To get your restaurant to really thrive online, you should be using the following 5 online tools that we have listed below. You can save yourself countless hours of time and take your restaurant to the next level with more customers and orders than ever before.
Online Reservation Software
OpenTable is the most well known online reservation tool for both restaurants and their customers. You’ll want your restaurant listed where everyone else is, and OpenTable boasts a network of more than 32,000 restaurants worldwide. The benefit of OpenTable is that customers will search for restaurants on their website and not just have to book reservations on your website. This opens you up to way more potential customers.
Free: Custom Website Reservation Form
Build a custom form on your website that allows customers to enter their name, contact information, date and time of requested reservation, party size and any special requirements. This form will be emailed to you so that you can be notified of the reservation.
Online Ordering Software
OpenDining is a premium online ordering solution for your restaurant. You will be able to accept order for pickup and/or delivery right on your website, Facebook and even mobile app. Receive notifications for orders via email, phone, sms, receipt printer or POS system.
Free: Custom Website Ordering Form
Create a custom form on your website to allow customers to order food online. When the form is submitted, you’ll receive an email with the order details for you to prepare. Email deliverability can sometimes be a problem and accepting online payments is a bit tricky so the best option is to use a premium solution. Online ordering helps increase your sales so it’s worth investing in a reliable system. (Hint, at Restaurant Den we include a premium online ordering solution in our website package).
Premium: Restaurant Den
Restaurant Den is an all-in-one website solution for your restaurant. You can streamline your restaurant with a done-for-you website, reservation widgets, email marketing, social media marketing, events calendars and more. Restaurant Den does everything for you and offers ongoing support should you ever need to change or update your website.
Wix is a free website builder where you can setup and design your own website for your restaurant. Features include free templates, menus, drag and drop website builder and more.
If your website is built with WordPress, then you should be using WP Engine. They’re a top of the line WordPress hosting company with stunning speed, powerful security and amazing customer service. Here at Restaurant Den we use WP Engine for all of our restaurants websites (and it’s included right in your plan for free). If your website isn’t built with WordPress, GoDaddy is a great option for hosting.
To get free hosting you will have to use a free website builder like Wix. Your own custom website will need paid hosting.
Online Employee Scheduling Software
Premium: When I Work
When I Work is a great online employee schedule software and the easiest way to schedule and communicate with your hourly employees. Schedule your employees on your computer or phone and send text message alerts and email notifications instantly.
Free: Shared Google Calendar
You can setup a Google Calendar to schedule your employees with. Add events as your shifts and enter your employee’s email address as the attendee of the event so that they’ll receive at notification for when they are scheduled to work. This is only recommended if you have a few employees and a small budget, but it is free.