A compelling online presence is a must for every restaurant today. With 90% of customers doing research online before deciding where to dine, your restaurant’s web presence can be the difference between a bustling kitchen and a slow trickle of tickets. But while a strong website is critical, it won’t do your restaurant much good if it doesn’t give visitors what they need to place an order. That’s where an online ordering website comes into play.
Since 2014, the popularity of online ordering has skyrocketed, growing 300% faster than traditional on-premise dining. The National Restaurant Association predicts that by 2030, customers will place a vast majority of their takeout and delivery orders digitally. There’s no better time to set up online ordering and capture this growing revenue potential. Read on to discover valuable tips for building an online ordering website that’s functional, appealing, and profitable.
Key considerations for your online ordering website
When the time comes to build an ordering platform, you’ll want a site that checks all the boxes — from branding to ease of use. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when designing your online ordering website.
When customers recognize a brand, they’re more likely to trust it and make repeat purchases. Including your logo and colors on your online ordering website is an easy first step to strengthen brand awareness, but don’t stop there. The overall voice and tone of your text matters just as much — use descriptive language to tell a story that sets your business apart, so that customers will remember your business long after they’ve eaten your food.
Appealing visual elements
According to HubSpot, only 10% of people remember the information they read after three days, but 65% remember that info when it’s paired with an image. High-quality photos of your restaurant’s dishes won’t just persuade customers to make a purchase in the moment; they’ll create a lasting memory that keeps them coming back for more. (Don’t forget — DoorDash partners are eligible for a free photoshoot to capture professional menu images that put dishes in their most mouthwatering light!)
Ease of use
When your online ordering website is slow and glitchy, customers are likely to raise an eyebrow — or even get impatient enough to leave the page and order elsewhere. A non-responsive website has been shown to reduce customer trust and the likelihood that they’ll return, making a well-functioning ordering website even more important.
Digital engagement analytics company Chartbeat found that the average website visitor spends less than 15 seconds on a page — so your site should make a good impression fast. When visitors land on your ordering page, don’t make them hunt for important details like phone numbers, menu prices, and meal ingredients. Make ordering as easy as possible to prevent them from getting frustrated and turning elsewhere for their next meal — and convince them to stay for longer than 15 seconds.
In 2020, 11% of sales at quick-service restaurants came from mobile orders, showing that customers aren’t always near a computer when cravings hit. If your ordering platform isn’t phone-friendly, odds are you’re missing a big slice of the digital order pie. Considering that half of all global web traffic comes from mobile devices, not including tablets, it’s worth investing in a website that’s mobile-friendly.
How to build your own online ordering website with DoorDash Storefront
Now that you know the important elements of an online ordering website, how do you actually start building one? Luckily, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to create a sleek and efficient online ordering website for your restaurant. DoorDash Storefront is an online ordering platform that allows you to easily add delivery and pickup ordering to your current website — converting your website traffic into sales. It only takes a few minutes to set up and, best of all, orders are commission-free.
Wondering about the other benefits of using Storefront for your online ordering website? Here are a few additional perks:
Integrate with social media
Diners love scrolling through Instagram and Facebook to find their next meal. By integrating Storefront with your social media accounts, you can help people easily navigate to your ordering platform after finding a dish that piques their interest. For one DoorDash merchant, adding a Storefront link to their Google My Business profile resulted in a $4,000 increase in weekly sales!
Customize to match your brand
Easily insert your logo and colors so customers are immersed in a true-to-brand Storefront site that matches your restaurant's look and feel.
Drive sales through menu extras
On the checkout page, you can promote special items and add-ons to complement customers’ meals — and drive up total order prices.
Offer pickup or delivery
Sometimes, customers want to pick up food themselves; other times, they need a Dasher to deliver it straight to their door. With Storefront, they can choose whichever option they’d like.
Track your sales
In addition to integrating with over 40 POS systems, Storefront reports sales in the Merchant Portal and syncs payments with your existing DoorDash plan.
Use on mobile or desktop devices
Storefront works on both mobile and desktop devices, which means you can stop worrying about glitches and technical difficulties across different browsers.
With DoorDash Storefront, you don’t have to spend hours learning how to build and manage an ecommerce site. Follow these simple steps to set up Storefront in just a few minutes.
- Sign up for DoorDash Storefront.
- Add your restaurant’s logo and change Storefront’s colors to match your brand.
- Enter your menu, write descriptions of each dish, and upload photos.
- Review the fees and terms for your new online store.
- Publish your Storefront to your existing website, and start receiving online orders for pickup or delivery.
Grow your online orders with DoorDash Storefront
After signing up for Storefront, merchants see a 20% increase in orders on average. At Texas de Brazil, a Dallas-based Brazilian steakhouse, the Storefront transformation was even more dramatic.
When Texas de Brazil’s founders originally built the restaurant, they hoped they could stir up excitement for Brazil’s lively churrasco culture in the United States. Their grilled meats carved fresh at every table proved to be a hit — and led to the opening of 60 locations worldwide.
Because diners loved the in-house experience at Texas de Brazil, on-premise orders comprised a steep 99% of revenue. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had to find a way to make up for those sales. They implemented DoorDash Storefront and observed a 58% increase with DoorDash sales and 127% increase in DoorDash orders. Today, 20% of Texas de Brazil’s off-premise sales come from Storefront, commission-free.
“We were taken aback by how much we were able to bring in,” said Jad Izzedin, executive brand director at Texas de Brazil. “It used to be 2-3 takeout orders per night. Now we’re getting 40 per night at some stores.”
Turn online views into orders — with no advertising costs
Illinois-based grilled chicken franchise Port of Peri Peri is also familiar with rapid sales growth. When Syed Pasha, the restaurant’s president, realized the valuable website traffic they were receiving wasn’t converting into sales, he created an online ordering website through DoorDash Storefront. Since then, the restaurant has seen a 17% increase in DoorDash sales and a 56% increase in DoorDash orders.
“So many people look at restaurant menus online,” said Syed. “Storefront helps us capture those customers by providing a convenient ordering experience — without spending a penny on advertising or commission.”
Start accepting online orders today
With so many people turning to the internet to find their next meal, you want to ensure you’re capturing the sales potential of online traffic. An online ordering platform like Storefront will help convert hungry website visitors into paying customers — and showcase the fantastic food and service they’re about to receive.
Ready to try Storefront yourself? Sign up today to reach new customers and grow your digital sales. Afterward, check out our website marketing guide for more tips on improving your restaurant’s online presence.