Effective Ways To Get More Orders For Your Restaurant

After working with hundreds of restaurant owners in Canada we know that getting many online orders is not random or just about luck. To get more orders for your restaurant it is about executing an online strategy.
More Orders For Your Restaurant

After working with hundreds of restaurant owners in Canada we know that getting many online orders is not random or just about luck. To get more orders for your restaurant it is about executing an online strategy.  The most important piece of this for your own online orders is you restaurant’s online presence: your branded website.

"Make your website the center of your marketing strategy"

Optimize Your Website To Get More Orders

Your website should be optimized for sales and mobile devices since a large part of their online orders will come from mobile phones. The website should load fast and give food clients straightforward information on how to place an order.  Place the online ordering buttons on the top of the website and ensure they are clearly visible for both mobile and desktop. You should also make sure the website loads sufficiently fast. 

Add your own nice pictures to the website

It is best to have pictures of food that are your own.  Customers want to see what they can eat/order and they want to do this quickly and easily without clicking too many website buttons and navigating through several pages. Having your own mouth-watering pictures on your website increases the conversion rate, which means more orders to website visitors and less cart abandonment.

Here’s an example of some top performers: swissdonair.com, sumosumosushi.com, nitzaspizza.ca

Have your full menu on your website

Make sure the online ordering menu is full and complete with descriptions filled out for each item. Nobody likes to see a bare item with no pictures or descriptions! Having descriptions is good but don’t make them too long for each item. Make them short and to the point. Also only having some items or half the menu for takeout might confuse customers. If you are going to have your online menu be different than in the restaurant make it clear that it is a take-out menu only

Promote Your Website

Promote your website and social media and link these to the online ordering menu. Make sure that it matches with what is on the website and online ordering and that your coupon promotions are properly working.  Increase your orders online by having combo special or 10%/15%/20% off pickup promotions. 

Don't Be Completely Dependent on Third Party Platforms

If you are using third-party delivery platforms you want to ensure you tell people about your website and you should increase your prices on third-party platforms accordingly to cover their high commission fees. These companies are meant to be partners to help with some deliveries and not completely brand jack your restaurant and take all your customers in the process. 

If you are already completely dependant on third parties and they control your online presence,  you have some work cut out for you.

An effective way is to put QR code coupons inside the Third Party Delivery Driver Bags or a nice custom note that tells them about how they can support local by ordering direct from the restaurant website next time. Often customers want an incentive and changing the behaviour can be hard which is why it is important to have higher prices on those platforms or give your customers a promotion coupon.

Do Some Basic SEO to Rank Your Brand Name

The website should also rank high on Google. Ideally top position for your branded terms.  To ensure it ranks well on Google please ensure the website is optimized and added to key platforms. 

Restaurant ranking will depend on a number of factors including the age of the website. 

To ensure your website gets to the top and remains in this position do some basic SEO. 

Basic SEO includes adding your restaurant to a few directories and ensuring the meta description and title tags or relevant as well as the name, address and phone number across all websites and platforms. 

Top Local Business Listings for Restaurants in Canada

Google is obviously the search giant in the room. Ensure that your page is optimized with all the information filled out. Review management, adding menu items, adding the order links and ensuring all the information for name,address and phone number (NAP) matches your website exactly. Make sure to post regularly as well with updates on your restaurant such as new promotions, new online ordering, patio open/close, business hour changes and holidays. Google likes when you are active with your business and will reward your business by showing it more often or in a higher position. Of these getting more reviews and 5 star reviews from customers is the highest ranking factor.

Although not as effective as Google organic traffic or GMB, Facebook is still one of the more important websites for SEO. Ensure you create a Facebook business page and add the Start Order button to the top of the page linking it to both the website and the online ordering menu. Make sure your NAP ( name, address and phone number ) are exactly matching the Google My Business Page and your business website.   

If you don't have a large following or your FB/Instagram page is new, consider spending about $3 to $10 a day to advertise your restaurant business and encourage online orders to your website. Obviously if you are a larger restaurant or franchise your budget may be quite a bit higher. You have full control over how much you want to spend via Facebook Ads but if your FB page is new or has not been previously neglected, then it is recommended to do this for at least 1 month. After running your FB/Instagram campaigns assess the results of your marketing campaign effectiveness. Make sure to come up with a plan of what you are hoping to achieve in order to measure the success of your results. Measures of success may include

  • Measuring brand awareness metrics including engagements, likes, number of people reached
  • Increasing traffic to your page: seeing how many clicked on your website
  • Providing a coupon code for FB Ads on the online ordering website to see how many people redeemed, shared. This can be then tied back to your ROI (return on investment)

 

Facebook/Instagram ads have gotten increasingly more expensive over the years so like any investment or strategy you should not put all your eggs in one basket and also focus on some SEO efforts including link building on the sites below:

I am not a huge fan of TripAdvisor, but it can get your restaurant’s search visibility on Google. After setting up the TripAdvisor profile,  add a link back to your website so customers can click on it and place an order quickly. Make sure to fill out the profile completely with your own pictures and ask some customers/friends for some initial reviews to give it that initial SEO boost.

Bing searches only make up about 5% market share worldwide. Having a website backlink on Bing Places is mostly done to ensure your website is seen as an authority site.

Yellow pages were quite dominant a few years ago. They offer both free and paid plans. We don't recommend paying any money for their services simply because there is not enough value to justify their prices.. Simply sign up, verify your business and complete your profile and link back to your website before someone else can claim your business page.

The same goes for Yelp, which is another website directory that customers visit when looking for restaurants. However, the main point for creating a Yelp business profile and adding a link back to the website is to get more orders and to increase your own website SEO

Zomato is one of the better restaurant specific directories and creating a linkback will help your SEO ranking over the long term and get some extra traffic to your site. 

This is a quick and dirty summary of how to get more orders for your restaurant online.  We covered the importance of basic SEO for restaurants and link building, online/offline promotions, ensuring an optimized website and GMB page among other things. If you need assistance with any of the above, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

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