Welcome to MenuDrive, a smart online ordering platform that allows your customers to order food directly from your website. With a simple setup process for you and an easy ordering experience for your customers, MenuDrive is perfect for today’s online customer base.
It’s never been more important to offer your menu online, and we want to make sure you succeed. The purpose of this launch guide is to help you start taking orders, promoting your online storefront, and increasing the number of online orders you’re receiving.
We’ve broken it down into a week-by-week plan and given you some resources to use as you progress through setting up online ordering. Don’t worry — you can get started taking orders right away. These are just some helpful things you can do in the early stages to ensure that you’re successful.
The first week will be the busiest, because you’ll have some one-time set-up things to take care of. The following weeks will mainly be focused on increasing business and driving revenue.
Setting Up Your MenuDrive Account
Arguably the most important part of the entire launch process is getting your MenuDrive account ready to start selling. There are four setup steps:
- Set up your account.
- Build your online menu.
- Design your storefront.
- Set up MenuDrive’s marketing tools, including coupons, loyalty, email automation, and in-store messaging.
To get your store looking great and selling fast, check out our account setup documents and videos.
If you haven’t already set up your account, you can do so in a few quick minutes here.
Establishing Your Process
Takeout and delivery orders aren’t the same as orders for the dining room. While there’s no need for this to be a massive undertaking, you do want to establish some new processes and make sure you train your staff. To-go orders need to be sent out perfectly, because you don’t get a second chance to swing by the table and see if everything’s okay. Here are a few quick tips:
- Establish a space dedicated to your online orders.
- Have separate areas for pickup and delivery orders. Your delivery couriers will be in a hurry and unable to wait in line with customers picking up orders.
- Review your local health department requirements on maintaining temperatures for hot and cold food items.
- Consider bagging hot and cold items in separate bags to preserve quality. However, be sure to develop a system with your staff to stage hot and cold items in a manner that makes it easy to combine them when it’s time for pickup.
- Train your staff to take a careful look at every order before it goes out the door. Make sure they’re double checking that the name matches the order, and that the delivery couriers are getting all sauces and utensils.
Promoting Your MenuDrive Store
Now that you’ve got a great-looking online storefront, it’s time to let people know about it! There are a few ways to spread the word and draw business. During week one, we’ll focus on email and social media posts
Emailing Your Customers
Email is a great way to communicate with customers. All customers who place an order on your site will be required to enter an email address, so if you don’t have a list yet, don’t worry. You’ll build one up quickly as soon as you start making online sales.
To create an email in the MenuDrive platform, navigate to Email Marketing on the left-hand navigation bar. You’ll need to set up your mail server settings first, and then you can create your first campaign. You can find step-by-step instructions here.
When building an email, use a headline with large, bold font. Try to make it grab the customer’s attention, as you want to encourage them to read the rest of the email. You don’t always have to give people a discount or offer when you email them (although MenuDrive does let you attach coupons to email messages), but if you’re not, you want to make sure you’re giving them something else of value. In this case, you’re letting them know you’re online and taking orders. That’s a big deal, but people get tons of emails from businesses, so make sure you’ve got a good reason every time you email.
Below, we’ve created a launch email template for you to use during week one. Just copy and paste, and insert your restaurant name. This email is specific to Covid-19, but you can always write up your own email copy if you want to take a different approach.
We’ll repeat this a few times because it’s very important: You always want to link directly to your storefront in every email and on social media, like we do in the example below. Make it easy for your customers to find you.
Week 1 Email Template (Launch Announcement)
Body: We’ve gone online so you can order from home! We’re excited to announce that [restaurant name] now offers online ordering for pickup and delivery. We know the pandemic has made it tougher to dine out. Lockdowns and a commitment to safety are keeping many of us indoors. But good news: You can still get the food you love. Check out our new online store [include a link].
We look forward to serving you!
Engaging with Your Customers on Social Media
Social media is still king! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the three platforms we recommend for building up your online ordering business, although if you’re savvy with other platforms, use them all! We’ve provided social media post ideas for the first four weeks.
If your social media post is promoting an offer that’s going on for a while, it’s okay to continue announcing it throughout the duration of the offer. However, not every post has to have an offer. Unlike email, it’s okay to use social media just to say hi and remind people you’re there.
Here’s your second reminder: You always want to link directly to your storefront in every email and on social media, like we do in the first example below. Make it easy for your customer to get to you.
Week 1 Suggested Social Media Copy
Facebook: Online ordering is now live! We miss seeing you, but we’re determined to keep serving your favorites while supporting social distancing efforts. You can now place an order online for takeout or delivery. [Enter storefront URL]
Twitter: Online ordering is here! We’ve still got all your favorites, and we’ll bring them to your door! [Enter your URL] #yourrestaurantnamehere
Facebook: We have your favorites available for curbside pickup and delivery. We’re now offering online ordering, so we can keep serving you the food you love. Stay safe out there. [Enter your URL]
Twitter: We’ve gone online to make sure we can keep serving you. Place an order now! [Enter your URL] #yourrestaurantnamehere
Increasing Your MenuDrive Business
Now that you’ve set up your online ordering site and announced your launch, you’ll want to work on driving more business. One of the easiest ways to drive business is with a good deal. We know money may be tight for your restaurant right now, but it’s tight for your customers too. The most important thing is to keep yourself up and running.
In order to drum up more business, especially in the beginning, you’re going to want to offer some deals. And to keep people coming back, we recommend setting up a loyalty program. Luckily, MenuDrive has a built-in rewards program, as well as the ability to create all kinds of coupons.
Coupons sound kind of old school, and you’re probably not going to be mailing out actual physical coupons (although you could, for something different). Think of these types of coupons as code-based discounts and offers. You can create all kinds of coupons in MenuDrive. You can turn them on and off, reuse them, make them one-time-only, or make them valid for a certain amount of time.
Navigate to the left-hand navigation bar of your MenuDrive Admin Control Panel, and select Coupons to get started. You can find detailed instructions here.
We recommend going big in week two with a major incentive such as 50% off. With a coupon that big, you’ll want to get the word out by email and on social media. Here’s some copy for you to use.
Week 2 Email Template (50% Off)
Headline: 50% off your next order
Body: Tired of sitting at home? Self-isolating is hard, but we’re brightening your day with a 50% off coupon! This discount is good on your entire online order. Just use the code 50OFF at checkout.
Week 2 Suggested Social Media Copy
Facebook: Distract yourself with a half-priced meal! We’re offering 50% off your next purchase. Just use code 50OFF at checkout.
Twitter: Enjoy a half-priced meal while you’re distancing. Use code 50OFF to get 50% off your entire purchase. #yourrestaurantnamehere
Facebook: We know this is a hard time, and we just wanted to reach out and say hi. We miss you! Post your funniest pet videos below. We could all use a laugh right now!
Twitter: Hello to all our friends and family out there. We miss you and can’t wait to see you at [insert your restaurant name here] again! #yourrestaurantnamehere
By now, you’ve got orders coming in and processes in place. You should be feeling pretty good about your takeout and delivery strategy!
A great way to keep customers ordering more is to sign them up for a loyalty program. Luckily, MenuDrive has an easy built-in program for you.
Setting Up Your Loyalty Program
MenuDrive offers two types of programs: one based on dollar amounts, and one based on the number of orders placed. You could reward your customers with a certain number of points for every dollar spent, and then let them use those points to buy menu items, or you could do a program where after 10 orders, for instance, they get a specific discount or free menu item. Or you could do a combination of both. The reward can really be anything you want.
You can set up your program by following the easy steps in the Loyalty & Rewards section of the left-hand navigation bar in your MenuDrive Admin Control Panel. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
As you create your loyalty program, we encourage you to think about your customers, your menu, and your profit margins. Think about your average ticket size too.
MenuDrive pro tip: Come up with a catchy name for your rewards program, and start using it in email and social media campaigns. And remember, always link to your online platform!
Here are some loyalty programs that your fellow MenuDrive users have found success with. Pick the one that’s right for you, and replicate their success!
- Tier system based on the number of points a customer builds up. For instance, until a customer reaches 100 points, they remain in tier 1, where rewards are 10% off. After 100 points, they qualify for 15% off, and after 200 points, 20% off.
- 1 point for every $5 spent
- Free dessert for signing up
- Free delivery on a purchase over x amount of dollars
- Extended delivery zones for loyalty members
- Free meal after 10 orders placed
- Instead of monetary benefits, you could offer rewards such as branded merchandise (T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.).
Once you have your loyalty program in place, it’s time to let customers know about it. Here’s an email template and some social media copy to help you out.
Week 3 Email Template (Loyalty Program)
Headline: 15% off your first order
Body: We’re so glad to have you as a customer, and we want to show you how much we appreciate you! Sign up for our loyalty program and you’ll get:
- 15% off your first order
- 5 points for every $20 you spend
- 50% off your order when you hit 100 points
Thanks for sticking with us!
Week 3 Suggested Social Media Copy
Facebook: Don’t miss out on big rewards! Sign up for our loyalty program to start building up points. 15% off your first order after you sign up!
Twitter: Sign up for our loyalty program today and get 15% off your order. We love our customers! #yourrestaurantnamehere #yourcatchyloyaltyprogramnamehere
Week 4 and Beyond
The hard part is behind you, and now it’s just a question of keeping those orders coming. This is not a set-it-and-forget-it scenario. You want to keep engaging your customers and reminding them why they love ordering from you.
Email and social media are the cheapest and easiest ways to reach out, and we recommend that you continue to use both. Social media can be used more often, but email is far from dead, as you probably realize from your own inbox.
Social Media Tips
Here are a few parting tips for social media. Instagram is a good way to tempt people with tantalizing food photos. Facebook is great if you want a longer post explaining your new platform or how your restaurant is dealing with the current crisis. Twitter works perfectly for flash deals and quick menu updates. Remember, shorter is always better when it comes to marketing, even on Facebook. Post at least a few times a week, and for each offer you create, make sure you post about it two to three times while it’s still going.
Follow this link to learn about uploading photos on Instagram.
Email Marketing Tips
Your MenuDrive account allows you to email customers on their birthdays, their anniversaries, when they first register, or when they haven’t placed an order in a while. Email personalization is an incredibly effective tool, and we recommend making the most of it.
You can decide if you want a new coupon weekly, a couple of times a month, or even monthly. As long as you don’t leave the same coupon up too long, customers won’t get bored.
You can offer different discounts on different platforms. For example, send an email with one offer, post on Facebook about another offer, and offer a third discount on Twitter. Then track the success of each offer to learn where you’re attracting the most business and which coupons are the most popular.
Here’s an email template and social media for a few more coupons.
Week 4 Email Template
Headline: 20% off, this week only
Body: We’re giving you 20% off your next order! We’re happy to be able to continue serving you and grateful for your support. Visit us online to get 20% off. Use coupon code 20OFF.
Week 4 Suggested Social Media Copy
Facebook: With our online ordering services, you can get the food you love delivered to your door! Use coupon code 15OFF to get 15% off your next delivery order.
Twitter: Thank you for being such amazing customers! Today only, use code 20OFF when you order online to get 20% off delivery or takeout. #yourrestaurantnamehere #todayonly
That’s the end of our Launch Guide! We’re so happy to have you as a MenuDrive customer. If you ever have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.