4 Reasons Not to Use Your Restaurant POS for Online Ordering

Feb 28, 2017

Restaurant POS System

By now, you know that online ordering is changing the way people order takeout, with 74% of consumers ordering food online. And while there are many options for online ordering systems that help your restaurant take advantage of this growing consumer demand, we have one piece of advice: keep your POS system and online ordering separate.

While vendors that integrate restaurant POS with online ordering tout ease of use, in reality they come with many challenges that could be detrimental to your business and damage your relationship with your customers. This is why many restaurateurs have abandoned their POS-integrated solutions and moved to standalone systems.

Why avoid restaurant POS integration?

1. The clunky customer experience

Using restaurant POS online ordering is like giving your customers a butter knife to cut steak: it might get the job done, but it doesn’t do the job well and your customers (and staff) won’t be very happy. Since point of sale companies specialize in processing in-store transactions, their technology isn’t built with the tools to create a frictionless online ordering experience. Many restaurant POS systems have outdated customer-facing design and require customers to complete unnecessary steps to place orders. In a nutshell, these companies build a basic, nuts-and-bolts web platform that just isn’t focused on delivering a stellar online ordering experience.

2. The costly setup and maintenance fees

Some POS-integrated online ordering solutions offer restaurants the option of an enhanced user-interface with additional features, but will charge exorbitant “custom-design” setup fees and demand costly ongoing maintenance fees each time you require a change to the system.

3. Can’t compete in the mobile ordering space

Did you know that mobile order-ahead is projected to be a $38 billion industry in the US by 2020? Catering to today’s on-the-go customer through custom restaurant apps is essential to stay competitive, and POS systems simply can’t compete. They don’t create custom iPhone and Android apps for restaurants that are optimized for conversion, don’t notify customers of order-ready time with email and push notifications, and don’t increase customer loyalty by 300%. We call that a missed opportunity.

4. The unreliable merchant experience

When you’re busy running a restaurant, the last thing you want to do is worry about missing orders that come through online. Restaurant POS systems don’t provide 24/7 customer support for online ordering, which can be vital when your staff is away from the register. Who will be there to issue refunds and make real-time menu updates? Find an online ordering platform that acts an extension of your team and can take care of this for you.

5. No dedication to your takeout business

While your restaurant POS serves many purposes, POS-integrated online ordering providers are built as an afterthought and aren’t as preoccupied with your online takeout business. They won’t supply your restaurant with complimentary menu optimization services, promotional consulting, and marketing support, and they don’t constantly innovate in order to give you as much digital traffic as possible. 

The Solution: Standalone Online Ordering

With a standalone system like ChowNow, you aren’t tethered to the software and subsequent mishaps of your restaurant POS system. Online ordering is the way of the future. Your system should reflect that by giving customers the best, most up-to-date technology and convenience that an ordering system can provide, and you the freedom to customize that experience.

Here are some advantages ChowNow provides over a POS-integrated online ordering solution:

  • Full support functionality with a 24/7 live response team.
  • Order monitoring, which prevents missed orders and unhappy customers.
  • Ability to communicate specified order ready time with customers, allowing more control.
  • Dashboard which provides in-depth customer data, ability to run promotions, and more.
  • Full control over your menus: including removing, adding, editing menu items.
  • Best-in-class security and reliability.
  • 100% fraud and chargeback coverage.

If you’re interested in how to reconcile your restaurant’s ChowNow orders with your other orders, read our step-by-step instructions on how to input ChowNow orders into your point-of-sale system.

In the long run, online ordering via ChowNow will save a significant amount of time compared to taking orders over the phone with an added level of security, full control and total efficiency. This will allow your team to focus their time on other activities to improve the customer experience.

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