By Erica Houskeeper on May 14, 2020
In the blink of an eye, everything changed for the restaurant industry. Restaurants are finding ways to stay afloat and comply with government restrictions by offering online ordering and delivery services in the era of COVID-19. Still, the National Restaurant Association predicted total U.S. sales might decline by as much as $225 billion in just three months, costing as many as 7 million jobs.
If you haven’t yet set up online ordering or delivery through your website, there are steps you can take to make the process seamless and manageable.
Is Your POS System Set Up for Online Orders?
You can use your website and social media accounts to take orders from your customers directly. First, check to see if your restaurant POS system allows you to handle phone orders and online orders from different platforms. Also, make sure your menu that is available online on different platforms is synced and updated timely.
There are several restaurant ordering systems available—including Toast POS, Upserve, and Square for Restaurants—that allow you to input your menu information to create a simple ordering platform to include on your website. A variety of mobile apps, such as GloriaFood, ChowNow, and MenuDrive, can also help restaurants implement online ordering.
Another alternative is setting up a virtual terminal. Virtual terminals, offered by Payanywhere, are ideal for online services and card-not-present orders. Merchants can process payments anywhere with an Internet connection, create one-off or recurring payments, key-in card information and store customer information for future use.
The beauty of taking orders online is that it frees up your staff from taking phone orders and entering them into your POS—saving you time and creating a more efficient process for your business.
Setup Your Mobile, Contactless Terminal
As restaurants remain closed to the public in many states, food delivery and curbside pickup are still an option. A mobile, contactless terminal is ideal for your restaurant’s curbside pickup or delivery service to help limit physical contact and the potential spread of COVID-19.
Mobile payment systems securely store credit and debit card information, allowing consumers to pay for purchases with those cards by waving or tapping their smartphones in front of special radio frequency readers. Mobile tap-to-pay systems rely on near-field communication (NFC) technology, utilizing very short-range radio signals.
Payanywhere offers a free, all-in-one mobile credit card reader for magnetic stripe, chip, or contactless payments. Features include split tender, custom discounts, tips, email and print receipts, and tax by location. It’s also one of the only mobile credit card processors with pre-authorization, allowing you to hold a customer’s funds for up to 7 days.
When it Comes to Delivery, Timing is Everything
When you receive an order online or by phone, remember to make realistic estimates about how long it will take to cook, package, and deliver food. Take into account your delivery radius and instruct your staff to provide customers with accurate information about delivery time for their orders.
Several well-known apps, such as UberEats, Postmates, and GrubHub, are used by a large number of customers for restaurant pick-up and delivery. Be aware that these apps often charge a steep fee—as much as 30% of an order—which may not make it worth your while.
Whether you want to offer curbside pick-up for customers or set up a delivery service provided by your staff or a third-party vendor, be sure to implement no-contact food delivery policies to comply with social distancing measures.
The upside is that the majority of these systems, whether in-house or through a third-party, are easy to set up and utilize. While setting up an online ordering and delivery system for your restaurant might sound overwhelming, the reality is that you can be up and running for your first online sale in no time at all.
Stay informed of new developments and changes that will affect your business by checking the CDC Restaurant Information and Resources website for the latest information.
During these difficult times, Sekure is doing everything we can to help you stay open. You can see some of the resources and special offers we’ve gathered to help your business adapt and stay running strong by visiting our COVID-19 Merchant Resource Page here.