Category

Online Ordering for Restaurants

Online Ordering Feature: Set Your Closed Schedule In Advance

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants | No Comments

Prevent Orders From Being Placed On Days Your Restaurant is Closed

city-restaurant-lunch-outside800Patronpath online ordering for restaurants includes a feature that provides restaurant owners the ability to set a closed schedule for days the business is closed – and therefore not taking and fulfilling online orders. No one wants to experience the disappointment that’s sure to occur when a favorite food order is placed online only to find out upon arrival that the establishment is closed.

A closed schedule can be created for dates years in advance. As a business operator, your known closed dates may be entered at any time. When a patron attempts to choose that date to pick up an order, a customized message appears notifying patrons that the restaurant is closed and not accepting online orders for pickup or delivery for that day.

If an unforeseen circumstance occurs and the restaurant needs to close outside the normal schedule of closed dates, the mobile and web ordering site can be closed immediately. This is a manual process and requires the site be reopened when the business is ready to resume normal operations.

Equally important is setting breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu availability times. Once a patron chooses a time for pickup or delivery, the online ordering interface only shows the food items in menus that are available at the time the patron selected. (This prevents patrons placing orders for lunch specials for pickup at 7:00pm.) The menu availability times are set up during the customer onboarding process and need only be modified if menu items become available during additional day parts.

Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

Patronpath Online Ordering Platform Features Responsive Design

By | Development, Online Ordering for Restaurants | No Comments

Optimal Viewing Experience Enjoyed by Both Administrators and Patrons

Responsive DesignAs Patronpath design engineers contributed to the build of our online ordering for restaurants platform, the term “responsive design” was mentioned on a regular basis. What is responsive design? How is it intended to help the experience?

Responsive design is a way to design websites that enables the end viewer to receive the most optimal experience across the spectrum of devices from tablets, smartphones, and desktop monitors.

Historically, designers have been challenged with ever-increasing desktop screen resolution and compromised their designs based on the most popular screen size. As adoption of web based technologies increased, along with the explosion of mobile use, designers turned first to creating a “mobile version” as well as a “desktop version” and finally to responsive design to provide the best experience.

Responsive design results in design elements like images and text, page arrangement, forms, and even advertising to adapt appropriately based on the device being used. Text may increase or decrease in size, images may adjust or disappear if not critical to the content, and forms and buttons are sized appropriately.

Patrons using online ordering for restaurants sites in use by our clients now have an optimal user experience with responsive design to speed them through the ordering process, on to the cart, and to complete a purchase. All elements of the patron experience have been optimized to help our clients offer an experience that fosters loyalty, repeat visits, and increased revenue.

The Patronpath management console, in use by restaurants to manage their online ordering, is now the beneficiary of responsive design as well. Restaurant operators, by the nature of their work, need a simple interface via smartphone or tablet to manage all aspects of their online ordering operation. Our management console now fulfills this need.

Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

Social Login Feature Allows Quick and Easy Registration

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants | No Comments

Users Have Fewer Barriers, Better Overall Online Ordering Experience

Social Media LoginWith the release of our new online ordering for restaurants platform, we introduced a Social Login feature. What is social login? Simply put (thanks Wikipedia), social login is

“a form of single sign-on using existing login information from a social networking service such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to sign into a third party website instead of creating a new login account specifically for that website.”

Many modern sites use social login, and Patronpath developers and product designers wanted to ensure the utmost in speed and convenience was available to our users. Using the social login feature eliminates the need for new usernames and passwords, allowing patrons to login using their existing social media identities. The social network passes to Patronpath only verified information needed to register the user, and no information is posted back to the social network. This increases the speed to the shopping cart, and encourages repeat visits.

Using social login offers these benefits:

  • Speeds up the registration process by removing barriers when users are presented with a registration form prior to placing an order.
  • Prevents the occurrence of forgotten passwords.
  • Decreases cart abandonment from those users that decline to register.
  • Provides a more trustworthy experience than filling out a form.
  • Provides control over what personal information users share.
  • Provides a more appealing experience for mobile users.

The benefit to our restaurant customers is more registrations, more repeat visits, and additional revenue from the online ordering channel! Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

Use Your Website and Social Media Marketing to Drive Online Ordering

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants, Promotion | No Comments

Plenty of Channels Available to “Be Where Your Customers Are”

Social MediaMarketing your business online begins at your website and extends to channels your customers and potential customers are most likely visiting. Those channels can be many, starting with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You might consider YouTube, Yelp, Foursquare, and Google+ to extend your presence further.

With online ordering for restaurants, you have a great opportunity to drive traffic to your web and mobile ordering site as well as directly to your physical location by regularly participating in social media marketing. Everyone has limited resources, so choose only two or three channels like your website, Facebook, and Twitter to get started. (Find an incredible amount of resources available when you Google “get started social media marketing.”)

Make the most of your carry out business when you promote mobile and web ordering via these social media channels. Remember, your business has much greater capacity than the number of tables in your restaurant. Embrace the channels your customers are visiting and watch your carry out sales grow!

Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

Use Email and Text Marketing to Drive Online Ordering Sales

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants, Promotion | No Comments

Increase Frequency Among Current Customers with Regular Communication

Email and Text MarketingOnline ordering for restaurants is more than configuring your point of sale and uploading your menu. “If you build it, he will come” was true and amazing in Field of Dreams – unfortunately the same does not hold true when referring to mobile and web ordering. Promote the ease and convenience of placing orders online to not only convert your phone traffic to web traffic but also to keep customers engaged and loyal.

Two excellent tools to promote online ordering are text message marketing, and email marketing. Patronpath offers these solutions in addition to online ordering to make it easy to communicate with those that have opted-in to receive marketing messages.

Text marketing works best to drive traffic right now. Use text marketing to:

  • Increase online ordering business. Send text subscriber only specials to build loyalty. Link directly to your ordering site from the text message to show patrons how easy it is to order quickly.
  • Increase in-store business. Want more people at your traditionally slow happy hour on Tuesday? Send a text message at 3:30pm to promote your 4pm – 6pm happy hour. Include a compelling offer and track the number of people showing the text message upon arrival.

Email marketing increases order frequency and keeps your best customers informed. Use email marketing to:

  • Increase loyalty by treating these customers to email-only specials.
  • Drive traffic to your online ordering site with short and relevant messaging.

When using email marketing and text message marketing, you leverage your online ordering customer database to increase sales. Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

Post Transaction Tipping Feature

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants | No Comments

Delivery Drivers May Now Add Tips to Credit Card Transactions

Delivery DriverThe Patronpath development team is acutely aware of the feedback received from customers. A recent upgrade to the Patronpath online ordering for restaurants platform included a new feature based on customer feedback called Post Transaction Tipping. The bottom line with this feature is that delivery drivers are now able to include tips in the original credit card transaction.

Patrons ordering for delivery often wait until the order is actually delivered to add a tip. Prior to the new post transaction tipping feature, the only way for the driver to collect tips was via cash upon delivery. This presented real difficulty when patrons wanted to use their credit card to tip the driver.

  • With the post transaction tipping feature enabled:
  • The credit card transaction remains open and the driver presents the check to the patron upon food delivery.
  • The patron adds the tip to the check and returns it to the driver.
  • The driver returns to the restaurant and the final transaction is totaled and closed.

The new post transaction tipping feature is just one of the many ways Patronpath customers continue to benefit from our ever evolving and improving service. Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

Add Google Analytics to Mobile and Web Ordering for Greater Business Insights

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants | No Comments

Ecommerce Tracking Enables Restaurants to Collect and Analyze Purchase and Transaction Data

Google AnalyticsWith all the tools available to help track return on investment, there is no better time than now to be a data-driven marketer. We welcome the ability to see exactly how investments in marketing affect the bottom line. With today’s tools, gone are the days when marketing budgets and marketers only had vague accountability and little visibility into the performance of their programs and decisions. For customers who use Patronpath online ordering for restaurants, Google Analytics is available to track and collect data to help determine how your decisions affect the bottom line.

The Patronpath management console allows for your Google Analytics tracking code to be entered, opening up reports that analyze purchase activity, product and transaction information, average order value, ecommerce conversion rate, time to purchase, and other data. Insights into your business include conversion rate, number of transactions, total revenue, average order value, number of unique purchases, and much more. You’ll even see cart abandonment rates, mobile vs web behavior, device and browser type, and many performance related reports.

Google constantly updates their tools and provides excellent help resources. Ask us how to enable Google Analytics with Ecommerce Tracking and get a much deeper understanding of what products are selling online to help you in your marketing efforts. Be careful though – once these reports are enabled, the analytical side of your brain may take over, and before you know it you’ll spend an entire afternoon pouring over your data!

Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

Menu Synchronization Makes Managing Your Online Ordering Menu Easy

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants | No Comments

Beat the Frustration of Keeping Your Menu Updated with Patronpath Menu Sync

Menu SyncMenu management across various channels is an ongoing frustration among restaurateurs. Think of it – the menu of record is on the point of sale computer, but that menu – or parts of it – need to be displayed

  • on the website,
  • across social media channels like Facebook and Yelp,
  • and printed on in-store menus and carry-out menus.

Then, along comes online ordering for restaurants and an entirely new channel is opened where the menu has to be updated when changes occur.

Patronpath mobile and web ordering includes an optional feature we call Menu Sync. It performs exactly how you think it might – synchronizing your point of sale menu with your online ordering menu. After the initial setup, only those items you wish to include in your online menu are synchronized automatically at a frequency you determine. This saves tons of time and ensures your online ordering customers see exactly what you intend. It works like magic!

Learn about more of the industry leading features Patronpath offers the restaurant industry and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.

How to Use Coupon Codes to Drive Online Ordering Traffic

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants | One Comment

Patronpath makes it easy to entice your customers to use mobile and web ordering.

restaurant_table_800The Patronpath mobile and web ordering management console includes all the tools you need to use coupons in your marketing efforts. Coupon codes may be used to apply discounts to an entire order, or to only certain menu items using either a percentage or dollar off amount. A minimum amount threshold may also be set before a coupon is valid (“save $5 off your next $25 minimum order” for example).

Potential opportunities for promotion using coupon codes for online ordering are many:

  • Convert customers who phone in their order to use online ordering with a coupon incentive.
  • Treat those customers who have signed up to your email marketing list to special offers.
  • As part of your text marketing program, include a coupon code to drive orders during traditionally slower times.
  • As a reward for signing up for your text marketing program or loyalty program.
  • Use on table tents and window clings to drive traffic to your mobile and web ordering site.
  • Display coupon codes in store during special promotional periods to drive online traffic.
  • Provide incentive to new Twitter followers with a coupon code in your automated response.
  • Use your creativity to wisely use coupon codes as part of your social media strategy.

Use the Patronpath online ordering management console to manage your coupon code expiration dates, as well as run reports to track usage.

Learn more about Patronpath online ordering for restaurants and contact us at patronpath.com.

Patronpath Online Ordering for Restaurants Prints To Web Printers and Fax Machines

By | Online Ordering for Restaurants | No Comments

Dust off the fax machine, online ordering works great! (Web printers, too.)

restaurant-people-feet-legs800For restaurants that have yet to invest in a supported point of sale system, Patronpath offers the same web and mobile online ordering service to print orders to your fax machine or web connected printer.

We work with and are happy to support restaurant businesses of all sizes. In fact, many of our current clients rely upon the consistent and accurate web and mobile orders they receive via fax machine or web printer every day to supplement breakfast, lunch, and dinner revenue. Our most successful customers include online ordering in their standard daily operating procedures by:

  • Making sure the fax or web printer is turned on and connected to the phone line or internet.
  • Monitoring ink and paper levels and replacing when needed.
  • Monitoring incoming mobile and web orders for fulfillment.
  • Informing the shift manager of any 86’ed menu items so they may be excluded from the online menu via the Patronpath management console.

Patronpath online ordering for restaurants includes automatic notification of order placement via phone call, text notification, and email message, so restaurant staff knows to check the printer or fax machine. The prep schedule within the management console determines the exact time the order prints in the restaurant so they are received at the right time to make restaurant operations run smoothly.

Learn more about Patronpath online ordering for restaurants and contact us at patronpath.com.