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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

Increase Catering and Group Orders through Online Ordering

For restaurants, group ordering can be a huge pain or provide a huge gain depending upon how you approach it.  If you have an online ordering system in place, it is more likely to result in the latter than the former.
Companies, teams, schools, clubs, and churches are ideal customers because of the potential for regular, high-volume orders. A restaurant that offers the convenience of online group ordering and deferred payment is an attractive choice for these groups.

With online ordering, one satisfied customer can easily turn into a bundle of ongoing groups of customers.

Keyboard Illustration "Food"Think about it: If a large local company celebrates sales achievements with a pizza party catered by your restaurant, what brand will the workers think of first when their families are hungry for pizza Friday night? Group orders not only drive more catering sales – they also introduce new customers to your food.

But to win those catering orders in the first place, you need a good product, strong promotion, and tools that make it easy to order every time.

How to accomplish this may be as easy as a click of a cell phone, tablet or laptop by offering:

  1. Easy online group ordering that simplifies the ordering process.
  2. Advance (or deferred) ordering – so they can place an order now for a meeting or event next week.
  3. The convenience of deferred payment terms.

Group ordering makes life easier for those “VIP” contacts at your corporate accounts: the administrative staff who coordinate lunches and special events.

Many modern point-of-sale (POS) systems can handle deferred ordering and catering in some way. Look for extras such as an easy interface for choosing the delivery date and time; adjustable reminders and ticket printing/display options for the kitchen; and a deferred order production report for efficient catering purchasing and prep.

Extending credit to companies and groups is easy when you have the tools in the POS system to manage orders and invoices. Look for house account capabilities that allow you to extend a business a limited line of credit to use, so whoever is picking up their catering order doesn’t have to carry the company credit card. Set up a billing schedule for them too, and create invoices on the fly.

The result will be a celebration by both you and your happy customers.

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