A custom website for restaurants isn’t a brand-new concept.
You go back a few years, in fact, decades, from today, and you’ll know that the internet is littered with a history of custom-made websites on all sorts of platforms. In a wider sense, it’s not just the name-brands from the food industry that indulge in such practices. Everyone does it, and we all know why.
Why Is It Important to Have a custom Website for Restaurants?
Right off the platter, if anyone could tell you the most basic reason for having a custom website for restaurants, it would be about having your own unique brand out there – hoisted up for the entire online community to see.
It’s also part of the elementary school Marketing 101 for Restaurants strategies that we have covered in length by now.
Fast forward a few years into a very competitive 2022 “post-pandemic” world, having a bunch of custom websites for restaurants is no longer effective anymore.
Why is that so?
For starters, the industry itself has become very competitive. Merely putting out a simple HTML website with a basic food ordering system doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to bring in all the pizzaz and professionalism to make your customers’ heads turn in the right direction.
And secondly, although we don’t like to bring it up over and over again, COVID-19 had a severe impact on the F&B (Food & Beverage) industry – so much so that when the healthcare institutes from all over the world imposed their lockdown legislations, restaurants had to transition towards online food ordering system in full swing.
And along with a sublime food ordering internet-based portal, your average state-of-the-art custom website for restaurants came into existence. Yes, these sites were there before. But, now it’s an entirely different ball game since people have become increasingly dependent on ordering stuff from their smartphones, through WebOS platforms out of sheer boredom…\
Blink is your #1 Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants
Struggling to Kickstart Your Food Business? Sign Up for Subscription Based Food Ordering Solution
A profitable hyperlocal restaurant startup is often a direct result of signing up with a food aggregator for a subscription-based food ordering solution.
How does it benefit you? Well, we have detailed everything later down in this post. But if you are pressed for time, and don’t want to skim through, here are some of the main takeaways of signing up for a subscription based food ordering solution.
The Food Aggregator Model:
Food aggregators offer a multitude of services in exchange for a monthly subscription fee to restaurants. This model serves as a halfway between restaurants and their online food order customers.
The most important thing about these aggregators is their low percentage fee which isn’t applied to every incoming food order. As a restaurant owner, you only need to pay the end-of-month dues that are part of your agreement with the aggregator company.
Aggregators also benefit restaurant owners by setting them up with a custom restaurant app, custom restaurant website, and plenty of other solutions to scale business at an exponential rate. Speaking of aggregators, Blink Co. is a prime example of a startup-friendly business that helps restaurants to scale their operations without putting a dent in the F&B companies’ revenue profile.
The Business Owner Model:
If you are a restaurant business owner who wishes to go independent, then your work operations fall under the category of business owner model.
Unlike an aggregator model, where you sign up for a subscription-based food ordering solution, you will set up your own custom restaurant app, website, pos solution, and whatnot to work at full scale.
The best thing about this setup is that you are always independent. Without aggregators, you are directly dealing with web developers, custom restaurant app developers, and other people. This type of relationship accrues more profit, as you are not responsible to pay the aggregator fee at month’s end.
Subscription-Based Food Ordering Solution Vs. Independent Business Owner Model | Which One Is Better?
For food startups, our best advice is to sign up for a subscription-based food ordering solution with Blink Co.
The business owner model is a decent choice, but you need to have enough financial backing to sustain for a year or two – before breaking even, or making a profit. Also, restaurant custom website, app development, pos software integration, and such other solutions don’t come cheap. Expect to spend a lot of money as a food business operator working independently.
Meanwhile, the subscription-based food aggregator system keeps expenses at a bare minimum. As an up-and-coming restaurant owner, you will be able to keep your online food order menu cost low, reach more customers and run marketing campaigns without spending too much.
Every Order Counts on Custom Website for Restaurants:
Not just every order; it’s all about offering a delightful customer experience to every single one of those potential consumers out there.
For conventional brick and mortar restaurants, it is not possible to dote on your walk-in customers with the same level of attention that you’d dote unto them online. Part of the reason is different levels of tolerance to human beings, language barriers, some people being iffy customers, and vice versa.
However, with a capable staff working behind custom website for restaurants, it is about being able to provide 5-star customer service to food lovers from all over the internet. It’s also easy for restaurants to do so.
According to Pizza Hut and Jersey Mike’s Subs’, their respective business owners have had their online food ordering system long before COVID happened, or the “order food from free mobile app” frenzy began. The results, however, were a little different because food business owners have to deal with a large percentile of online orders these days as compared to the pre-pandemic situation.
The new normal has affected people’s eating habits – and it’s here to prevail.
On a grander level, if we put the COVID theory aside, the overall trend for placing food orders through the internet is likely a preferred choice for millennials instead of having their orders fulfilled the conventional way. In the latter case, the reason for the decline is long waiting times, road rage incidents, traffic being too damn slow, and vice versa.
Back in 2014, Sullivan Higdon & Sink, in association with eMarketer, did an interesting survey on the digitization of online food ordering through a custom website for restaurants.
Despite the era being too early to witness the boom in online orders, 2014 was reportedly a time when the average customer started to make demands for a mobile food ordering system.
Meanwhile, restaurants felt the need for having at least a custom website for their respective name-brand to help people place their orders through a net-based ordering system.
Which Is Better: A Custom Website for Restaurants, Or a Mobile Food Ordering App For Restaurants?
None of the above, in separate isolated cases.
We, as restaurant business owners, need BOTH or a blend of both techs to offer customers what they’re looking for.
Right now, if you are a startup business owner, the notion of having either a custom website for restaurants or a mobile app for ordering food seems plausible. Had it not been for the charges that the development projects for Web and Mobile incur, you’d have gone for both. But, in most instances, many restaurants shy away from seeking the opportunity to create their own online system.
What You Need is a Dedicated Restaurant Ordering System, Instead:
For startup businesses, in order to scale and grow fast as a name-brand operator, it is essential for you to have either the combination of a dedicated custom website for restaurants + a mobile food ordering app, or the latter.
Having a food ordering app is considered more important to restaurant owners because let’s be honest; your customers will want to find a way to place orders at the end of the day. Sure, they can contact you through your online profile, or restaurant website, but the actual ordering process needs to be flawless and butter smooth.
That’s why mobile food ordering apps are more important when it comes to making the comparison between the two concepts.
But Wait, The Cost is Too Damn High!
We hear you.
The main reason for shying away from having your custom website for restaurants made is the development cost. The same goes for your name-brand-specific mobile food ordering app.
The cheapest rate that a mobile food app developer could possibly offer you is $1500. But it will be like riding a car without an engine, seats, or proper equipment. Most likely, your so-called mobile food ordering app, or custom website for restaurants, for that matter, will have a dummy layout but no actual working function.
A full-scale solution will cost around $10,000 to $35,000 – and that’s mostly the high ticket cost of having a functional mobile food ordering app for restaurants. Depending on security patches, your restaurant-specific deals for customers, and other KPIs, this cost is likely to go up from time to time.
Other than the cost factor, the benefits of having a mobile food ordering app + custom website for your restaurant combo, are practically unlimited. Some of these benefits are appended below. They’re general in nature, and may vary from vendor to vendor:
General Benefits of a Custom Website for Restaurants and Mobile Food Ordering App:
- Ability to create unlimited food menu listing(s)
- Push notifications for your customers visiting during a specific time of the day
- Broadcast promo deals and special offers
- Dedicated back-end panel for updating restaurant menu, sales tracking, etc.
- Customers analytics data, sales monitoring tools, and restaurant rider activity panel
- Dedicated food items image gallery
- Integrated solution with 3rd party apps for offering a seamless user experience to your customers
- Cross-platform compatibility for your restaurant mobile app + website
Consumer Specific Benefits of Having a Simple Custom Website for Restaurants & App In Place:
While restaurants owner definitely gets a bounty of benefits from having a fully scaled automated solution in place, there are plenty of perks for customers as well.
Some of these consumer-specific benefits can be summed up as:
Peace of Mind:
Customers can spend more time ordering food online via your restaurant mobile app, or custom website, without worrying about making the next person in queue wait. Since the entire menu is in digital format, alongside a raving restaurant ratings and reviews system to go through, each customer is able to add food items to his/her cart without any hassles.
If you were to take all the extra time at a diner facility, we bet that the waiter might begin to sulk in the corner. Lucky for you, there’s an app that eliminates that quadrant from the awkward situation.
Many restaurant apps offer limited-time deals, referral rewards, and other perks that fall under the category of the loyalty program(s).
These programs are easy to integrate for restaurants, while customers are able to manage and track their activity from the convenience of their accounts. It’s more like a win-win situation for both sides since neither have them have to scramble for physical discount code stubs and other chits with faded referral numbers anymore.
Multiple Payment Options:
Another reason for customers to prefer the restaurant food ordering app over the traditional dine-in experience is the flexible payment options.
Through a digital platform, customers can not only avail Cashless transaction mode where they only have to pay the food delivery agent whenever the order is fulfilled but there’s also a handful of credit and debit card payment modes.
It’s also a seamless solution for restaurants, too, because business owners don’t have to worry about maintaining a physical revenue ledger anymore. Everything is managed and backed up in the cloud with 24/7 data security assurance from the vendor side.
5 Best Custom Websites for Restaurants and Online Food Ordering App Vendors:
Blink Co is the perfect solution for restaurant businesses of varying sizes. As service providers, it’s the little guy in the business community that matters to them a lot.
To that end, small business restaurant owners and food startups with only a handful of branches to brag about can sign up for an account at Blink for Restaurants webpage. The company offers a dedicated back end with a white labeling facility that helps these restaurants to place their own logo and food inventory items without any hitches.
More so, Blink also has integrated solutions to help track customer payments, user data, rider activity via GPS app interface, and other perks. It’s an affordable option for people looking to get started in the online food industry without the possibility of fretting over important revenue on a monthly basis.
- Lowest Commissions Based Experience Ever!
Another main reason for restaurants to avail Blink services is a low commissions structure. Unlike other service providers, we charge an all-time low percentage (2% – 2.5%) to accommodate all sorts of operators.
Blink realizes that small businesses are not at liberty to spend more when there are things like inventory management, overhead expenses, and other financials to worry about. By offering a very low-percentage-based payment model, food operators in agreement with Blink Co, are reportedly at peace of mind since they’re able to scale their business to its full potential.
- Integrated solutions for seamless UI and UX
- Front end app for restaurant customers
- Back end app and dedicated panels for restaurant/ food business owners
- Robust customer analytics data for laser targeted marketing campaigns
- White-labeled interface with your very own name-brand specific identity
- Easy payment options for front end customers
- Dedicated fleet management and rider activity monitoring tools
- Dedicated rider app to help make food delivery a seamless experience for delivery agents
- Custom website for restaurants to cater to online Web-based food consumers
- Comprehensive back-end system to manage invoices, revenue streams, orders, etc.
If you happen to be a food business owner looking for a steady hand in partnership, check out Blink for Restaurants page today.
The next one on our list of custom websites for restaurants is none other than MenuDrive.
Next to Blink Co, MenuDrive doesn’t have as many benefits for customers, but there are some key takeaways that have helped the former service provider to maintain a strong foothold in the F&B servicing industry.
MenuDrive folks will create a simple interactive online menu system for you to get started with. You can also choose from different white-labeled templates and place your logo identity for customers to remind you of your awesome food menus.
MenuDrive’s payment starts at $90 per month, per restaurant, and comes with multiple payment options to be integrated for restaurant customers. Contact their reps today for more details.
Toast POS, not only excels in offering Point of Sale solutions to restaurant owners but also has a handful of key features that scale well with food businesses’ ambition to expand gradually.
For $140 per month/ per restaurant, Toast POS offers a dedicated system that lets restaurants manage their online activities in one place. From order fulfillment to sales tracking, everything is monitored via a cloud-hosted platform with a 24/7 uptime and fast response rate for front-end customers.
As far as the monthly fee goes for food business and online restaurant partners go, UpServe sits well between Toast POS and MenuDrive.
For $99 per month, this service provider offers an online ordering system that works well via UpServe’s very own POS transactional model. Restaurant owners reportedly vary from wineries, coffee shops, small bakeries, and medium-sized food and beverage establishments.
UpServe takes pride in catering to the small business community based on affordable pricing plans in exchange for plenty of perks for clients to use right away.
For any restaurant and food business owner, Square POS maintains a solid reputation as a 5-star service provider.
Square’s online ordering activity centralizes/ merges all orders through one channel so that restaurant owners and online food businesses can easily monitor those orders concurrently – and that too, without switching over different channels to see which order is coming in from which channel.
Although the aforementioned centralized approach is debatable, there are restaurants that love the idea of hassle-free online food order fulfillment systems through a dedicated POS module. Besides, it’s a good mix of technology for those restaurants that also cater to their customers through a dine-in business model.
The only downside to using Square POS services is their payment plan. They do not have a monthly subscription fee. Instead, the company charges its vendor on a high commission-based payment plan that is not the perfect solution for small restaurant owners.
Blink is your #1 Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants
Over to You:
Since online restaurant businesses vary in size, operation, and other pain points, it’s hard for a company to settle for the best services platform. We recommend selecting only a select few vendors by comparing their key features against your food business’s requirements before emptying your pockets on an impulse.
Also, do your part in due diligence by contacting each vendor and having a meeting with them prior to signing any contracts. Doing so is important because your restaurant’s online presence, marketing tactics, operational cost, and many other variables depend on who you sign up with.
Having said that, we’d love to hear from you through the comments section below. As a food business operator, what are the most common challenges you encounter while running your show online? We look forward to reading your insightful feedback.