4.7.2022

5 Great Ways to Sell Food Online

Written by Aine Hendron

Delivery sell food online v2

The online food delivery market has doubled in size in the last 6 years, bringing its worth up to $21.2 billion in the US alone [1].

In the era of contactless diningoffering delivery was a lifeline for many hospitality businesses. Now, delivery and click and collect are viewed as an essential part of food service - customers expect these things as a standard.

Results show that offering online ordering can secure huge returns for businesses. In some cases, it can increase the conversion of new customers into loyal diners by 61% [2].

If you’re ready to expand into the digital world of online ordering, but don’t know where to begin, fear not. This guide shares 5 great ways to sell food online that’ll keep customers coming back for more.

1. Invest in high-quality pictures of your menu 

It's much easier to convince customers to try a certain dish or add on an extra side once they’re already in your restaurant. Curious diners can take in the sounds and smells and take a sneak peek at what other diners are eating. In a way, they’ve already committed to keeping an open mind about your food. 

With an online store, it’s not so simple. You’ll need a combination of tempting descriptions and enticing photographs of your dishes to persuade customers to sample the menu. 

Keep these things in mind when selecting your images:

  • Photographs should display a standardised version of each dish, with no customisations or embellishments - just exactly how it comes on the menu. 
  • Dishes with a simple name and description perform best when paired with an attractive photo, as images can act as a positive reinforcement for customers. 
  • The image should live up to the expectations set by the description, and vice versa, which is why consultation from a professional is highly recommended.

Use a professional food photography service

A niche photographer may be slightly more expensive, however, they often do bring a lot of ideas and expertise to the table. Professional food photographers often know how to encapsulate your brand vision and bring it to life through images on your menu, website, and marketing socials. 

Here are some photographers we highly recommend:

  1. Ezra Pollard - Based in Rhode Island, U.S., Ezra’s passion for restaurants and years of experience managing fine dining establishments is evident in his craft.
  2. Robin Goodland - Based in Dorset, England. Robin’s love for food and cooking comes through in his images.
  3. Kitti Gould - Based in Sydney, AU. Kitti’s ability to capture the pleasure of eating is why we love her work.

2. Categorize your menu for the online shopper 

When using a website to sell food, your customer’s shopping experience should be as seamless as possible. As with an in-house menu, your online menu should have clear sections that customers can browse online with ease. 

Your menu should allow guests to get a full grasp of what you sell, without feeling overwhelmed or frustrated at the over-complicated features. Focus on clarity and functionality over design. It’s also worth remembering that visitors will access your online menu from a range of devices, so it should be both mobile and desktop friendly. 

Carefully thinking about how your menu is presented will keep the browsing experience as frictionless as possible, allowing customers to know exactly where to look to find the information they want. 

Simplify this process by selecting a reliable platform. Epos Now Online Ordering is a low-cost solution that enables restaurants to start accepting online delivery and collection orders. Despite being so feature-rich, businesses that use Online Ordering are supported with training and a quick and easy set-up. We cover this solution in greater detail further down this guide. 

3. Offer a tempting promotion

Offering a promotion is a great way to draw attention to your online delivery service in secondary markets. Promotions should provide patrons with a genuine incentive that will enhance their experience with your restaurant. 

Offering a discount doesn’t mean a loss of revenue though, as impactful promotions have the power to increase your brand visibility, boost customer retention and often provide a great return on investment. 

The number one guarantee that users of online food delivery services like to see is the promise of fast delivery [3]. Because of this, many restaurants promise delivery under a certain time frame or give customers a discount on their next order if it’s late. While it’s not a promotion as such, it’s a good exercise in building trust with your customers that increases satisfaction and adds excitement to the delivery process. It also enables your business to set more clear operational efficiency targets

When it comes to offering promotions, existing customers are your most important target market, because you have an established relationship and you typically have access to the data that makes direct marketing possible [4]. By regularly reminding customers of your offerings, you have the opportunity to place your restaurant as your customers’ preferred option, adding a layer of defence against competitors.

4. Use a marketing service

Increase your restaurant’s visibility by promoting it with an online marketing service. For restaurants that offer sit-in dining, having an online presence allows you to expand your reach and connect with a whole new set of diners. It’s a convenient way of advertising your products online without updating social media content and maintaining an entire website.

With integrations like Epos Now Online Ordering, restaurants can add a link to their website or Google Business profile that allows customers to order from them directly. 

Menu links redirect customers to an online menu and payments portal. These orders then sync directly to your point of sale (POS) system, and to your kitchen for a quicker order turnaround. This option is great because it allows you to skip the commission charged by external marketing companies, and drives more traffic to your website. 

The results don’t end with an increase in online orders, though. Using an online marketing service has been proven to increase footfall in-house, as well as promote a better brand connection among customers. It’s an affordable method of marketing that benefits both you and your diners!

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Why Epos Now Online Ordering

Provide a hospitality experience that’s tailored to the needs of every customer. 

  • Save 91% on online ordering costs compared to Just Eat, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, GrubHub
  • Embed link straight into Facebook and Instagram to drive business via your social network
  • Remove human error by automating your ordering process with a seamless integration
  • Save an average of 30% on your employee costs

5. Streamline your operation with your POS

Epos Now offers state-of-the-art POS systems for hospitality businesses. We let you choose the tools to help your business achieve its goals and control all vital aspects of your company from one cloud-based system.

By hosting your delivery service directly on your point of sale system,  you can review detailed, accurate insights into customer behaviours that allow you to make better-informed decisions about operations and promotions. 

Read Epos Now Online Ordering here, or request a callback from one of our experts to learn how you can advance your business with Epos Now. 

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