someone searches by craving (think “Croque madame in Chicago” or “cheeseburger near me”).

Search engines use a crawler to scan and analyze the content on a webpage. Google uses them to “read” web pages to determine their level of usefulness for the user. A PDF is essentially an image on a page, so it isn’t searchable. However, HTML text — text that’s directly typed onto a webpage can be read by crawlers. That means it will appear in a search.

Update your Google My Business info

Placing an Order button across multiple Google properties — Google Pay, Maps, Assistant and more — is essential. Then, when you’re integrated, anyone who searches for “best shawarma near me” can order takeout directly through the tool. Again, you want to make sure your Google Business Profile information is up to date.

To enrich and add flexibility to the user experience, there are also features like order ahead, menu search, popular items, reorder and suggested related items.

Push specials on social

Since foot traffic and word of mouth alone don’t cut it anymore, add a call to action button on your social media, prompting customers to order online. Be sure it goes straight to your (up-to-date) online menu.

Update your social daily with specials, updates and messages of customer appreciation. Post about a seasonal ingredient you procured on Instagram and Facebook stories.

Advertise online-ordering-only dining deals on your restaurant’s website and push them out on social media, too. Create a bit of FOMO with a limited-time-only menu. Or offer convenient, family-style meals for four-to-six people is a great way to offer small catering orders for families who are looking to order to go. 

Consider Table Needs for your POS

Online Ordering becomes even more efficient when you adopt the full Table Needs suite. Using the same interface as your POS, Table Needs lets you manage your menu in a single place. It then applies updates across the board, including to your online ordering. 

With everything integrated, it’s easier to sell your online ordering — and to do it well. If you choose to use any — or all — of Table Needs’ comprehensive restaurant technology tools, for example, it’s a cinch to turn them on once your complimentary digital menu setup is done.

If it feels overwhelming — or like one more thing you have to maintain — remember it doesn’t have to be that way. Marketing your online menu becomes easier when it’s up to date and reflective of the dishes you want to push.

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