7 Online Food Ordering Mistakes Restaurants Make | ChowNow
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7 Common Online Food Ordering Mistakes Restaurants Make

August 21st, 2017 Online Ordering System Written by Selena Slavenburg

online food ordering

Are you guilty of these common online food ordering mistakes?

If you’re running a restaurant, chances are the amount of things on your daily to-do list makes your head spin — and the last thing you’re thinking about is optimizing your digital takeout business. But what if you’re hurting your orders without even realizing?  Read on for common online food ordering mistakes and quick fixes that can make a world of difference for your brand, your operation, and your revenue:

1. Not Having An “Order” Button at the Top of Your Website

A potential new customer who Googles your name and pulls up your website takes seconds to decide if they can or can’t order from you – without having to pick up a phone or move from a couch. Not having this important button in place will lead that new customer straight to your competitors who do.

How to fix it: Place an “Order Online” button at the top right corner of your website and in your navigation (this ensures Google can find it), and make sure both look clickable. Voila!


Get the full story by reading our more detailed and updated ebook, “The 7 Biggest Online Ordering Mistakes Restaurants Make.” It has more examples, tips, and helpful advice to ensure you’re not leaving money on the table!

Read the eBook


2. Incorrectly Featuring Your Branded Online Food Ordering Like a “Portal” Website

You wouldn’t advertise to customers on your website that Micros is the POS system you use, right? What if you listed multiple POS systems, and let customers choose one to order with? They’re probably going to be pretty confused. You’d never list your back end systems, so don’t list your online food ordering! Customers want to know they are ordering from you, and you only. Plus, commissions are a killer.

How to fix it: Remove any irrelevant logos and make sure you have one clear call to action such as “Order Online” or “Order Now.” If you use one online ordering platform for pickup and one for delivery, label the links by their function, not their brand name. Try options like “Order for Pickup” and “Order Delivery.”

Customers are more likely to choose your restaurant if it has a branded mobile app.

3. Forgetting to Use Your Custom Dashboard

Every online food ordering company is different. Signed up for one that gives you control? USE IT! ChowNow’s Dashboard allows you to view and utilize your customer data, change menu pricing, run marketing promotions, and more. Don’t miss out by forgetting what you paid for.

How to fix it: Contact your ChowNow account manager for a refresher, so you can reap the full benefits of the product. If you’re not a ChowNow client, request a free product demo to see how you can increase sales with a personalized online food ordering system.

4. Overlooking In-Store Marketing Tactics

online food ordering

Never underestimate the power of strategically placed print materials. A sign promoting your mobile app when customers are waiting to order encourages them to skip the line next time. Flyers in a to-go bag remind them how easy it is to order in when they’re hungry.

How to fix it: Request the latest version of the ChowNow Marketing Menu or visit the ChowNow Marketing Store to order beautiful digital and print materials for your restaurant.

5. Forgetting to Utilize Social Media

Social media is effective and free. Not everyone has time for daily posts, but you’ll find that creating a schedule simplifies things. One post each on Wednesday and Saturday will help keep your restaurant top of mind mid-week and into the weekend, and choosing a photo-based platform (Instagram, Facebook) will help build your brand.

How to fix it: Create a weekly schedule and review social media best practices to make sure your posts are effective.

6. Underestimating the Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Your staff is a powerful vehicle that is shockingly underutilized. Feeling like a “regular” at a restaurant is very attractive, and letting your customers know that you have a convenient app for to-go ordering or that you offer delivery online is sure to keep them coming back for more. Don’t forget to make sure your staff knows how to properly mention your branded online food ordering!

How to fix it: Check out these in-house talking points or contact a marketing specialist for a phone consultation.

7. Not Using Your Marketing Contact

Your Restaurant Success Manager at ChowNow has a wealth of information to share about your restaurant, and new programs pop up all the time. For instance: ChowNow currently offers a monthly email program to boost customer loyalty and retention, an optional discovery platform that can be turned on and off to attract new customers, and more. Stay in the know and you’ll reap the benefits!

How to fix it: Set a call with one of our marketing specialists to discuss what makes the most sense for your business.


Have you committed one of these online food ordering mistakes? Don’t fret! Contact a ChowNow marketing specialist now by clicking here! Want more tips and tricks? If you’re a ChowNow client, reach out anytime to chat, If you’re not taking online orders through ChowNow yet, get started with a free demo today!

Hayley Thayer

Hayley Thayer is a member of the ChowNow Marketing team. In her free time, you’ll find Hayley eating salmon sashimi, ruminating on culture and politics, and obsessing over the latest men’s haircut and clothing trends.
Hayley Thayer

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