How Online Ordering Can Revolutionize Your Small Town Restaurant Takeout | ChowNow
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How Online Ordering Can Revolutionize Your Small Town Restaurant Takeout

March 10th, 2022 Restaurant Tech Written by Adam Wilkerson

A small town restaurant owner taking orders online.

For many of us in small-town America, we know that the bedrock of our communities are the small businesses that line our main streets. Local boutiques, general stores, and of course—the diners, pizzerias, cafes and other small town restaurants we grew up on

Serving up childhood memories and some of the best fare anywhere, these mom-and-pop restaurants count on their regulars to dine-in often, or order takeout when they can’t. Many of these restaurants rely on their hard-earned reputations and word-of-mouth recommendations to keep customers coming back for more.

As a small town restaurateur, you might be asking yourself “Why do I need online ordering? My customers know my phone number and my menu and they order often.” Here’s a few reasons why it might be worth taking your restaurant online:

Online Ordering Helps Small Town Restaurants Compete With The Big Chains

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a few orders away from the big guys? Their customers are well accustomed to using branded apps or websites to order ahead. In fact, the sizes of those online orders are 20% larger than those placed in person at the counter or over the phone.

Getting online ordering for your small town restaurant means leveling the playing field with the bigger chains, while also offering your customers another convenient way to get their favorite food from you. If brands like Domino’s and McDonald’s are already offering online ordering to your neighbors, then offering the same convenience at your business can boost your order volume and customer loyalty, too.

A small town restaurant streamlines their takeout with online ordering.

Online Ordering Pulls In The Younger Crowd

Your next generation of loyal customers aren’t as familiar with picking up the phone to order food—plus, over 70% of diners now look up a restaurant’s menu, food photos or other info online before placing a to-go order. With dining decisions happening more and more online—instead of in person or on the phone—it’s important that all the information a diner needs is right in front of them on their computer or phone screens.

Some questions to consider: When was the last time you updated your website or online menu? Or, how many diners arrive at your website but are deterred from ordering when they can’t find a quick online checkout button? 

There’s no need to do away with traditional customer service and facetime—after all, that’s what your brand is built on—but establishing a digital storefront for your small town restaurant will connect you to a new generation of happy diners. Plus, you’ll free up the phone line and help busy staff out as more and more regulars start ordering online! 

Online Ordering Cuts Down On Mistakes and Labor

In the hustle and bustle of any restaurant, it’s easy for mistakes to happen when taking large, costly orders over the phone. With the current labor shortages, it’s even more difficult to dedicate busy staff members to the phone lines rather than the checkout counter or dining room. 

Online ordering reduces human error and boosts customer (and staff) satisfaction. Imagine taking an order, processing payment, and sending a ticket to your kitchen and your POS all in the blink of an eye. Not only does everyone get the correct information—from your diner, to your cook, to your cashier—but your customer gets to pick up their food even faster since it’s already been paid for.

You work hard to turn your reputation into revenue, and online ordering should help make your daily grind both easier and more productive. ChowNow’s online ordering solutions were designed to help local restaurants like yours thrive—so you can keep serving great food to your community for years to come.


Adam Wilkerson is a recruiting coordinator and online ordering expert at ChowNow. He’s a big fan of Iranian food and loves to seek out local coffee shops!


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